If you've been keeping tabs on Pixiv artists, it'd be hard to miss out on the work of Sakamoto Himemi---recently featured in Quarterly Pixiv Vol. 03---whose simply lined girls sit on elaborately detailed backdrops that are placed more in fantasy than reality.

It may be too early to call it with another six months left but, Foo Midori's Book of Pictures is easily the front-runner for this year's must-have art book. It's 312-pages of all color art works, with each illustration being given a full page (or two). There are pages upon pages of beautifully detailed costumes, character designs and original art works from Fantasy Odyssey/SiLKROAD ONLINE, Kikan S Magazine, FELLOWS! Magazine, Alteil and many other publications.

While looking for Puella Magi Madoka Magica illustration doujinshi, I encountered several new artists along with an event titled Magi Madoka ONLY - Mou Nanimo Kowaku Nai (魔まマ オンリーイベント~もう何も恐くない~) that ran for just one day on April 24, and was strictly Madoka doujins only. Jem & Lights Puella Magi Madoka Magica Fanbook by Sugi (スギ) was one of the many releases, and it presents a full color collection of Madoka art.

Ito Noizi's COMIC1☆5 release revisits the fashionista theme she set in an earlier doujinshi with FASHIONISTA 2011. The collection is deceptively short, but also features two illustrations by Kichiemo, whose appearances in Fujitsubo Machine have been less frequent as of late.

I wasn't too enamored with Girls Girls Girls! 6 Illustrations when I bought it last November, and I still feel the same way. Collection-wise, the gallery themes included were a bit plain overall, and absent of the fantasy settings with beautiful backgrounds. The subtitle for this volume is Fetish Girl Collection, but looking through the works, it would be hard to categorize most images like that.

In May this year, the Eshi 100 Gallery Exhibition opened in the Akihabara UDX building and ran for a brief 5 days showcasing new illustrations by some of the most recognized artists in Japan. The gallery exhibition theme was the very open-ended idea of 'Japan', allowing for amazing creativity from the artists along with many different conceptual representations. This gorgeous exhibition was collected as a book, Eshi 100 - Contemporary Japanese Illustration and sold during the event.

I'm a big fan of Katanagatari, I loved the story, but perhaps more importantly, I loved the unique character designs by Take (竹). And surprisingly, the anime style stayed quite true to the original designs with Kawada Tsuyoshi's adaptations, which led me to get the Katanagatari Visual Book. Though it's what you would expect from a visual book, it does an excellent job gathering all the anime art works from the series.

I'd like to let everyone know that you can now make a free account on BRUSHD! Now everyone can find out how easy it is to make a professional, easy to update online art portfolio with no strings attached. To learn more about BRUSHD! and its on-site blogging, keep on reading ^^ is a blog of anime art book, magazine, and doujinshi reviews. In the mix you'll also find wallpapers, opinions, buying tips and my thoughts on collecting art books.

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