Featurin' Pop Art

You'll find various articles on pop culture artists or artworks featured here. This is James Jeans' "Rift"

Featurin' Anime/Manga

You'll find various articles on anime + manga artists or artworks featured here. This is KYMG's "butterfly M82A1"

Featurin' PC/Video Games

You'll find various articles on PC + video game related artists or artworks featured here. This is Jeong Juno's "Last Rebellion"

Nakajima Atsuko's style was a staple in many anime series during the 90s and early 2000s. Quite frankly, I'm a bigger fan of how anime was drawn back then compared to the more simplistic styles of today, so it was refreshing to go back to a style I was more familiar with during my younger days. Huge shiny eyes may be Ms. Atsuko's trademark, but I love how they don't fall into the overly girly or childish depiction which is what you'd normally expect from saucer sized high gloss eyes. Her characters manage to look older than the norm of prepubescent teens, which really makes her artwork instantly recognizable even given the multitude of series' she has provided illustrations for. Unfortunately, only a few are covered in this art book.

Basic Stats

Title: Tsuya Nakajima Atsuko Style
Author/Artist: Nakajima Atsuko
Publisher: Mag GARDEN
Pages: 112 pages
Dimensions: 21x 29.7cm :: Soft cover with Dust Jacket
Date of Publication: Jul. 1, 2004
ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-4-86127-049-9 | ISBN-10: 4-86127-049-9
Retail Price: 2095 yen


                There isn't too much to comment on this book in terms of construction. It's very standard for a Japanese release. It's roughly A4 in size which is the standard viewing format for Japanese art books in general. The covers are done with the generic single ply of semi gloss card stock. Not very strong but a glossy dustcover gives adequate protection. 
 Nothing fancy. The dust cover does scuff a bit easily overtime so something a bit more resilient would have been nice. I thought it was pretty interesting how the covers are the rough sketches of the completed cover images. Interior paper quality is above average though. Nice and thick semi gloss pages work well and there is no reflecting even though I can see that most pages are saturated with colour. Print quality and colour reproduction is alright, but nothing to rave about since the cel shading can't really be too difficult to produce accurately. 


                It's a strange thing because I wasn't initially familiar with Ms. Atsuko's styles from the shows that are represented from this book. I remember her Rurouni Kenshin promotional covers leaving the greatest impression on me and I only vaguely remember her work from You're Under Arrest and Getbackers. It's most likely due to the fact that I've never watched these shows. ^^;;; But yes, You're Under Arrest and Getbackers are the main two series covered in this art book with Getbackers taking most of the spotlight. Maybe 10-20% of the book is dedicated to some other cutesy anime which I cannot name but these two series dominate with a few pages dedicated to Ranma 1/2.

              Most of the images are pinup style illustrations (the majority of them being yaoi-esque images of the two main characters of Getbackers), in full page format. The book is varied to a lesser extent and you'll see some different forms of presenting the illustrations. Half page, double page spreads, quarter page illustrations, everything is pretty much done in this book.
               The second half of the book is all black and white sketch work. You'll see some of the completed images that were displayed earlier in the book in sketch form with a page or so of commentary along with a multitude of character design sheets used in the anime or just some random rough work from Ms. Atsuko.
                The last several pages I missed the first time I flipped through but the book, but it does end with a few more anime series being covered. One is something called Peacemaker which has a few pages dedicated to it and Kenshin gets a whopping two whole pages. ;_;

Ending Notes
-  Reminiscing about a style of the past is a good feeling. I still love Ms. Atsuko's big-eyed style more than most styles of today.
- I would have greatly appreciated seeing something other than cel shading in her completed illustrations. 

Final Rating
- Strongest point: It has variation from "just art" for people who enjoy it. Alot of notes, commentaries, almost a half and half mix between sketches and illustrations.
- Weakest point: "I" didn't like all of the black and white 
sketch work plus notes taking up almost half of the book. 


Leave a Reply