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COLORS by Tsuki (つき) + Touhou Opinions

January 12th, 2010, 8:07PM by nat | 7 comments

COLORS by Tsuki - 1

COLORS is a short, Touhou doujinshi released during Comiket 76 by the relatively unknown artist Tsuki (つき). In fact, this artist is probably even more unknown due to a recent name change. Though the circle remains the same, Chikatama (ちかたま), the artist's pen name changed from Chika (ちか) to Tsuki (つき) between Comiket 76 and 77 and this doujinshi was published under the former name. Since this is a bit on the short side with just 16 pages, I also want to talk about the Touhou and Vocaloid genres in general.

COLORS by Tsuki - 2COLORS by Tsuki - 3COLORS by Tsuki - 5

Even with all the changes though, the art style stays the same and recognizable. I gave Tsuki's doujinshi a try because the cover art reminded me of Shimeko's watery style, which isn't often seen.

COLORS by Tsuki - 6 COLORS by Tsuki - 7

I know a lot of people feel Touhou jaded, but I think many are forgetting the very basic fact of what doujinshi are: self-published works. As an artist investing your own money to print a publication that gets your work and your art style out there, you need to pay attention to what people are looking for. They also need to know what shops like Toranoana, Melonbooks, and so on would be more willing to pick up in case they can't sell out at the event. Without exaggerated mark-up, most of these artists are just hoping to break even while gaining exposure. So they aim for a genre with a lot of fandom; and let's be honest, hentai doujinshi (NSFW link) still trump illustration collections. But, hentai doujinshi aside, Touhou and Vocaloid have far reaching fandoms and a successful artist on the genre can extend that reach even further through CD cover art opportunities, game designs, and even figures.

COLORS by Tsuki - 4 COLORS by Tsuki - 8

The other aspect of choosing to do illustrations for Touhou or Vocaloid, is that while they do both have a large fandom, that means it's even more competitive for an artist to get noticed in a sea of artists. In this case, competition breeds excellence, with the most notable Touhou and Vocaloid artists becoming sought after for commercial work.

COLORS by Tsuki - 9COLORS by Tsuki - 10COLORS by Tsuki - 11

Other genres have been used as a stepping stone to popularity, and most recently before the Touhou craze, Rozen Maiden had a huge number of illustration doujins by a variety of artists. And before that, it wasn't as financially feasible for unknown artists to release full-color illustration doujins. It's a shame to avoid Touhou and Vocaloid illustration doujins because in the end you're avoiding discovering new and amazing artists who may not yet have had the chance to publish something else.

COLORS by Tsuki - 12

I continue to enjoy discovering new artists through Touhou and Vocaloid collections, and Tsuki is no exception. Though I'd love to see even more from this artist---the line arts alone show such stylish character designs---I do hope it will be for Tsuki's original works, though some Code Geass fan art is fine too ^^

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Avatar for Merun
Merun

9 years, 9 months ago

 

If I wasn't exposed to so many Vocaloid and Touhou images I would certainly appreciate them more. Well I prefer Vocaloid over Touhou right now, as their fandom is a bit annoying to me. While I know that they try first to publish doujinshi themed on popular manga/anime/game in order to reach a broader audience, I also think that it's a bit sad as they can't express them fully in term of charac design as they are generally stuck with the original character's clothes. In fact when it comes to Vocaloid and Touhou, I prefer when the artist changes their outfit, and/or has a really unique style. I still save from time to time some artwork that I find very nice. But aside of this… it's also a good way to prevent massive wallet bleed because of the sheer number of doujinshi featuring them lol ^^;

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nat

9 years, 9 months ago

 

I think that is what most people prefer; the artists that get noticed are the ones who vary the style and clothing of the characters, along with the coloring. That, or those that just do a really excellent job on the illustrations. Either way, originality still manages to find its way into such a highly saturated genre, which is definitely a good thing ^^

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Anonymous

9 years, 9 months ago

 

Some really nice backgrounds in this artbook to go with the well drawn characters. I am one who is Touhou jaded though T_T

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Anonymous

9 years, 9 months ago

 

Very colorful, too bad it is unavailable.

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nat

9 years, 9 months ago

 

It's still for sale on Toranoana.

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icie

9 years, 9 months ago

 

Very good point regarding the commercial realities which face even doujins! I kinda knew it as an obvious point, but never actually thought about it that way, from an artist's viewpoint.

I don't think, even now, that I have ever grown the least bit tired of Vocaloid and Touhou art, and that's with 100% honesty, even though I am as saturated, if not more saturated in that art as anyone else.

Perhaps it's just the way I think, or how I view and appreciate art, since I prioritise style over subject matter. In any case, Touhou as a subject lends itself perfectly to challenging artists: they can put as much detail as they want into their pictures.

On the other hand, with the great work done by such as (to cite as but an example) the supercell artists, Vocaloid lends itself to a huge variety of styles (coloured line art style of Miwa, huke's super-textured look, redjuice's sleek smoothness, etc), and this is further expanded by popular songs which modify the characters (BRS, as an earlier example, Synchronicity as a more recent one). The way various artists negotiate and transform these factors remain ever a source of visual wonderment and absolute enjoyment for me.

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nat

9 years, 9 months ago

 

Exactly, I can't tire of it because I never feel like any two artists do it the same way and with the way so many artists re-invent the characters, it never gets old.