My wife got this for me during last years holidays. It is one that I have on my Amazon Wishlist and she grabbed it. It was for Girl, Illustrated: Japanese Manga, Anime and Video Game Characters. I am not sure why the subtitle for this book as not all the pictures are from that genre.
I happen to be a big fan of artwork books from Japan. This one does not disappoint in any way. I like the fact that you can see the original text as well as the English.
About 20% of the book is an intro and some insight to "Girls be ambitious!". This showcased the use of moe ~ kawaii girls to promote different things in some of the areas in Japan . They review 3 cases and include all the stuff they used to get the information across to people. This was a bit odd to find it in this book, but it gave me some insight to how they use them to bring attention to themselves. This is something that I don't really see grabbing on this side of the world.
After that you get a great view of some talented artists. Each artist is given 2 pages of the book to showcase their artwork. If they liked, they also included some information on themselves and what inspires them. I find this refreshing as usually it is just art and an name. I liked reading what got them into this or what keeps them going when drawing.
This book surprised me with the wide range of styles and ideas that were shown. Some of it is your normal gaming stuff, then the sexy girls, having fun girls and then you see art you would expect in some high end illustration department. Some of the artwork really makes you look hard to understand what is happening and makes you think. I ended up saying to my self, "That is one cool concept piece".
Here are several of my favorites that I hand picked for your enjoyment. The pictures I used are not in the book itself as I did not want to repeat what you would see. If possible, I got their pixiv link as well.
fuzichoko ~ pixiv
Talk about use of color - this artwork has it in spades. I love the extreme use of color, but the piece that are done in 3D perspective are stunning to say the least. Though some of the scenes seem to be busy as hell, it is fun looking at teach little piece as separate art.
hatakemiti ~ pixiv
I like how it has a clean gaming illustration feel to it. It really is a well thought out designing when it is done as a collage in most of the artwork. You have the main character(s) supported by the other elements around them without everything smashing together. You can easily separate each part of it and enjoy them individually.
isuZu ~ pixiv
The reason I like this artwork is the way it is crafted. It looks like it is multi-transparent layers piled up to form a picture. In this illustration, you will see how they blur the outside edges to make sure you focused on the girl directly. Very much like how a photographer would do to make sure your eyes went where they wanted - remarkable!
They use a young girl with an Akita or a Black Cat (sometimes both) in almost every picture. Though this is a repeated concept, it is not boring in any way.
Each picture seems to freeze time and space at a moment in her life. It is stunning how the characters can be dwarfed by the backgrounds, yet come out as still visible to the viewer.
They just do fun stuff as you can see with the lovely ladies. This is for the side of me that wants sexy and fun all in one shot. We also have the 'big eye' girls which always seem to invite you to partake in the festivities.
I really want them to do design some artwork featuring Yoko for the side of my car :)
I know this is something that you would not think a guy would like, but I do. To me is a mix of Gothic /Steampunk which I am into at times. It sets you to the Victoria Age, but with a soft elegance that is quite Japanese.
If you Google "sakizo", you will actually get hits for people who cosplayed the characters as well - now that is art imitating art.
Have you gotten this book or do you have any "art books" that you like?