Splendor: Haritama Hiroki Illustrations

May 7th, 2011, 8:29PM by nat | 2 comments

Haritama Hiroki's SPLENDOR - 12

Splendor: Haritama Hiroki Color Art Work Collection is a rather uniquely made book, and perhaps even ahead of its time in design. Though Haritama Hiroki is a rather prolific artist, his name might not be immediately familiar as his heyday was in the early 2000's. He's best know as the character designer and illustrator for the games Ensemble and Natural 2 -DUO-, and art work from both of those can be found in Splendor.

Haritama Hiroki's SPLENDORHaritama Hiroki's SPLENDOR - 3Haritama Hiroki's SPLENDOR

Splendor: Haritama Hiroki IllustrationsHaritama Hiroki's SPLENDOR - 7Haritama Hiroki's SPLENDOR - 8

Splendor is an A4-sized art book and 96-pages long. However, each page is essentially a two-sided print, as the paper it's printed on is a sturdy card stock that most people would used for framed pictures. Additionally, the cover image is really just a folded-on sheet, the actual book itself is lightly glued, leaving you the option of easily taking it apart to hang up the illustrations individually. The artist's comments on the illustrations and publication information are in a separate staple-bound, text-only blue booklet that is also housed in the plastic case.

Haritama Hiroki's SPLENDOR - 10Haritama Hiroki's SPLENDOR - 11Haritama Hiroki's SPLENDOR - 9

Haritama Hiroki's SPLENDOR - 13Haritama Hiroki's SPLENDOR - 14Haritama Hiroki's SPLENDOR - 15

The cover art work and first six pages feature characters from the game Ensemble, which was new at the time... in 2004. There's a lot more art work from the game Natural2 -DUO-, most of which did not age well. The styles vary between a soft digitally-painted style and a more cel-shaded look. There are even a few quite distinctively done in real media, with coloring markers. In total, there are 22-pages of Natural2 -DUO- art works.

Haritama Hiroki's SPLENDOR - 16Haritama Hiroki's SPLENDOR - 17Haritama Hiroki's SPLENDOR - 18

Haritama Hiroki's SPLENDOR - 19Haritama Hiroki's SPLENDOR - 21Haritama Hiroki's SPLENDOR - 22

There are a few pages of illustrations from PALETTE, another game with character designs by Hirotama Hiroki. Afterwards, the art style takes a more old school turn with real media illustrations done for Dragon Magazine for about 15 pages.

Haritama Hiroki's SPLENDOR - 25Haritama Hiroki's SPLENDOR - 26Haritama Hiroki's SPLENDOR - 27

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The most interesting works are featured in the last half of the art book, and are sourced from a variety of original works and commissioned works for stores like K-BOOKS. These are most reflective of the style Haritama Hiroki has nowadays, with bright colors and a softly painted digital style.

Haritama Hiroki's SPLENDOR - 34 Haritama Hiroki's SPLENDOR - 35

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The collection ends with a few original works that were first featured in Haritama Hiroki's Comiket publications. There are a couple of fan art illustrations as well, though none that I'm familiar with. Though Splendor: Haritama Hiroki Color Art Work Collection is an older book, its impressive design and quality printing make it feel more recent than it actually is. Too bad all of the art work doesn't stand the test of time, but there are enough beautiful pieces in this collection to keep its spot on my shelves ^^

  • Title: Splendor: Haritama Hiroki Illustrations
  • タイトル: splendor 針玉ヒロキ画集
  • Pages: 96
  • Release date: 05/26/2004
  • Buy: Amazon Japan, eBay


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Avatar for Lonigus

13 years, 2 weeks ago


Woah 15 bucks for that from the US ebay... Damn I wish I was living in the states lol... Yet again the postage is ridiciously high... 20+ Euro to Europe wtf...

PS: Where is the Sheryl Nome final visual collection review?! cmon... I know you have it already XD

Avatar for nat

13 years, 2 weeks ago


Yeah, some really good deals, especially on older books for us U.S. folks! >:D

Going to review it soon! I've just been using my free time for less productive activities lately ;D cough Dead Space 2 cough