Note: Shiki’s taken a few weeks break before the start of the next season, so no Shiki review this week! Since the anime series…es I want to review for the new fall season haven’t aired yet, here’s a little artbook review to tide you over! I should be able to review one new anime next week, though! …Hopefully!

This is another artbook which I bought overseas. The artist’s name is Kaya Kuramoto, but I’ve been unable to find much information about her. Kuramoto seems to be a doujin artist and illustrator for light novels, I’m guessing. Anyway, you can find her site here:

http://home.att.ne.jp/yellow/kuramoto/

The cover's pretty cool.

...And so is the back!

This artbook was published in 2008, yet it already seems as if you can find the scans of the entire artbook everywhere on the net. I’m assuming Kuramoto must be pretty famous if scans of the artbook have gotten around this fast.

Anyway, on to the artbook itself. The artbook is “read” left-to-right. I really like the covers and packaging for this artbook, actually. The artbook has a really nice hard-cover and it comes with a paper case you can put the artbook in. Overall, it just looks really cool/fancy.

With the outer case on.

But the most important thing is what’s inside, so let’s take a look.

Alice in Wonderland is pretty popular in Japan I'm guessing?

The artbook is divided into roughly four sections, with an interlude between the third and last section. The sections are divided based on series, I’m assuming. The first section is “Secret,” followed by “Landscape,” “After Doomsday,” and finally, “Precious Days.”

From the "Secret" chapter. I think this might have been Kuramoto's later drawings.

The Interlude section is composed of small images laid out next to each other over several pages. It looks a bit too busy and messy in my opinion, but these seem to be the artist’s earlier works so I guess that’s okay.

It's a shame actually. Some of these smaller images are rather nice, so I would have liked bigger versions of them...

Most of the book is composed of full page images, and the color and paper quality are high. This is a good thing, because of the way Kuramoto colors her works. I really like Kuramoto’s coloring style. It looks somewhat like a mix between water color and oil paints, which makes the pictures look “soft.” It also gives the pictures a distinctive style.

From the "Landscape" chapter. The "Landscape" chapter seemed to be a mix of three series.

Another thing I like about Kuramoto’s works is the way she draws eyes. They’re not extremely big and “moe,” but they’re still distinctively “anime-like” and cute. (I hope that last sentence even made any sense) Also, Kuramoto is pretty damn good with backgrounds. Just look back at any of the above pictures and you’ll see what I mean.  Kuramoto also seems to have a thing for European-styled dresses/architecture. Not that I’m complaining.

From the Doomsday section. I have a weakness for girls with scythes...

Overall, I can’t really find much wrong with this book. The only thing I’d complain about is that more of the “tarot” styled pictures would be nice. The pictures on the front and back cover are all that you’ll ever see in the book. It would have been interesting to see what the she draws for the rest of the tarot cards…

Not everyone will like Kuramoto’s style, of course. Some people might find her coloring “bland” or find the drawing style kind of generic. I wouldn’t know, because I’m not one of those people.

Suddenly, Ninjas!

I think this artbook is a decent addition to any artbook collection. Of course, as I’ve said in the beginning of this review, pretty much the whole artbook can be found quite easily on the net by now. Whether you want an actual, physical copy of the artbook is really up to you.

Where to buy:

http://www.pucciland.com/eng_artbook.html (scroll down until you see it, then you’ll be directed to another page which you’ll have to scroll down again)

http://www.archonia.com/mangashop/en/article/49399/pieces+of+the+world+-+kaya+kuramoto+art+works/

Annnnd one last picture to finish it off!