As requested, I’ll be reviewing CHAYAMACHI CHiRAL WORKS the artbook by Chayamachi Suguro 茶屋町 勝呂 first ^^
Title: CHAYAMACHI CHiRAL WORKS
Price: 2,415 Yen (w/tax)
Note: No explicit images, safe for all viewers :)
The A4 sized artbook has 145 pages (excluding book jacket) with total of about 113 pages of full colour illustrations. There’s a short manga as well as a few Togainu no Chi and Lamento short stories.
The book jacket has a matte finishing with emboss on the black outlines of the illustration. The embossed areas are the shiny parts that reflect light. We can (barely) see it but it is shown in the pic below on the left.
The book cover itself is a simple greyish silver coloured page with glossy finish. The white patch is reflected light :P sorry about that. The back is plain white.
The artbook contains all the manga and magazine covers that the mangaka has created from the period of 2006 till 2010.
Most of the illustrations came from the works she did for Togainu no Chi 咎狗の血. They are all full-page illustrations which are a feast for the eyes. Love it!
The main reason we buy an artbook is that we want big lovely images of eye-candy that we can drool over. I hate it when artbooks try to be creative with the layout and then end up giving us pages with small pics of the illustrations and large areas of wasted page space (e.g. some Hakuouki artbooks). So in this case, this artbook gets a big thumbs up from me :D
If you compare it with the original character designer, Tatanakana (たたなかな/Kurahana Chinatsu 倉花 千夏)’s beautiful, graceful and crisp-looking style, Chayamachi-sensei’s style gives off an untamed wildness (or exuberance). You can see it from the generally rougher strokes of her lines and painting.
I have to admit I didn’t like it very much when I saw the first Togainu no Chi manga sensei drew because it was really quite rough ^^;;.
But over the years, her technique has evolved and I find that her artworks, especially the coloured ones are very energetic and involving as you can see in this collection. The selected black and white pieces included are lovely in their composition too.
Besides full page coloured illustrations, the artbook also gives us Togainu no Chi/Lamento mini-scenario stories and a short story written by Nitro+Chiral’s Fuchii Kabura (淵井鏑) and illustrated by Chayamachi-sensei. There’s also a short alternate-universe manga where all the characters from Togainu and Lamento are present. They are exclusive and new material created just for the artbook.
The pic on the top-left is the design she created for Shiki-T シキT.
AU Manga created by Chayamachi-sensei and illustrated short story.
Other artwork created for goods, message papers and Nitro+CHiRAL staff comments and well-wishes pages are included too. Even if you collected most of the manga and magazine, you’ll probably still be able to find new artwork by sensei that you’ve not seen before :)
I happen to have the two tea cups that has her Togainu no Chi illustrations that are also included in the artbook. If you’re wondering how I got them, I found them on Yahoo Japan auctions.
There’s also a feature on the drafts she did before finally arriving at the selected cover art design. And the usual thumbnail listing of the origin of illustrations included in the artbook.
Conclusion: Definitely worth it for me but it’s subjective for each individual. Will you buy it? :D
By the way, there’s a Togainu no Chi + Chayamachi fair listed on the transluscent label. If you collect the stamps on three selected Chayamachi books and mail them in, you get a chance to exchange for a T-shirt (Shiki-T/シキT) she designed. There are 160 to giveaway. Or stickers + photo card (金箔風デコシールサイン入リ特制フォトカード) There are 1040 to giveaway.
The books are:
- CHAYAMACHI CHiRAL WORKS,
- Togainu no Chi manga Vol. 8 (咎狗の血 8)
- Togainu no Chi Anthology Shiki Maniacs (咎狗の血アンソロジー シキマニアックス)
But you have to stick them on the request cards that are available in these mangas: Comic B’s-Log Kyun! Vol 5, 6 or 7 (コミック ビースログ キュン！)
Deadline: 31 October 2010.
Leaving you with one of my favourite pics from the artbook :) The only sweetpool pic she included here.