Metronome ~Mitsui Mana Art Works~ felt like it went to press too early, leaving out a the most crucial element: the art work. I'm exaggerating of course, but it's not that far off the mark; the numbered art work pages end on 63, and from that point on it's all the illustrated story Koyoi mo Kanojo ha Gatsu ni Utau (今宵も彼女は月に謡う) that ran in E☆2 Magazine, complete with the story text still on it. And as they were initially designed with story telling in mind, the panel art work just doesn't have the same impact as the full-page illustrations.
Metronome has a few more short-comings as an art book. It's hardcover and an extra-wide B4-sized, which would have made sense if most of the art work was also presented in that format. Instead, we have several pages of B5-sized illustration with giant margins, and other times, two-page spreads that don't completely fill up either one page or the other. It's 101 pages in length, but as mentioned before, nearly half of that is the "story side."
The first section of illustrations is titled Original and runs from pages 3 through 35. These are also pretty much the best illustrations (and newest) that the book has to offer. Several of the wider illustrations are aligned with the inside margin, so while there's plenty of white space on the outer edge of the illustration, part of the picture still gets eaten up by the book gutter.
The Copyright section is quite short, running from pages 36 through 48. These illustrations are mostly on the older side with the most recent being from 2009. Not much to say about it overall, but the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni kai illustration is nice, though it would have been better fit to a page ^^;
The next section is titled Novel and goes from pages 50 through 63. It features three pages of monochrome, tiled illustrations with the rest of the art works in the section seemingly from A5 publications, considering the printing size. The extra wide size of the art book in this case only serves to make all the illustrations seem even smaller. The only full-size illustration in this section is the light novel cover art from Koyoi mo Kanojo ha Gatsu ni Utau (今宵も彼女は月に謡う).
The pictures above are what make up the last 40 pages of Metronome ~Mitsui Mana Art Works~, the complete recording of Koyoi mo Kanojo ha Gatsu ni Utau (今宵も彼女は月に謡う). Overall, I felt the cover price of ￥2625 was more about the production (hardcover and oddly sized) than about the actual content. And generally, unless you're Range Murata, the content is definitely way more important than the presentation. Considering the printed size of most of the illustrations, a B5-size softcover book would have comfortably accommodated this 101-page collection at a more reasonable price.
- Title: Metronome ~Mitsui Mana Art Works~
- タイトル: Metronome[メトロノーム]~Mana Mitsui Art Works~
- Pages: 101
- Release date: 06/24/2011
- Buy: Amazon Japan