This is the last Yasuomi Umetsu art book I have to review, and also the most recent. Yasuomi Umetsu's Visual Art Works BORDERLESS came out October 14th, 2009 and collects his illustrations from Kite Liberator, Kite, Mezzo Forte, Mezzo DSA, Nakoruru, and his own original girls. Out of all of art books, this one is the most illustration packed, and covers all but one of the illustrations from the Mezzo Perfect File.
I doubt at this point there's any fan left out there who's unaware of the release of the art book Tsubasa ALBuM De REProDUCTioNS 2. The second art book for the Tsubasa Resevoir Chronicles series was released November 14th and retails for ￥1890. With the series having finished this past October, this will likely be the last installment. It's always sad when long running manga end, but at the same time, I'm excited to see what CLAMP will do next ^^
絵師100人 100 Masters of Bishojo Painting was released by BNN International December 16th, 2009 with a retail cost of ￥ 2,499. This 216-page, B5 sized art book is like a directory listing of popular and up-coming artists on the Japanese digital illustration scene. But unlike previous collections of a similar nature, this is dually written in both Japanese and English!
H2SO4's Shiroi Hanabira (白い花びら) was released during Comiket 73, which was way back at the end of 2007. It's a full color, staple-bound collection of illustrations that includes four art works by other Korean artists like Tearfish and Tiv. On the up-side, it's all beautiful color art work, but on the downside, it's a very slim 16 pages without counting the covers.
I've been meaning to include more reviews for magazines, but at the rate they come out, it's quite hard to keep up. But I'm going to try harder! The January issue Animedia Magazine does the traditional New Year's round-up it does every year, with the characters from the more popular series this year featured in their New Year's attire as well as art work from up and coming shows at the end of the magazine.
Range Murata's All the Way Home came out last year during Comiket 75 and is an A4 sized, 38-page collection of Murata's more recent color and monochrome art work. Range Murata's art work appears in so many publications, it would be great it there was a single book you could buy to have it all, but his most recent doujins are doing an alright job with keeping up.
When I heard Tony Taka would be coming out with a new full color doujinshi, titled COLLECT1 T2 Art Works during Comiket 76, it became the top of my 'to get' list. I'd wanted to buy his previous GRAPH I through GRAPH IV color collections but due to their age and rarity, they usually went for anywhere from ￥6000 to ￥8000 for 30 to 36 pages of art work. I know it's quality rather than quantity that should count, but with COLLECT1, I'd like to believe I was able to get both.
Dragon Magazine isn't something I regularly purchase, and it's not about to become one. So I figured it's best to do a little write-up on it while it's still relevant to my interests, as it's unlikely I'll be buying another one in the future. If you're at all curious about what's in an issue of Dragon Magazine, here's your chance to see.
MOONSTONE Complete Illustrations was just released on December 2, 2009, and features a compilation of all the MOONSTONE promotional art work for their video games over the years. It doesn't include any of the in-game CG art work that you would usually find in a game visual book, which is a huge plus in my book.
Mitsuishi Shona's Relaxation Switch COLORS.001 came out during Comiket 75, and was the first full cover doujinshi by the artist. Shona's works look like they could come straight out of a series like ef - a tale of memories, with the way her illustrations shimmer and shine, along with the surreal background scenes for her characters.
The newest pretty girls collection from E☆2 (Etsu), Girls Girls Girls!4 Illustrations was just released a few days ago in Japan, and it continues to be what we expect from the Girls Girls Girls! series of art books. It features a great assortment of artists ranging from the well known to the virtually unknown.