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Title:
 The Art Of Inu-Yasha

Distributor: Viz Media

Artist: Rumiko Takahashi

Suggested Retail Price (SRP): 18.99

Number of Pages: 160

ISBN: 1-56931-941-3

Reviewed: 30th January 2006

Reviewer: Tom (Webmaster)
 

With it's combination of comedy, love and action set against historical backdrops, Inu-Yasha is surely the pinnacle of the great author and artist Rumiko Takahashi.  It contains all the very best elements of her previous creations into one excellent work which deserves to be justified with a great art book. 

At 160 pages long this is quite short when compared to most other art books that can total twice that but the publishers have ensured The Art Of Inu-Yasha contains everything that an art book should.  The amount of illustrations it contains is staggering and the quality of every image is second to none.  Seeing elements of the manga reproduced in A4 size really suits Takahashi's bold approach as the book contains several chapters of the manga in beautiful colour and also offers a comparison to the same chapters as they appear in the anime series of Inu-Yasha.  These opening pages also include profiles of characters which provide a lot of information on minor characters, but these box-outs never intrude on the excellent artwork. 

The second half offers even more with a collection of original illustrations, all the comic covers to date as well as the anime storyboards and a study of the opening and ending sequences of the anime series.  It is a staggering amount and beautiful throughout, particularly the collection of stunning painted backgrounds that were created for the anime.  If that were not enough, The Art Of Inu-Yasha offers even more with another section containing all the line-art for the series which covers the character and the backgrounds with superb detail.  This collection gives a valuable insight into the creation of the characters as they are viewed from several angles and a height comparison chart is included.  The planning and detail shown in the backgrounds is equally insightful and prove that, when creating the anime series, every detail had equal attention no matter how small. 

The only negative that could be drawn from The Art Of Inu-Yasha is that it has been faithfully reproduced in the original Japanese style of reading 'right to left'.  Normally I would praise such a decision when translating an art book into English but it could be distracting here as the manga is only available in the Western 'left to right' style.  This can give the manga sections of the art book an odd feel when you have read them in their reversed versions before and will make you wish that Viz Media would have faithfully reproduced the manga and not 'flipped' it.  It may be a very small point but it is one that could put readers of the manga off when they see that the art book has been produced in an unfamiliar format. 

Given the amount of material included for the price, The Art Of Inu-Yasha is an essential purchase - no question.  The sheer quality and amount of illustrations as well as several examples of how the artwork evolved ensure that you will read this again and again. 

Extras:

As if the amount of artwork was not enough, interviews with the voice actors, director, art director and character designer of the anime have also been included.  The interviews with the voice actors are conducted by Takahashi herself and all those involved show terrific enthusiasm for Inu-Yasha and clearly enjoy their work.  A small report on the first recording session of the series has also been included and is equally an enthusiastic read. 

Also included is a small yet informative glossary of Inu-Yasha characters and items, many of which are minor so the information provided you are not going to find anywhere else.  This glossary also provides some English translations of the character names, something which was not included in the manga. 

Product: Extras:
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