When I was on my overseas trip, I was able to get ahold of three new artbooks. This one is my favorite of the three.
If you don’t already know, Pixiv is an internet art site, similar to that of DeviantArt. However, Pixiv has a lot more experienced artists, which was why I was so happy to find the Pixiv artbook while vacationing. As the title says, this artbook contains illustrations centered mainly around girls. I think Pixiv published an artbook like this in 2009 also. Because it’s a “collection,” you’ll only see each artists’ work once. However, there are a lot of works (and artists), so if you like a lot of variety (like I do), then it’s a really nice artbook to own.
The nice thing about the Pixiv artbook is that they give you the artist’s ID number, so you could search up more of their works if you have a Pixiv account. And yes, these artworks are online already (since they’re taken from the site), but it’s so nice to be able to look through pictures in book form, because you can look at many of them at once, without having to load them up.
Of course, with this many artists, there are some who are more experienced than others, and there may be some styles/pictures that you don’t really like. But the good thing about so much variety is that there are bound to be at least a few pictures that will become your favorites. Also, the pictures picked for this artbook are already the best of the best, so you’ll be hard pressed to find one that you really hate.
A significant number of pictures are full page ones, but there are quite a few smaller pictures here and there. The pictures are divided mainly into two sections/chapters: Illustrations and Concept Art. I’m not sure what the difference is between Illustrations and Concept Art, as the two seem to overlap a lot, but eh.
In Illustrations, the pictures are vaguely grouped together based on a certain theme. There’s maid girls, school girls, girls in bikinis, girls in kimonos, etc. I think it’s really nice that they’re grouped this way, as it makes the book flow better. If pictures had just been grouped together willy-nilly, I’m pretty sure the book would have seemed disjointed if you were flipping through it.
In the Concept Art section, there’s a really large section of drawings of girls… drawing. I think Pixiv ran a contest a while back, and these are all (or some) of the submissions. Anyway, it’s really cool that they have such a large section dedicated to girls drawing. I think it shows how important art is to the members of the Pixiv community.
Also, you’ll probably notice from looking at the cover, but this artbook is laid out left to right. I think this is because this artbook was meant to be released to an international audience, judging by the foreword. It’s times like these that you have to remember that not all Pixiv artists are Japanese.
All in all, the Pixiv artbook is a really nice artbook to have. There’s not much to complain about here—the paper quality is lovely, and the book is around 150 pages long. It’s a soft-cover book, but that’s nice because it makes the book lighter. I can’t really criticize any of the artworks, simply because there’s so many artists that it would be ridiculous to just point one out. There is some fanservice (in an artbook centered around girls, it’s impossible to avoid), and one picture where there’s nudity, but fortunately it’s not the centerpoint of the work.
If you’ve never owned an artbook before, yet are looking for one, then you should definitely get the Pixiv Girls Collection. It’s a relatively new artbook too (published in 2010), so you’ll have an easy time finding it online or (maybe) in local anime/manga stores. If artworks centered mostly around girls aren’t your thing, then there’s an overall 2010 Pixiv art collection artbook that’s out already. It’s even thicker than this artbook and has a lot more artists. (*sob* I want that…)
I don’t really know what to say to end this review, but I’m definitely going to buy more artbooks like this in the future.
Where to buy: These books are pretty much out of print by now (do Japanese artbooks really go by that fast?!) so it’s going to be a bit difficult to find these books online. I’m sure that there’s still a few copies swimming around in stores, though.