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

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Devil May Cry is one of my all time favourite video games series, and when I heard about the art book I was ecstatic. As a hardcore fan I can say the actual content satisfied my expectations, even if the presentation left something to be desired. As a hardcore fan, you can’t pass it up, and even to the casual fan I’m sure some of the content will be a delight. Needless to say, Tsuchibayashi Makoto fans will benefit from this book the most since the drool worthy concept/character designs are the best bits of this book!   


Basic Stats
Title: Devil May Cry Graphic File
Author/Artist: Capcom
Pages: 144 pages
Dimensions: 21 x 30 cm :: Soft cover with Dust Jacket
Date of Publication: Dec.26, 2006
ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-4-86233-106-9 | ISBN-10: 4-86233-106-8
Retail Price: 2300 yen


                This book has been built fairly standard to how most Japanese Art Books are presented. You have a thin soft cover binding with a monochromatic cover of an early concept of Dante.  Wrapped around the covers is a thin glossy dust jacket of the DMC trio (Dante, Vergil, and Trish) done by Capcom veteran, Tsuchibayashi Makoto. His style never fails to delight and it's a wonder how such a rough and gritty stylized form is perfect for a game series like DMC. I'd say the cover is special because it deviates from Mr. Tsuchibayashi's norm. It's just as messy and unrefined as he usually is, but the ethereal mood is quite refreshing. Who would of thought he could make artwork just as "heavenly" as he could make them as "hellish".. quite the versatile artist, no?
                Steering back towards the actual construction, it's all pretty standard and there really isn't anything exceptional to note. Print quality is adequate, but not amazing. Paper quality is also adequate but a tad thin so there is some light reflecting on the white pages. All the pages are also printed on matte paper. No gloss in this book aside from the covers. Regarding the actual page count, it is a bit higher than average, but there is a bit of what I would consider to be "careless use" which I'll explain in further detail in the next section.   


                Five different chapters divide this book. The first chapter is my favourite followed by bits of the third. I'll explain these two chapters a bit more and dabble about the rest.
                Try not to be mistaken, this isn't an art book of the entire cumulative series, only the first game. Because I knew this book was a re-release, I was a bit disappointed by this fact. I was hoping for a huge book that covers games 1-4 but it turns out I was wrong. This book is only about the first Devil May Cry. There is the final chapter dedicated to DMC 4, but it's very brief and therefore just ends up feeling like an ad if anything. I found it very extraneous and it took away from the overall presentation. The first chapter is called the "Character Design" and it's the meat of this entire book. Featured, are some very early sketches of the characters and a few that remain purely conceptual or largely absent from the games itself, even if they may be important characters. Aside from Dante and Trish, there are sketches of Vergil and " the Count" or aka Mundus. It's pretty neat to see Dante's family too. I gotta say though, it looks as though "Future Dante" served as an early template for "Vergil". Hard to imagine the brash rock n roll personality of Dante turning into a stuffy, prissy, "nobleman." XD The moody gothic setting concept sketches are also in the first chapter, and I adore them. The setting is a huge part of what DMC is, and this wasn't forgotten in this art book. Weapons connoisseurs will also most likely appreciate the very detailed sketches of Dante's armoury. It's just delicious, really.
                The second and forth chapters are largely CG renders of everything else in the game. You get images of Dante, Trish, the monsters, the weapons and anything else that you can think of that is present in the game. I'm not crazy about these two chapters. Extensive  CG renders in an art book makes me feel a bit cheated due to the recycled imagery. Others will object, but CG work isn't what I'm crazy about and usually, I don't pay much attention to it.
                I have a love/hate relationship with the third, "Behind The Scene" chapter. On one hand, it includes a lot of material that usually isn't included in a video game art book. On the other hand, that doesn't necessarily mean the stuff in this section is all good. The two pages of traditional handmade boss/monster models were amazing and awesome, and the shots of the promotional items (i.e.  real life resin models of the weapons, game disc + OST photos, even a large Dante standee, etc) were also pretty cool. however, about ten pages and another two, were in my opinion, "wasted" on staff credits and tribute gags drawn by the staff members. The intention was good, but as a fan I couldn't appreciate the number of pages that were devoted to something that just feels like a "filler extra."

Ending Notes
-  The most interesting thing about this book is how its reach is much more greater than the typical video game art book. The preliminary sketches of the characters show how far they've come (i.e. "Tony" becoming "Dante"), and I thought the storyboards were useful too. Photographs of actual handmade models of the monsters were really cool, and neat how they included photos of promo materials such as the actual game, posters, hell... even a custom game kiosk.
- Having the last chapter on DMC4 felt weird and out of place for me. The fourth game already has more than one book dedicated so there really was no need. You'd think Capcom should direct their energy towards releasing a much belated DMC2 art book, but I suppose they're still busy pretending that game never existed. 
- This book is a re-release of the earlier "Devil May Cry Edition." I have that one as well but I can't remember any major differences. I can assume the coverage on DMC4 has to be missing but I can't remember much more than that.
- Due to the range of material covered, it felt like they really tried to dig up extras to make this a special, commemorative book. This isn't surprising considering how iconic the DMC series has become and I'm grateful they used some extra elbow grease to do the series some justice.

Final Rating
- Strongest point: Some very rare tangents of behind the scenes also included. Loved the initial concept designs of the characters, 3D handmade models of a few bosses, and photographs of some of the promotional material.
- Weakest point: Although another rarity, I didn't care about the staff scribbles of DMC that took up several pages of the book. Wasted space in my opinion.

8.7/10 <- Beyond the standard in most aspects, falls a bit short in others

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