Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Review: Girl, Illustrated

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.

Kusanagi Tonbo

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?


  1. Those drawings are pleasing to the eyes and definitely arty farty. Must be a great gift. My artbooks are mainly illustration of Gundam & Macross.

  2. My favorite is the isuZu pixiv link

  3. Looks like a really good artbook. I personally don't own much in the way of them, but I quite admire them. I'm hunting for Humikane's and I do like collecting Queen's Blade books (if they count XD). The only official art book I own really is CLAMP's Chobits one. I spend a lot of time browsing the net in search of art, but when it comes to books I don't find many around these parts. I don't like ordering books online as much as I like buying them from a store. From what I can see this is a great book :)

  4. Those are some of the most gorgeous illustrations I've seen. Definitely going to try to pick up this artbook.

  5. @Dennis aka Katsuden ~ I used to have a Macross art book many years ago, but not sure what happened to it. I would like to get my hands on some of them now.

    @kluxorious ~ yes they are

    @phossil ~ I am stuck between isuZu and fuzichoko as I really like both styles

    @Perscom ~I have 3 QB books and I agree that they are "art books".

    @Yi ~ I am continually amazed by the amount of professional art that is coming form Japan and pixiv combined

  6. Ah, that reminds me...I lost this book a while ago, but I remember there was this one artist who said he or she was inspired by patterns on mail stamps and packages? I'd really like to find that artists art blog... please help?

    1. I think I found your answer to your inquiry. I believe you are about Mitarashi. Here is a link to a recent interview with other links for the artist:


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