Yoshiyuki Sadamoto Illustrations CARMINE came out as a limited edition boxed set in March 2009. This giant art book included works from FLCL, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Nadia Secret of Blue Water, Aim for the Top! 2, and .hack//SIGN as well as few original illustrations. While the limited edition art book had a huge price tag of ￥13,000, coming out next month is the standard edition for the much more affordable price of ￥3,150.
The limited edition of CARMINE comes boxed in with a "digital" collection of the art book---this amounts to wallpaper sized versions of all of the works in the book---as well as two full body stick posters of Rei Ayanami and Asuka Langley Soryu. I didn't fully unroll the posters in the photos above.
CARMINE itself comes enclosed in with a hard cover case, with a design that looks like shattered glass on a light-reflective surface. It also comes with two prints that also appear as illustrations in the art book, one from Aim for the Top! 2 and the other from Neon Genesis Evangelion.
The actual book itself is hardcover, B4 size and 168-pages. The sections in the book are divided by series for the most part, although there are some points of overlap, like having Summer Wars and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time in the same section. Most of the art work in the book is unsurprisingly from Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Though there were a couple of images I hadn't seen before at the time, notably the one above with Asuka and Rei in ballerina costumes, but most were recognizable illustrations from merchandise like DVD covers and manga covers.
As the Neon Genesis Evangelion section takes up 80 pages of this 168-page art book, the category is subdivided into illustrations for the DVD series and a section for the movie Evangelion 1.0: You Are (NOT) Alone. Though the movie section is short, it does include one of the few anime style illustrations Yoshiyuki Sadamoto has done for Evangelion in recent years.
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars section includes only five illustrations, of which only one is from Summer Wars. Considering that at the time this book came out, Summer Wars hadn't even been in theaters, promotional illustrations like the one featured were probably all that was available. I'm curious to find out if any additional Summer Wars illustrations will be included in the standard edition of CARMINE, so if anyone gets it, let me know!
The .hack section included a total of nine illustrations, with each illustration getting a full page display. It's easily some of the most beautiful art work in the book with its colorful presenation, even if it's not a series I'm into.
Aim for the Top! 2 was covered over 10 pages with 10 illustrations, most of which were the anime style art works for the DVD covers. I was always a fan of the DVD covers for this OVA, and it's pretty impressive to see such detailed illustrations in the high resolution printing they deserve.
Though it's been a while since FLCL first came out, there hasn't been a decent collection of the illustrations from this show aside from the overpriced Groundwork of FLCL book that was put out by Gainax, which is mostly just story board animation sketches. Even with just nine color illustrations in the section, it's still more color FLCL art than I've seen in any other book ^^;
Also, the FLCL section is the only one to also have monochrome illustrations; these works were also featured on the DVDs. There are eight monochrome illustrations in the FLCL section.
The final illustration section in Yoshiyuki Sadamoto Illustrations CARMINE is titled "Other Works" and includes some original illustrations along side a total of two illustrations from Nadia Secret of Blue Water. The majority of his Nadia illustrations can be found in his earlier art book Der Mond, which has been re-published in the US.
The art book ends with a 19-page interview/conversation with Yoshiyuki Sadamoto and guests like Hideaki Anno, Mamoru Hosoda, and Kazuya Tsurumaki. The monochrome index takes up the last few pages with the original publication info underneath each thumbnail. Yoshiyuki Sadamoto Illustrations CARMINE is an excellent book, but in all honesty, if I'd know the standard edition would have been released a little over a year later, I would have waited for that. Of course, if I had that kind of psychic ability, I'd rather it be for something more useful than predicting art book releases ;D The limited edition is gorgeous, but I'm more interested in the content than the presentation in this case, especially for a monetary difference of ￥10,000!