【Artbook】Coffin: The Art Of Vampire Hunter D (Amano Yoshitaka Illustrations)

Probably one of the best artbooks ever published in the world(?). It’s so good that the local library has a copy of it, which I borrowed and am reviewing here. And happy new year, I guess. GTFO 2009


Coffin: The Art Of Vampire Hunter D is a standalone artbook first published in Japan by the name of かんおけ―吸血鬼ハンターD (Kanoke – Vampire Hunter D), and later published in North America by Dark Horse Press. This supersized artbook collects the illustrations and artwork, all by Amano Yoshitaka, from the Vampire Hunter D series of novels (authored by KIKUCHI Hideyuki), and exhibits approximately 190 pieces of artwork from a span of 14 years. Despite initially being published in North America, this version is currently available for purchase worldwide on all Amazon divisions except for China. As well, the artbook is written in two languages, Japanese and English, where all instances of the original text is placed beside the translation.

Order at Amazon: USA (US$26.37) | Canada (CAD$27.55) | UK (£21.85) | France (Marketplace only; €22,50+) | Germany (€28,99) | Japan (¥3,730)

The contents of the book, in order of appearance, include

1. Short introduction by KIKUCHI Hideyuki (1 page)
2. Vampire Hunter D-Portrait of Ixobel- by Kikuchi Hideyuki (6 pages; Exclusive Vampire Hunter D Short Story)
3. Illustrations from Vampire Hunter D by AMANO Yoshitaka (190 pages)
4. Painting Data (2 pages)
5. Notes by Amano Yoshitaka (1 page)
6. Profile of Amano Yoshitaka (1 page)

Opinion: This print publication is so amazing that I don’t really know where to start. Just picking it up and seeing its sheer size had already left an impeccable first impression on me, and it further reinforced that perfect impression by amazing me with its complete contents and high print quality. To be honest, I wasn’t much of a fan of Amano’s illustrations – I thought that they were unique and slightly eerily cool, but they weren’t exactly my favourite. However, this book completely changed my opinion of Amano’s work because it really showed off his versatilty and skill as a true artist. There are so many different styles that Amano uses here (not at all limited to the “usual” wispy, thin style!), and this book can be quite aptly described as successfully representing the “many styles of Amano”.

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【Artbook】Robot Super Color Comic Vol.2

Let’s try this again…The post about Vol.1 (which I suggest as a starting point) was done in a pretty terrible way, so I’m trying to improve on that. I’m sorry that I am an amateur. I’ll try to do improve on this next time. Hover over each image to see a caption, and click to enlarge.

This post consists of three (general) parts:
1. List of Works
2. Opinion
3. Packaging

Robot Vol.2 Cover. (Illust: Range Murata)

This is volume 2 of 10 volumes, 5 of which have been translated and distributed in North America. Vol.2 is published by Digital Manga Publishing.

List of Works + respective artists in Vol.2:
(by English translated titles and in order of appearance)

1. Dragon Fly Ch.2 – MAESHIMA Shigeki (22 page manga)
2. Ebony & Ivory Ch.2 – YASUDA Suzuhito (10 page manga)
3. There Goes Suzume Robo!! – Sabe (4 page manga)
4. Wasteland Ch.2 – YOSHITOSHI ABe (18 page manga)
5. Flowers – MAEDA Hirotaka (8 page manga)
6. Stars and Blue – Miggy (7 pages of themed illustrations)
7. Pez & Dekosuke – ASADA Hiroyuki (1 short comic and illustration fold-out)
8. “Velvet” Monochrome Version – TAJIMA Sho-U (1 spread illustration)
9. Sedouka Ch.2 – NAGASAWA Shin (10 page manga)
10. Delicious Adventures – YUG (4 page manga)
11. House of Fish – Teikoku Shounen (3 page manga, 1 spread illustration)
12. The Depths of November – MIURA Yasuto (8 page manga)
13. Eventyr -What The Diamond Discovered- – HACCAN (9 page story w/ inset illustrations)
14. The Oni Smiles When You Mention Next Year – NEKOI Mie (6 page manga)
15. Witch’s Stipulation – DOWMANSAYMAN (8 page manga)
16. Within The Mirror – SANBE Kei (8 page manga)
17. [Untitled] – MURATA Range (2 illustrations; landing page and exit page)

