As more and more artists discover Pixiv, the competition for getting into the yearly Pixiv Girls Collection becomes tighter and tighter. While it may be hard on the artists, that competitive edge has made the Pixiv Girls Collection 2011 one of the most beautiful artists' collections I've ever purchased.
Pixiv Girls Collection 2011 is an A4-sized book and 162 pages in the length. Through out the book, illustrations are presented either on a full page or a half page, so everything is well showcased. The cover art work is by Fuji Choko (藤ちょこ) and it's repeated on the first page of the collection without the title text. And like with last year's edition, undercover also features art work, this time by Sousou.
There are several themed sections presented through out the book that are introduced at the beginning, but not clearly marked. I guess the illustrations themselves are distinctive enough to be pretty clear on the theme the majority of times. But the themes are all rather standard for the most part: original characters, sailor school uniforms, maids, animal ears, and so on.
I think the discoverability factor for artists in this collection is really quite high. I don't know if it's that I haven't been properly keeping up with new artists, but in this collection most pages were new names to me who aren't in the doujinshi scene. As compared with last year, most were artists I was already keeping tabs on. The artists with full page works above are moc, Hanabana Tsubomi, SK, Rabbiter, Airi and Wacchi.
Saitom's cover for Jewelic Princess Girls was his addition to the book and there were a few Year of the Rabbit illustrations, like the one above by ToMo. Artist Joi is responsible for the school girl with a motorbike above, and the girl overlooking the city is by BEEK.
At about 80 pages into the book begins the Concept Art section, which doesn't really include concept arts in a traditional sense. Rather, they're illustrations based on a concept, and for the most part they're from competitions like the Pixiv Grand Prix, Pixiv Fantasia IV-V, Guitar Girls and others. There's a work by Shiitake in the Grand Prix section, and a vibrant school girl rocker by Mekarauroko.
Once again, the book ends with the self-reflective illustrations of girls illustrating with everything from tablets to paint to blood ^^; These illustrations take up the next 50 pages of the art book, after which are a few pages introducing Pixiv staff. Even though all of the content is also online, Pixiv Girls Collection 2011 is enjoyable and easy to look through, and maybe even a little more organized than bookmarks ^^