Tony's ART Works from Shining World is easily one of the best art books I've ever purchased, and with its impending release in the US, even more people have the chance to enjoy this fantastic art book. I'm reviewing the Japanese edition, which may not be the same presentation-wise, but should have the same content.
Presentation is one of the many aspects where this book really shines. It comes in a slip case that partly conceals the beautiful cover art work that was newly illustrated for this art book. The printed cover uses a glittering design to further conceal the girls until you open the book, and the first illustration is a full reveal of the cover art. The index for the art book is placed at the beginning of the book, noting game series and publication information next to a photo of the illustrator himself.
Tony's ART Works from Shining World is an over-sized B4 art book, hardcover, and 208 pages. It starts off with a section titled Beauty of Nobleness which goes from pages 8 through 29 and includes DVD illustrations from the Shining Tears X Wind series. Art works from the Shining Wind drama CDs are also showcased in this section. At the time of publication, this first section of the book represented the newest art works for the Shining World franchise.
There are a few breaks from the art works scattered through out Tony's ART Works from Shining World that feature discussions with Tony Taka on different subjects. The first one is a three-page illustration process, complete with sketching and line art of how Tony Taka illustrated and digitally colored the cover art work.
The next section is titled Tears Trickle Down and features 52-pages of Shining Tears illustrations. All of the illustrations in Tony's ART Works from Shining World receive a full-page, with only a single two-page spread illustration at the very beginning of the art book. Even the horizontally aligned images are fit to page, really giving them the best display possible.
At the end of the Shining Tears section is another talk with Tony Taka, this time showing off his impressive workspace. One of the advantages of this art book having a US release is finally being able to read those interviews, as they look to be quite interesting.
The art of Shining Wind is next, in a section titled Wind Blowing the Mind. The illustrations in this section run from pages 84 through 125 and offer a really comprehensive collection of Shining Wind art work.
And as any good video game art book should, it ends with about 80 pages of character art that includes different poses and costumes for all the characters from Shining Wind and Shining Tears. It would be great if there were more game art collections like this one. I have nothing but praise for Tony's ART Works from Shining World, and though I don't know whether or not the US edition will live up to the masterpiece that is the Japanese edition, the content alone should be worth cover price for most folks ^^ And you can always import!