I would sell my soul for an eighth of Nao Tsukiji's talent. This art book is so pumped full of details and colours that it's difficult to handle in one sitting. Each page is a treasurehorde of meticulous niceties. Every time I look, I find something new, and every time I look, I shed a tear (out of sheer beauty).
I kid you not, this collection is a thing of pure beauty. After viewing this book, I suffered the cold realization that I will never, despite my best efforts, be as good as her. Then I rocked a little in a corner and sobbed silent tears of disillusionment. Worse, this isn't even remotely a comprehensive collection of this woman's genius talent. As the title suggests, this book only contains only original works. Her heavenly slew of equally exquisite fan art didn't make it into this collection.
We begin with the front and back cover.
Until I saw this book.
Nostalgia is composed of both single and double page spreads. A couple 1/2 page spreads also appear, though these are far rarer. With the exception of about 5 pages, it's in full colour---full, glorious colour. We begin with Chapter 1. Works for Magazine, which spans 54 pages, which begins with this:
What? Be still, racing heart! What a way to start! Just to give more an idea of how detailed her style is, here are two close-up shots of miniscule fractions of the pictures above.
Nao Tsukiji has a distinct style. It's anime-based, but different enough to set her apart from the masses. She's certainly not afraid to rainbow up her drawings, but also equally competent with less flamboyant palettes.
The curled up seashell girl happens to be one of my favourites.
My god, look at those orgasmic colors! And they're even better in real life! Anyone else tasting the rainbow here?
|Oh my god, the eyes, the eyes!|
Nao Tsukiji's art contains a few repeated characters. Her (badass) rendition of Little Red Riding Hood appears a few times throughout this collection. Many pictures in this section take on a fantastic, other-worldly feel, with a mix of both Eastern and Western styles.
She's not only fearless with colour, but forward with contrast too. She's like a superhero, but in an artistic sense. Such reckless boldness. I like it.
|All that unapologetic red...|
|A red-green combination that doesn't spell Christmas!|
The next section of Nostalgia takes us through Chapter 2. Works for Comics. At 22 pages, this section is the shortest in the collection and features characters from her manga. I apologize for not knowing the names or roles they play, or even what her manga is called. I do know, however, that this section contains a cast of exceedingly attractive men (often posed suggestively with one another).
An example of a black and white page:
At cast of delicate-looking boys (and girls).
The next section is titled Chapter 3. Work for Indie Letter Papers and spans a generous 76 pages. This is possibly my favourite section of the collection.
This is also the section where Nao Tsukiji shows off her propensity to detail tiny flowers and gems (although she has a propensity to detail everything). I talso displays her range of operable styles.
A rare, 1/2 page spread.
Nao Tsukiji is proficient with smooth colouring and more stylized, harder-lined styles.
Several works seem to deal with themes, such as gems. Below are Pearl (those strands look heavy) and Diamond, both snazzed up in beautiful mineral decor. The reflective quality she puts in her gems is stunning.
More pictures. I assume her 1/2 page spreads were used for postcards (beautiful, glorious postcards). There's so much going on in some of her pictures it takes me several looks to notice it all. I never realized the blonde girl in the festive picture had legs until---well---now. Boy am I dense.
Less colourful pieces of her work somehow manage to be equally colourful in its own way. Did that make any sense? Probably not.
These two pictures happen to rank among my favourites.
This section is full of beautiful arrangements. Characters spring from borders, backgrounds congeal into characters---the transitions are wonderfully smooth and aesthetic.
Many of Nao Tsukiji's works have a rough, pencil-like texture. In an art world populated by smooth photoshop, it's refreshing to see something reminescent of traditional art. You know, just to remind us pencil is still a viable tool for colouring and sketchiness can be used to perpetuate style.
Last but not least, an example of art nouveau, beautifully framed and beautifully stylized. There are several in this collection that use this high-contrast style. (Ex Libris = "from the books).
Ok. Let me stop and remember to breathe.
I have nothing but high adulation for this book. I 100% recommend it to everyone and their grandmothers. It's a slice of concentrated beauty.
Nao Tsukiji's Nostalgia easily beats out the competition for "best art book ever". Get it if you can. Get it now. It'll ruin other art books for you---well, maybe not---but you know what I mean. I got mine off CDJapan. It's still available if you want a copy.
Price: 2400 yen
Purchased at: CDJapan