Friday 20 January 2012

redjuice - EXT (Doujinshi)

Seems silly of me to be reviewing redjuice's EXT after I reviewed redjuice's Inside considering EXT was released first. But then again, everyone knows following sequential order is for squares, and here at Poke the Merch, we're all about circles.

After all, it doesn't matter what order I review redjuice's doujinshi. They're all gorgeous. In a sense, there's no need for me to review them at all, as "reviewing" implies there's something to critique, and redjuice Needs. No. Critique.

Given my propensity to prattle, let's hop right to it this time.

Released at C77, EXT is one of redjuice's earlier dounjinshi, which was surprising considering Inside is held together by the meagre strength of staples while EXT is sturdy as hell. Not that I'm complaining, of course. A sturdy doujinshi is preferable to a floppy one anyday. Like most of redjuice's doujinshi EXT quite substantial. Rather than the standard 12 or 24 page span, it spans a gorgeous 40 pages (including covers), most of which are fully coloured.

The cover stars a delicious bubble-gum-dark-matter mecha girl (have I mentioned how much I love mecha girls?). The pink-black scheme is immediately catchy. The paper is textured. The back cover coincides smoothly with the front to form a single image. It's a good start.

As far as I can tell, there are no specific sections in EXT. It features mainly commercial illustrations for various CD covers, magazines and games. I won't go over them, since the variety confounds me, but redjuice's name is so ubiquitous now that there's really no need to describe his vast array of exhalted comissioners anyhow (just know that there are many of them).

Now that I have three of redjuice's doujinshi, I can say I haven't seen much change in his style (not that his style needs any changes). His girls are sensual, with wonderfully toned bodies and beautiful, liquid colouring. The picture below undoubtedly looks familiar. It's another spin-off of Magnet, which can be found in every corner of the internet because let's face it, everyone loves girl-on-girl action.

But I'm really just here to admire the foolin'

From what I can tell, there are only a few pages of original art in EXT, although it goes without saying, all his pieces are pleasing to the eye, original or not. See, I'm going to let you in on a secret: I was never much of a fanart person. Original art is raw, unadulterated creation. Nothing's fresher than a good piece of original art. Fanart just seemed..."copy and paste" in comparison (although in retrospect, everything is really just a copy of a copy). Do I still carry the same notions? Sure I do, but over the years I've slowly learned to appreciate fanart, thanks to amazing works by artists like redjuice.

I mean, look at the piece below! Such wonderful contrast! What bright colours! And what a risque conceptualization of Rei's new test-suit! I hope her's turns out something like this. It's so sexy. And Asuka? She's as beautiful as ever.

EXT contains both two-page and one-page spreads, with the exception of 2 half-page pictures. Occasionally there will be a page where one half is blank with only text (the Evangelion one for example), but these are few and far between. Most pictures fill the page edge to edge, with no discernable border. Talk about optimizing space!

Vocaloid fanart take up a good portion of EXT, and while I'm not a huge fan of vocaloids, I can't ignore the extensive collection of breathtaking art they inspire. Redjuice's style works well with vocaloids, given his propoensity for mechanical-inspired backgrounds. The mature air he gives to them is a welcome change to all the moe-moe-mikus out there, and even Rin manages to look somewhat grown up.

Hey, it's Gumi! It's about time she got some love! She's not really a vocaloid, but her voice is amazing. It's oddly disconcerting hearing a robot breathe, but that's what she does. Yup.

One aspect of redjuice's art I really enjoy are his perspectives. While his pictures don't always feature the most dramatic angles, he manages to slip in slight lists to tease the eye and induce movement.

The Vocaloid picture below is a perfect example. The characters aren't doing much, but the picture seems dynamic thanks to the perspective.

The upcoming picture has to be my favourite of the doujinshi. I love Bakemonogatari, I love Shinobu, and I love redjuice. Combined, these factors coincide to create a picture with an appeal of OVER 9000.

Now I'm not a fan of vore, but I can see why some people are (thanks, redjuice)! The picture of Shinobu on the left is so deliciously wet. I'm obsessed with her eyes, and of course, her colouring. How do people colour like this? Seriously, I'd take a direct kidney shot to just comprehend such skill.

Another great favourite of mine is the picture of Saya. You wouldn't know it from her appearance, but she likes to eat people (not that way you pervert!). I love the toned-down, eerie atmosphere. Saya looks like an angel. An angel sitting in blood near a pile of goopy innards, with strange plant-like protrusions budding off her body. Gross. Awesome. I'm not sure how to feel now. But as George Braque once said, "Great art is meant to disturb". Whether he was right or not...well...let's just say it's all subjective (as we always do in art).

