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CHOCOLATE GOUACHE

December 28th, 2010, 8:50PM by nat | 19 comments

CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 36

CHOCOLATE GOUACHE marks CHOCO's first commercial collection, and it begins with much fanfare sporting decorative packaging along with prints and an art DVD. But when you strip away all the extraneous bits, you'll find you just paid ¥ 6,980 for a 112 page art book---and that's extravagant even for this stunning art book ^^;

CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 1CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 2CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 3

CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 5CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 4CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 7

Although the books in CHOCOLATE GOUACHE are A4 sized, the casing is a large 15.8 x 11.3 inch box that neatly separates the contents. The first thing revealed when it's opened is an envelope containing three prints that is roughly the size of the box. Each print features one of the new illustrations of the cover girls used for the set. Underneath the envelope with the prints is the art book case, housing the two paperback art books---one monochrome and one color. And underneath that is the DVD which includes .PSD illustrations of CHOCO's three cover girls, along with a video process of the illustrations and brushes.

CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 8CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 9CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 10

Now, it's sad that I can do this, but the SIDE: MONOCHROME art book can be summarized with the three photos above. It's 112 pages long and A4-sized, but the content is entirely small, very lightly drawn rough sketches, with the exception of about four pages. There have been substantial monochrome sections in art books before---Range Murata's PRISMTONE is a good example---but I wasn't expecting illustrations this rough. I should have been though, considering it's what he always places in his doujinshi. But even those had a good amount of monochrome works along with the sketches. And in keeping with the monochrome theme, this book ends with a 6-page interview with CHOCO.

CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 11CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 12CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 13

CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 14CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 15CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 16

But even if SIDE:MONOCHROME was a disappointment, SIDE:COLOR is so gorgeous, I can nearly forgive it. SIDE:COLOR is also A4-sized, paperback and 112 pages, but it's packed from front to back with color illustrations wasting no pages on things like interviews or indexes. The book starts out with the three cover girl illustrations (again) followed by about 20 pages of Xenosaga illustrations from his Xeno Emission doujins.

CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 17CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 18CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 19

There are some design-centric pages, featuring mecha, ships and weapons from various angles. Also, the character designs for the Xenosaga main characters are included over two pages.

CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 21 CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 22

CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 24 CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 23

The Xenosaga section is followed by Busou Shinki (武装神姫) mecha girl designs, most of which have even been made into figures. These are easily some of the most creative works in the book, incorporating girls with mecha and instruments to create very unique looks.

CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 25

After that, we enter the IGNA CROSS (イグナクロス零号駅) section with this rose petal beauty.

CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 26CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 27CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 28

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All of the illustrations that were featured in Dengeki Daioh GENESIS for the IGNA CROSS booklet are included, though in some cases the illustrations were presented larger in the magazine extra. After that section, some of the works that were featured in CHOCO's Chocolate Geometry are included, as well as the Rei Ayanami top page illustration from the GAINAX website.

CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 32CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 33CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 34

Towards the end are some guest illustrations, like the Tsukuyomi Moon Phase one above. Hazuki looks a little different though, minus the ears. There's also a Demobane illustration, CHAOS;HEAD weapon designs and other works.

CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 35 CHOCOLATE GOUACHE - 37

Two of the much older illustrations for Pure Girl Magazine covers that CHOCO did are included, but the rest are showcased all on a single page slightly larger than thumbnail size. I wasn't too bothered because I have the Pg doujinshi where they all appear, but it may have been a better use of pages than more weapons and mecha designs.

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More recent CHOCO illustrations, like his original works for The White Lion doujinshi and figure set that came out last year were also included. The SIDE:COLOR art book really is wonderful, and were I reviewing this alone, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. But knowing that it's part of a greater set where I can't help but feel not all the pieces carried their weight, it may be worth waiting to see if a more standard edition of CHOCOLATE GOUACHE is produced.


  • Title: CHOCOLATE GOUACHE
  • タイトル: CHOCOLATE GOUACHE
  • Pages: 224
  • Release date: 12/23/2010
  • Buy: Amazon Japan
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MD

8 years, 9 months ago

 

OMFG 224 pages O_O I want it so bad T__T

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Anonymous

8 years, 9 months ago

 

Already pre-order this one at Kinokuniya but they have yet to contact me, Kinokuniya is a slowpoke!

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Lonigus

8 years, 9 months ago

 

OMG... 2100g on cdjapan Q_Q ... Looks good and very "yummy" like. Tho the weight is overdone for my wallet... Am gonna wait and be more then happy with the standard edition if it comes out! :-)

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Ying

8 years, 9 months ago

 

Whoa, you get all the new stuff so fast! I pre-ordered mine but I don't have it yet. The monochrome art book seems to be very disappointing...damn for 6,980yen they could have put in better sketches me think!

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Anonymous

8 years, 9 months ago

 

Beautiful looking book and nice review! Thanks for the pics!

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pink-sakura

8 years, 9 months ago

 

A little steep but those Xenosaga illustrations make it worthwhile. How many pages of Xenosaga illustrations are there?

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nat

8 years, 9 months ago

 

22 pages, but that includes some mecha designs sheets as well as character profiles.

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pink-sakura

8 years, 9 months ago

 

I just bought this artbook. Had to bundle it with other artbooks in order to save on shipping. I hope it's worth it. XD I bought some steep artbooks before and they turned out to be disappointing. I hate it when that happens. But thanks for the review. =)

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nat

8 years, 9 months ago

 

Hope I've given you enough of idea about it not to be disappointed ~-~

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pink-sakura

8 years, 8 months ago

 

The book arrived yesterday and I love it! It's worth it despite the price tag. I didn't think the box would be so big. Now I have no idea where to put it. ^_^"

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nat

8 years, 8 months ago

 

Glad to hear you liked it!

And, adjustable shelves. I'm using IKEA's BILLY bookcases, with all the non-standard sized box books at the bottom ^^; It's better than the floor, and I'm saying that from experience :D

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Anonymous

8 years, 9 months ago

 

I bought this artbook as well. Contrary to your opinion, I found the side:monochrome to be the treasure box since it's filled with mostly concept designs which I'm interested in. I think it's just a matter of personal taste.

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nat

8 years, 9 months ago

 

I agree, I really found the Side:Monochrome part hard to appreciate, but I know that's my personal opinion. But that's the thing about writing a review, it tends to have slant no matter what ^^;

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Lonigus

8 years, 9 months ago

 

Any idea when the standard edition gonna be out? Not gonna pay that amout of money for 112 color pages in that expensive pack... xD

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nat

8 years, 9 months ago

 

I don't know for sure, I'm only speculating that there will be one since this was titled as a Limited Edition. And I'd suppose you can only have a LE if there will eventually be a standard. The way these things go, I'd guesstimate 6 months to a year.

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Lonigus

8 years, 8 months ago

 

I supose that u wont review also the (possible) standard edition too? Since 90% of the books i buy are after youre review... XD

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nat

8 years, 8 months ago

 

Lol, no, I pick one or the other. If I ever end up with two copies of the same thing, it's generally by mistake ^^;

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Chocopoco

8 years, 3 weeks ago

 

Right now this is almost half-priced at HobbySearch.

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dan

7 years, 11 months ago

 

I don't know why you called SIDE :MONOCHROME full of rough sketches. To me they mostly (50+ % or so) seem to be amazingly technical and finished sketches.

I actually enjoy rough sketches more, as they show real pen strokes, gives you more of a feel for how they work.

I love your site anyway, got my copy for half price which was awesome. Going to be in Japan soon, going to be pick up a lot xD

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