Tsurugi Hagane's first art book came out at the end of January with an usually long title, The Collection of Tsurugi Hagane Pictures Exhibition at Walhalla. The presentation is what I'm beginning to expect from PUSH!! art books; plenty of illustrations, the majority of which are tiled three (or more) to a page with very few full page illustrations. The art work consists largely of Tsurugi Hagane's commercial works under the game studios SkyFish, and F&C FC03 Dreamsoft.
To get a better sense of what I'm starting to expect from a PUSH!! art book, check out the reviews for Marmalade Illustration Works, and Senamoto Hisashi Art Works, which have a cookie-cutter format to this art book. The Collection of Tsurugi Hagane Pictures is A4-sized and 128-pages, with the last 14-pages featuring black and white illustrations and an interview. The cover wrap-around obi boasts a total of 287 pictures.
The first section of The Collection of Tsurugi Hagane Pictures is SkyFish and covers the first 55-pages of the book. The illustrations featured in this section are from the Valkyrie Saga games like Soukyuu no Soleil, Gouen No Soleil and Hakugin no Soleil along with both Harukazedori ni, Tomarigi wo stories and Primary. The Valkyrie Saga games take up the majority of the section, with Harukazedori ni, Tomarigi wo getting 13-pages, which includes three two-page spreads. Primary makes up the last 13 pages of the section.
The Collection of Tsurugi Hagane Pictures then experiences a huge time leap into Tsurugi Hagane's Natural Another One and Niji no Kanata ni (虹の彼方に) days. The art style is really quite generic, and many of the images from Natural Another One have a blurry, soft finish that would look alright on a CG but are terrible in print. There is nudity and mature content scattered through out the book, but not a whole lot.
The final color section titled Others is just exactly that, illustrations Tsurugi Hagane did outside of his mainstay games. Aside from the Valkyria Saga games, this section includes his newest illustrations. Several of the works are from Queen's Blade, along with the designs for the Queen's Blade Rebellion character Mirim. The illustration Tsurugi Hagane did for the No More Heroes promotional book is also included.
The Others section finishes up with art works from light novels, which links up well with the Monochrome section that follows, since it basically just showcases the light novel black and white art works. There isn't a lot either, just 4-pages in total and the images are quite small. While the art in The Collection of Tsurugi Hagane Pictures is nice, it's just not well-presented and features far too many small print illustrations making for an overall mediocre art book.
- Title: The Collection of Tsurugi Hagane Pictures
- タイトル: The collection of 蔓木鋼音 pictures
- Pages: 128
- Release date: 01/26/2011
- Buy: Amazon Japan