Thursday 15 September 2011

redjuice's "Inside" (Doujinshi)

Hello all! Boy, am I glad to see you. Today, I'll be covering my first of many art book reviews. Wish me luck!

Redjuice has long been one of my favourite artists. There's nothing more attractive than a well defined style, and redjuice's art is definitely well defined. Inside was published in 2008 and features many of his commercial works. It's the second doujinshi he's released, the first being EXT and the third being Ignition.

Inside spans 40 pages, including the front and back cover. All images are full-colour. The cover is aesthetically pleasing, with gorgeous use of colours. The maroon backdrop I'm especially fond of. Oh, and of course, they feature two gorgeous ladies. Which do you prefer? (I have a soft spot for the one dressed in white myself).

Inside's art is generally presented as twopage spreads, with just a few exceptions. My doujinshi collection is dismally small, so I can't make many quality judgements across items, but Inside is rather fragile. The pages are held together by two staples rather than glue, and you can see the seamline in most spreads.

Inside contains several sections, and begins with illustrations from Stupid Missles/Dizzy. I admit, I'm not familiar with where these characters come from, or what series they represent (if any). My first and foremost criteria for buying art books is the quality of the art itself, so I humbly apologize in advance for the vague comments I'll be making throughout the review.

Stupid Missiles/Dizzy features mecha girls against a futuristic backdrop. Anyone who knows me knows I have a great fondness for futuristic mecha girls, so this section was absolute win for me. This section is found on pages 2-10.

Page 10-12 is a single, double-page illustration from Crimson Hardcore. I have to say, although I don't know where this character comes from, I'm digging the red theme.

 Pages 13-28 are illustrations for supercell and livetune featuring Hatsune Miku. Some of you might be familiar with the renouned World is Mine illustration below. If you think you've seen her elsewhere—perhaps in a different medium—you're absolutely correct. This illustration spawned a World is Mine Miku figure not long ago.

Just look at that sweeping background, and that beautiful blue sky. Trust me, its beauty is multiplied twofold in person. Just stunning.

More illustrations of Miku, this time from Last Night, Good Night.

After the Miku sections, we find illustrations for Phalanx Online. This section is my favourite, mainly because I love Kaorihime's design and warm colour-scheme. She embodies elegance, my friends, embodies it good.

This section covers pages 29-34.

There's so much sensuality in Redjuice's works (which I like). His characters may not support the (ahem) biggest proportions, but he manages to make them oh-so-sexy nevertheless. The smile on Kaorihime's face as she sits back with her flowers is absolute gold.

Finally, from pages 35 to the end, we have his Other section, including a suggestive painting of Rei from Evangelion. Oh my. What perspective. Oh my, indeed.

The last picture is different from the rest, being more cartoon-y, brighter, and more playful. It claims to be Japanese "Moe" style. The text in the corner says: It isn't redjuice's new Style. It's traditional art style of Japan called "MOE". "MOE" is OKTAKU term that expresses feelings near "Cute" not made a word easily. It flatters too much and it worries about the spirit. Even with this explanation, I'm still not quite sure what "moe" is. If anyone knows more specifically what it means, please, I beg of you, tell me.

Am I pleased with this doujinshi? Absolutely. Am I completely biased towards anything by Redjuice? Absolutely. If you asked me what specifically I like about Redjuice's work, I would stutter about and make vague hand gestures. "Everything," might be an appropriate translation. I'm especially fond of the way he colours, and particularly of the way he colours eyes. The reflections, the liquid nature, the distinct almond shape,  creates the most intense, soul-binding eyes. Besides the eyes, I'm also very partial to the way he shades bodies. Just look at the abs on some of those girls. The shading is sharp where it should be, and delightfully subtle all at once.

Being a doujinshi, Inside might require a bit of work to obtain (unless you live in Japan). Personally, I found this on eBay for a relatively low price (in comparison to other sellers). Your best bet in getting this wonderful collection may be to check Mandarake for possible used copies, or use a proxy, mail forwarding, or private purchaser service.

More artwork by redjuice can be found at his Deviantart account here.

Size: slightly larger than 11.5 x 8
Pages: 40
??? (if anyone knows the original price, please tell me)
Purchased at
: eBay


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