Finally, redjuice surprises us with some K-ON fanart (oh moe-moe-kyun, you've become such a phenomenon!), and something from what I assume is a fantasy game. I'm not sure how I feel about the two being placed side-by-side, given their differences, although it does highlight redjuice's ability to render backgrounds.

The soft, fantastical feel of the picture on the right is pleasing to the eye, and hey, who doesn't love red-eyed white-haired elf girls?

And Mio, well...she's Mio.

EXT also contains a teaser of redjuice's original manga Byou as well as stunningly detailed character concepts. I never knew redjuice had a manga. Learn something new everyday, eh?

I wish EXT included a few more pictures from Byou, given that it looks gorgeous. I'll have to pick it up if I ever find it.

EXT ends with a tutorial on Shinobu, which I might have been able to appreciate if I could actually understand Japanese (which I can't, to my great disappointment).

Ah well, at least the pictures half-tell the story.

It really goes without saying that I'm immensely happy with this acquisition.

Once again, the accessability of doujinshi to customers outside of Japan is lamentable at best. Fortunately, where there's a will, there's a way, and redjuice's doujinshi frequently haunt auction sites such as Yahoo Japan. Being so, you'll have to pay a little extra for a proxy service, but it's nowhere enough to offset the pleasure of having such gorgeous pictures in hand. I'm not sure how much more highly I can praise his work without sounding like a complete buttlick (who am I kidding, I already sound like one), but I would recommend this doujinshi to everyone. Absolutely everyone. Redjuice is one of my favourite artists out there (that Shinobu picture is beastly), and as far as I can see, he'll remain one of my favourites for a long while to come.

Want more redjuice? Go to his deviant account.

Size: A4
Pages: 40
Price: ???
Purchased from: Yahoo Auctions

Much love,


  1. I have this, but didn't buy it from a proxy. Too much hassle. :P

    You getting the Guilty Crown notebooks too? I'm not really sure how exclusive they are but they were only sold at the events us foreigners could never have the dreams of touching.
    Though I see that every one available online has been inflated by AT LEAST 2-3 times the original price without shipping costs included. Wondering if I should buy them. But seeing as GSC's Inori figure I'm wondering if he'll release an artbook along with her. You know like with Lacia and huke's BLK.

    I'm afraid some day redjuice might just release a compilation of his works and getting EXT, INSIDE, Ignition, SQUAD, the notebooks, beyond, bihind, etc ,etc, etc will be all for naught. I feel it isn't too far off either seeing as huke released that 240page one which I'll be getting in a couple of weeks or so.

    Saya's one of my favourites too. Beautiful story and no I'm not being sarcastic. :) thanks to redjuice that was my first VN and exposure to Gurobochi.

    1. At the moment redjuice's notebooks are available on Yahoo Auctions Japan, although the prices fluctuate wildly depending on the seller (I've seen between 1500 - 13 000 yen). I'm holding off on them because I anticipate redjuice will release a full artbook sometime in the near future. If he does, I'll probably buy it anyways just to have all his works in a neat package. If not, well, it'll be back to doujinshi hunting.

      I've also picked up the Huke artbook. Exciting stuff!

      And yes, Saya no Uta was a beautifully disturbing story. =]

    2. Mind telling or recommending the proxy you use to buy all your artbooks? I always refrain from using proxies because to be honest the process seems so convoluted with the item going back and forth and costs for multiple shippings/handling, etc.

      I hope it's in the very near future then.

      It is isn't it? I can't wait to get my hands on it~


    3. I personally use FromJapan ( It's a relatively large and credible proxy site that allows you to participate in auctions yourself. They're "free", but actually charge a 5% usage fee on all items. Of course, then there's the multiple shipping costs, but that can't really be avoided with proxy sites. If you decide to use it, you can only search for items in Japanese.

      Another great site I use for doujinshi is Mandarake. It's not a proxy site, so there are no usage fees or multiple shipping fees. They sell used items (although new items can be found too) and some doujinshi appear once in a while. Again, if you decide to use it, search for items in Japanese. English will turn up results, but Japanese will turn up many more.

      Best of luck in your hunting!

    4. Will try it out thanks.

      Yeah mandarake is where I got the rest of my redjuice doujinshi. :P Couldn't tell if they were second hand but they sure looked brand new.