Since both me and Moeronpan are both busy with school right now, have an artbook review that I’ve been keeping in my buffer!
Finally, the review of the last artbook I bought overseas.
Sorry in advance for really crappy photos. I have no idea what happened–either I was very tired the day I took photos or my hands were extremely shakey. The photos didn’t look too bad in the camera, so I didn’t realize how bad they were until I started fixing them up (in photoshop) for this review. I can’t re-take photos now since University has started up again, so my apologies. However, this does not excuse bad photos so I will try to take better ones in the future.
This artbook is actually a Chinese artbook—I thought it was a Japanese one at first because I was an idiot and can’t tell the difference between Japanese and Chinese letters. Anyway, it’s not too shabby for a Chinese artbook. (And no, it’s not a bootleg. After doing a lot of research online, it seems to be an officially printed artbook, except in Chinese, obviously.)
This artbook is actually a lot smaller than your usual artbooks (only around 80 pages), but that’s because it comes with a DVD. The DVD contains CLAMP in Wonderland 1 + 2, which are special AMVs (anime music videos) featuring a bunch of different CLAMP series. Overall, it’s just really awesome. I won’t take screenshots of the AMVs because you can find a fansite dedicated to them on the web already.
Also on the DVD is the first episode of the Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations OAV, which I didn’t understand any of it because I don’t speak Japanese, don’t know how to read Chinese (there were Chinese subtitles), and haven’t even read/watched the any of the Tsubasa series. So… yeah. Still the animation was pretty good, and the action sequences were well-choreographed, even if there wasn’t much of it.
Also on the DVD were the Tsubasa and XXXholic double feature movie. I’m not going to review that because that’s a whole freaking movie. (Though I have seen it before getting this DVD.) Sadly, I think my DVD was a bit scratched, as it refused to play the Tsubasa/XXXholic movie, and tends to get stuck on the second half of the Tokyo Revelations OAV. I don’t really mind this, though; as I wouldn’t be able to understand any of it anyway. (remember, Chinese subs.) I’m just glad that the CLAMP in Wonderland AMVs are playable. Being able to own that on DVD makes me happy enough already. (But then again, I’m pretty easy to please…)
Anyway, I ranted on about the DVDs long enough, so let’s see what pictures this artbook holds for us!
The artbook is mostly filled with a bunch of CLAMP’s newer works, like XXXholic, Tsubasa, and Kobato. It also features some of the promotional posters/artwork for the CLAMP in Wonderland 2 AMV, which results in a lot of cameos/crossovers (but that’s a good thing).
The paper quality and printing quality are really nice. The only major complaints I have are that some of the pictures are a little bit too small, and that there are way too many images from the XXXholic anime. I don’t hate the series in itself, but in all honesty, I think the anime art looks a little… QUALITY, if you understand what I mean.
The pictures are mostly grouped by series, but it starts getting a bit less defined towards the end. The pictures still relate to the three main series that the DVD revolves around, though. (Tsubasa, XXXholic, and Kobato) There’s also one part of the book where an older Sakura picture (from Tsubasa) wound up in the Kobato section. It’s a bit jarring and kind of “wut” (did they really mistake Sakura for Kobato) but it’s easily forgiven.
There’s also a mini story included at the end of the artbook, featuring the two Mokonas (black and white) I think going on some kind of adventure through different worlds/dimensions. It’s basically made of crack and cuteness, but at least it’s… cute?
Most of the artworks included can probably be found all over the net already (considering how famous CLAMP works are), but I still think this was a decent buy for me. It’s a nice artbook to have if you’ve never owned a CLAMP artbook before, and it shows off a lot of the more recent series that CLAMP did. Sadly, it’s pretty hard to find online, so I guess I was lucky to be able to buy it in person.
It’s probably not worth buying, for the general anime audience. If you really like CLAMP works, then odds are, you already have their artbooks, which showcases much more art than this. Also, the things featured on the DVD are easily found online and some (the Tsubasa/XXXholic film for example) are already licensed.