PIECES 2 Phantom Cats is essentially a small and compact version of the popular and rare Galgrease Galhound poster books that Masamune Shirow released circa 2002 and 2003. The illustrations were originally distributed as magazine extras, but you can now have it all in one with PIECES 2, though of course, they're not posters anymore ^^
I haven't been an avid collector of Masamune Shirow's works since most came out kind of before my prime collecting days, so PIECES 2 serves as a nice gathering of illustrations I had only previously seen online. This full color book is A5 in size, so it's slightly larger than a manga volume, but smaller than the average doujinshi. Surprisingly, it's also hard cover even though it's a short 88-pages, which does make it seem better quality as a small sized book.
Though they may have just escaped my notice on previous publications, I believe the first three illustrations in the book are new and after that begins the re-collections of the Galgrease Galhound series. These illustrations have really aged well because even after all these years, I think Masamune Shirow's style still looks amazingly polished, I never feel like his works are half-hearted or unfinished. And as expected with this artist, there are quite a few ecchi images, but for some reason they seem so much more tame than I remember...
Since the original Masamune Shirow Galgrease Galhound poster books aren't really an option anymore, PIECES 2 does a great job of bringing those works all together. Perhaps we'll be seeing something similar for Hellcat or Wild Wet West in the future. Either way, the low cover price of ￥1440 ought to entice even marginal fans to grab a copy.
- Title: PIECES 2 Phantom Cats
- タイトル: 士郎正宗プレミアムギャラリー PIECES2 Phantom Cats
- Pages: 88
- Release date: 04/12/2010
- Buy: Amazon Japan