【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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【CD】君の知らない物語 (Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari) by supercell

As if I don’t already have enough posts about this CD’s title song. Anyways, I finally received my copy of the CD today after preordering it last month.

Album cover (illust: 三輪士郎)

The version I got was the first press edition with an extra DVD and a sticker that you can put on your cap. The CD comes with 5 tracks, three of which have vocals and two are instrumentals.

CD Track List:
01. 君の知らない物語 (Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari)
03. theme of “CENCOROLL” instrumental track
04. 君の知らない物語 (Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari) -TV Edit-
05. 君の知らない物語 (Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari) -Instrumental-

All the songs are composed by ryo of supercell, and the vocals are done by nagi. nagi is basically the reason I bought this CD at all because her voice is too great. My favourite track is probably the title track even though it sounded kind of generic to me at first, but the lyrics are great. LOVE & ROLL, the main vocal theme for CENCOROLL, is a very welcome change from ryo’s usual style, and I love the main melody, but it seems to repeat a lot and makes the song sound a little long. Nevertheless, still a good song that I like, and it has interesting lyrics as well.

The cover illustration is done by MIWA Shirow and the sticker illustrations were done by redjuice. I was kind of disappointed with the sticker because I actually thought that there would be 8 stickers, one for each illustration. But alas, it was only one sticker with 8 cropped pictures on it.

The package design was done by wooserdesign, which is good and clean. I’m not used to buying singles, but I was a tiny bit disappointed that there weren’t any liner notes from the staff/vocalist. (Or are liner notes for albums only?) The paper insert (not a booklet) is only one piece of folded glossy paper with the cover illustration, credits, lyrics, and back cover, with a two-sided advertisement insert inside promoting Bakemonogatari DVD vol.1 and CENCOROLL. The CD case is pretty high quality, though, and isn’t exactly the ultra-fragile jewel cases I’m used to seeing.

The DVD I haven’t watched yet since it’s Region 2, but I watched the videos from it on the web.

DVD Track List:
– 「君の知らない物語」 (Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari) MUSIC VIDEO
– 「君の知らない物語」 (Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari) CM SPOT

The LIVE ACTION PV is a terrible disappointment since I was really hoping for something animated or at least related to Bakemonogatari in some way. It’s basically a juvenile story about a high school love triangle. The CM spot video is really short and reuses footage from episode 1 of Bakemonogatari.

All in all, I’m not exactly regretting that I got the first press edition, but since the DVD bonus was mediocre, I recommend getting the regular edition, even though the one (big) sticker is pretty cool. I’m happy that I got the CD at all since CDs with nagi’s vocals are so hard to find, so jumping on this mass-produced single is a good opportunity if you are either a supercell or nagi fan. I don’t really think that there’s much here for Bakemonogatari fans unless they really like the song or really want to collect the sticker.

Picspam under the cut.

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