So it seems that my favorite Japanese illustrator, Kito, has decided to unleash another artbook upon the world.
Given what I had to pay for the first one, I’m hesitating to contact Kira to special order the second one.
Readers who have been following me for a few years know that when it comes to Japanese moe-style illustration, my idol is Kito. In fact, if I had control over which artist should do the character illustrations for a given dating sim, I would pick Kito over admittedly technically superior artists such as Kantoku or Hanaharu Naruko.
I have had other posts in which I fanboy about Kito and display his work (see here or here). This time I want to showcase the album cover illustrations he has done for Sound Sepher, which does remixes of Toho music, among other things.
Want some more? Of course you do.
When I want to show people my artwork, I usually point them to my pixiv or deviantart account. But those portfolios give the impression that I only do moe anime style illustration, when I actually have more range than that.
My one and only stint as a professional artist was drawing backgrounds for the Game Boy Color game, Magi-Nation (2001), which was a creature collecting game, like Pokemon. All the backgrounds shown above were drawn by me, although the character and monster were drawn by other members of the team.
(Erin as in Ireland.)
At last Sunday’s Lunasa concert at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, there was a sign asking not to take cameras into the theater. I did take my camera into the theater, but it was kept out of sight and never used.
Totally worth it.
While I would say Kantoku and Hanaharu Naruko have better technical skills, and Barasui and Takashi Hashimoto have been more influential to my personal style, I consider Kito to be the best depictor of the moe paradise all artists should aspire to reach.
Thanks to Kira and her extensive network of contacts for locating a copy of this super-rare artbook for me. This is like buying a painting or a rare Magic card, and has been the only opportunity so far, outside of buying the equally hard to find IOSYS albums, for me to get art from my favorite artist that isn’t just an image file.
Lunasa isn’t only about the violin. Glentrasna is a hymn driven by a flute or whistle that makes me recall the Titanic soundtrack, only Titanic’s soundtrack was never this good. Autumn Child has amazing guitar as well. The combination of emotionally moving composition and virtuoso playing is, dare I say, Ericjohnsonian.
The March concert will be the highlight of my next year’s spring break, if not the highlight of the whole year. If you are going to be around Chicago at the time, I highly recommend you get tickets of your own.
See, even Yukari is impressed.
When we play Dungeons and Dragons at my local game store, sometimes we are honored to have Erik Scott de Bie as one of our DMs. Erik is an expert on the Forgotten Realms, D&D’s most popular world, and he has co-authored the recent Neverwinter Campaign Guide and written the modules Halaster’s Lost Apprentice and The Lost Crown of Neverwinter.
My character in the current D&D Encounters season
One of the players asked Erik how he had come to write for Wizards of the Coast. Erik replied with the same advice applicable to job seekers in any field: get to know people in the industry. In Erik’s case, that meant joining online communities and attending gaming conventions.
Now it’s no secret that I plan to become a professional artist in the future, and have been spending all my free time improving my art skills because of it. But I should also be spending time getting to know people in the industry. Although my immigration status forbids me from leaving the company I currently work for, that is no excuse for not at least trying to network. Even if I can’t leave my job, I could become an elite fan artist like Justin Treadway or Souin Kuhou. (I would have to become better at drawing first, but I’m working on that.)
I decided it was time for me to meet people at conventions. The problem is, I had no portfolio to show to contacts and recruiters. All I had is my Pixiv page, a business card and a resume that shows 5 years of experience at an unrelated IT job.
As you know, I consider the illustrator Kito to be the best. Not in terms of technical skill (although he is certainly very good), but in terms of embodying the philosophy I subscribe to as an illustrator. He is the Eric Johnson of cute. (Meanwhile, Eric Johnson’s webmaster wonders what a site like mine is doing linking to him.) It follows naturally that I would want a copy of his Summer Comic Market artbook Kito no Yorozu, although realistically I don’t have much of a chance of getting it.
Kito (樹人) is a green creature, with the “ki” (樹) in his name meaning a tree. (See 北の樹の木霊, “kita no ki no Kodama”, or Kodama of the North Tree). His mascot character, seen above, is some kind of moe tree whose name, I believe, is Kinoko. The Kodamas of Kamigawa Block should have looked like this.
Of course, no Kito post would be complete without a Toho illustration. This is the cover of Toho Utau Cirno-chan, a karaoke collection of IOSYS Toho fanmusic hits, including, of course, Cirno’s Perfect Math Class.
There is a significant business opportunity in moetic C.S. degrees. I suspect a significant intersection of target audience…
At first I was like, “yeah, right”.
And then I learned about Nareru! Systems Engineer.
Now, the term Systems Engineer doesn’t necessarily imply being in the field of computer science, but the whole moe CS thing doesn’t seem too far-fetched anymore. (I’m a Systems Analyst myself, and all my work involves computer programming.)
From Dengeki, publishers of Shana, Toradora, Railgun, and Okami-san, comes the story of Kouhei Sakurazaka (at least, that’s how I think the name 桜坂工兵 is read), a boy in his first year as a member of the Japanese workforce. Kouhei finds a job as a Systems Engineer, and gets trained under senior employee, Ritsuka Muromi (again, I’m not sure of the proper reading of 室見立華, it could be “Rikka” or “Tachibana” or something else, those are the same kanji in here).
Nareru! Systems Engineer’s female lead, Ritsuka(?) Muromi
Kouhei finds to his dismay that Ritsuka is a super workaholic who works him into the ground in ungentle fashion. Will Kouhei survive and become a full-fledged Systems Engineer?
I’m not even fluent in Japanese and I’m already recommending this book. Ixy is a fantastic artist, much better than I could hope to be, and this should be a welcome break for those who are tired of the abusive, tsundere loli Dengeki female leads.
Somewhere, J.C.Staff is considering adapting this.
You just know it.
From the Anime Nation News Blog:
The original game stars an orphaned teen boy and his tsundere twin sister who return to their grandfather’s rural village where the boy develops romantic relationships with his sister, a reacquainted childhood girl friend, and other girls in the neighborhood.
Yosuga no Sora is a visual novel (sometimes referred to as a “dating sim”) like hundreds of games before it. You take on the role of some boy, meet a bunch of girls, and eventually end up in a romantic relationship with one of them based on your decisions over the course of the story.
Unlike Kira Kira, Yume Miru Kusuri, Kana – Little Sister, Hourglass of Summer, or Family Project, all of which I have played, Yosuga no Sora has not been officially localized, and thus even when I get my copy, I won’t be able to understand it.
But somehow, Yosuga no Sora has influenced me more than all those other visual novels put together.