Friday, September 28, 2007

The Art of Yasushi Suzuki

With the release of Sin and Punishment: Successor of the Earth for Virtual Console in EU (and already released in JPN) today (where's the NA one dammit), I decided to do this little post on this item I got during the summer, The Art of Yasushi Suzuki artbook.

Before I begin, lemme just mention that I first played Sin and Punishment on my cousin's Nintendo 64. It was a very fun game that I love and dug, due to the fact that I enjoy most of Treasure's games anyways. A couple of years later, I played it on my computer in emulation form. Once again, I enjoyed replaying it, though graphically, it's pretty crappy nowadays, still fun though. One of the main features that grabbed me back then (in 2000/2001) was the artwork and character designs and that is when I was introduced to Yasushi Suzuki and became a fan of his artwork.

oh yeah! my subscription to Gamer's Republic had a cover feature on Sin and Punishment! Yes I'm hardcore I know! Note: the editor (Dave Halverson) of GR was the editor for Gamefan and currently Play Magazine, all these mags are kinda JPN fanboys as they cover anime and a lot of import games.

So the artbook is about 80+ pages in total, w/ about 70 pages of artwork. The rest consist of interviews, comment (by Dave surprising...not), mini bio and a thumbnail gallery of the art featured. The book retails for about $27 US or $32.50 CDN. That's the official price on the back of the book at the time (May 2007) With the CDN dollar being just about on par the American dollar, that price stamped on the back is useless and misguiding. The book can be purchased very cheap, it's currently selling for $17.70 at Amazon and even
(slightly) cheaper at for 16.99. I preordered mine when it was $12.00 CDN...sweeet.

Anyways, the artbook is the first of Yasushi Suzuki and it collects 10 years of his works. He specifically chose the artwork for this artbook. The book is being distributed by DrMaster Publications, which is an American company that publishes mostly manga & manhwa that they've acquired. What's also cool, is that DrMaster will be publishing Suzuki's first full-length manga, Purgatory Kabuki, hence this artbook. I'll have coverage on Purgatory Kabuki once I get it near the end of the year. So yeah, NA fans are lucky as it's an NA company releasing this stuff instead of the usual JPN companies. However, if JPN fans of Suzuki was interested, in this book, they can also buy, since the artbook contains JPN text for all interviews, comments and bio.

The books contains a lot of artwork I'm sure people are not familiar with. They include mostly novels, (mini) comics, card, original illustrations. There's only 2 Sin and Punishment artwork (as shown). The art featured the most would be Ikaruga. While I like Ikaruga's art, it's not my style (a lot of mech) and the character illustrations pales to his other works (but still good compared to other artists). Purgatory Kabuki, gets a page of chara designs, which is a nice preview I guess.

Personally, I don't think the book is worth the $27 dollars it retails for. I'd definitely say it's worth the $17 dollars. The book is very nice and very good quality. The art is sick and it's the only artbook of Yasushi Suzuki. Is it worth it? Hard to say, his style is an acquired taste.


Zanza said...

hmm, i've never seen that artist's work before, looks amazing.

R8 said...

yeah, not much ppl in the anime circle know or can recognize yasushi's work. It's mostly the gamer circle, but even then, most gamers don't know about this guy's work, even though they may have been exposed to one or two pieces of his art.

Avery said...

Just received my copy of Purgatory Kabuki and while I have yet to read through it I can tell at a glance that his art style is impressive ..though the story is a bit Blade of the Immortal-ish.