Opinion: This volume is probably one of my favourites out of the 5 volumes I got, because of the substantial amounts of content from all the artists I like the most, those artists being Maeshima Shigeki, Yoshitoshi ABe, Teikoku Shounen, and HACCAN. However, I personally thought that much of the other ones were a little less than stellar, especially Tajima’s black and white illustration and Sanbe’s manga. I also also still unable to like Miura’s odd style and story.

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【Artbook】Robot Super Color Comic Vol.1

First time doing an artbook(?) review(??), please go easy on me. Also this post is really long. 1213 words of terribility.

Robot Vol.1 Cover. Click to enlarge. (Illust: Range Murata)

Robot Super Color Comic is a colour manga anthology series with 10 volumes in total and consists of illustrators and manga artists selected by Range Murata, who illustrates all the covers for the series. The first 3 volumes have been translated and published in English by Digital Manga Publishing, and volumes 4 and 5 have been published by Udon Entertainment.

Although it’s billed as a colour comic book, it’s more accurate to describe it as an artbook due to the focus on art and also for how it’s “packaged”: it’s printed in an oversized book format with thick, heavy paper and a jacket around the actual book. Despite being printed in China (Not that I have anything against China), this localized release is high quality, especially in terms of printing and material, and most likely does justice to the original Japanese release. This first volume weighs in at more than 700 grams, with 164 pages in total.

A list of comics in the book by their corresponding artist is listed below, by their English translated titles and in order of appearance:

1. Groundpass Drive – MURATA Range (4 themed illustrations)
2. Picnic – NARUCO Hanaharu (8 page manga)
3. Pez & Hot Strawberry – ASADA Hiroyuki (11 page manga)
4. Angels at the Planetarium – TAJIMA Sho-U (12 page B&W manga + 1 illustration)
5. Carogna – ITOU Mami (4 page manga)
6. Wasteland – YOSHITOSHI ABe (8 page manga)
7. There Goes Suzume Robo!! – Sabe (4 page manga)
8. Hemohemo – Yug (6 page manga)
9. Oputon – OKAMA (4 page manga)
10. Dragon Fly – MAESHIMA Shigeki (12 page manga)
11. Dream of the Empty Cage – Miggy (4 themed illustartions)
12. Biting Summer Play – MIURA Yasuto (8 page manga)
13. Sedouka – NAGASAWA Shin (8 page manga)
14. Ebony & Ivory – YASUDA Suzuhito (8 page manga)
15. Primary Color Book – HAKUA Ugetsu (4 illustrations)
16. Eventyr – HACCAN (11 page story w/ inset illustrations)
17. Dragon’s Heaven – KOBAYASHI Makoto (4 page manga)
18. Angels – KINUTANI Yu (8 page manga)
19. Clash!-Revenge of Hunk Kung Fu vs Ugly Kung Fu-Find a Groom! – NEKOI Mie (8 page manga)
20. Moonlight – SANBE Kei (8 page manga)

Opinion: Awesome anthology. More than half of the stories in this are to my liking, and for the ones I really liked, I really, really liked. Since all the artists featured in the book were given free reign to do whatever they wanted, the result was that everything was creative and experimental, which is something I love.

My favourite story was definitely HACCAN’s “Eventyr”, though. Thank you to HACCAN for exceeding all of my expectations. Not only are the illustrations beautiful and colourful, the story is one of the most (truly!) innocent ones I’ve read in a long time. The gist is that in a fantasy world, the only two surviving witches left in the world decide to go out into the human world for the first time, and to their joy, they’re accepted and praised by the humans, who used to fear and hate witches. However, something happens and the humans hate them again. The witches are portrayed as a pair of bright-eyed, curious youths (a boy and a girl), and one could really feel the innocent and sincere tone of the whole story, further emphasized by the artwork because they’re smiling in 98% of them! Best thing ever!

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