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Mahiru Izumi “Queen’s Gate – Yagyuu Juubei” review

November 2, 2010

When I saw that Hobby Japan was going to release a new “Queen’s Gate” book with art created by Mahiru Izumi (泉まひる, homepage nsfw), ordered the book through Jlist and was delighted when it arrived on my doorstep.

This new “クイーンズゲイト 覚醒せし剣姫 柳生十兵衛” book is all about Yagyuu Juubei, the cute yet deadly samurai master from currently airing anime series ”Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls”.

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Adore Mahiru Izumi’s unique take on Mai Shiranui in the “Queen’s Gate” book featuring her, so wanted to see his rendition of Juubei.

As is the case for all “Queen’s Blade” and “Queen’s Gate” character battle books, this slightly smaller than A4 sized book comes in a sturdy hard cover, it contains 32 pages filled with color art. (This excludes the few pages only with text.)

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All of the illustrations are nearly full page, a small section of the lower page is taken up by the different data numbers necessary for the book’s battle function.
A small character sheet card is included for those purposes as well.

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While Mahiru Izumi’s style could be seen as monotone for it is very recognizable and one may see similarities between how Juubei and Mai were drawn as most of his characters bear several noticeable key traits, personally adore his style and love the way he rendered Yagyuu Juubei.

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Thanks to his typical style, Izumi’s rendition of Juubei has sharper facial features and darker eyes compared to her anime counterpart, which perfectly suits the innocent yet deadly combination of her character.
Ideal for a combat book depicting her in different combat scenarios.

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You may have noticed these images are not scans but rather photos taken of the actual pages. Did not spot any scans online yet for this book and not having a scanner myself, instead opted for this method.

Will not deny that photographing the pages like this is inspired by Nat from Nattoli.net who produces many terrific art book and doujinshi reviews.

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Also, recent musings by icie from Hunting the Elusive have made me think about linking to scans of artbooks and doujinshi (excluding magazines). The hoped effect of enthusing more people about the various art which results in them purchasing the book if interested might not often be achieved.

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Although can fathom not everyone is able to purchase all the artbooks and doujinshi they would like to (myself included), I would not want to be a negative contribution that damages the artists or their future.

Just want to spread love and admiration for the art that I personally like, hoping others will also come to enjoy it.

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Of course, it would not be a “Queen’s Gate” book without the necessary ecchi illustrations. While daring, none are too excessive and stay limited to blatant pantsu flashes and torn clothing.

Whether it might have aesthetically been more suitable to not see Juubei depicted with erect nipples showing through her clothing, must say that in most illustrations it isn’t really bothersome.

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Do like the alternate form of Juubei, where her red edged katana changes to a whip like configuration and her outfit becomes rather sparse. For those illustrations the artist also switched to poses emphasizing more action where Juubei sports a more aggressive facial expression.

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If you like this book, you can still find it available at online retailers like Amazon Japan or Jlist.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. November 2, 2010 8:15 pm

    She looks really nice.

    But I miss somehow the +Nitro design like from the Anime or the Figures by Alter.

  2. November 2, 2010 8:49 pm

    Artbooks, figures, doujin are definitely how I enjoy this series the most. I couldn’t get into the anime. Some sort of printed art collection for Samurai Girls is on my list of things I would like to get.

    So this book is used in conjunction with the game? That’s pretty cool. Kinda gives a little more mileage out of a book purchase if you’re already playing the game.

  3. November 2, 2010 9:25 pm

    @Grew
    Really? Well, personally I do like this sharper looking rendition of Juubei. ^^
    @super rats
    Like the “Queen’s Blade” books these can be used as visual combat books, the players simulate turn-based battles where the each use a book featuring a specific character using the data stats therein.
    The art on each page represents the corresponding situation. E.g. the illustration showing Juubei’s reflection on a sword is the situation or turn where Juubei surprises the other player from behind.
    Though personally I don’t play the game, just got a few of the books because I like the character or artist.

  4. Devastator001 permalink
    November 3, 2010 4:45 am

    Been watching the anime and the book forgot to turn her eyes yellow when she’s in Master Samurai mode :D but it’s a minor quibble. Definitely getting this with my next book batch order :D

  5. November 3, 2010 10:56 am

    @Devastator001
    Noticed that too and actually prefer her rendered this way. Wonder if in the original novels her eyes turn yellow too or if it’s only done in the anime to emphasize her change to samurai mode?
    As it is, adore Mahiru Izumi’s style for Juubei, with dark, blue eyes. The artist is still able to render her aggressive side well through her facial expression and pose.

  6. November 5, 2010 3:05 pm

    A lot of really beautiful images in this book. Bold, dynamic, ecchi! It reminds me a lot of the Queen’s Blade stuff.

  7. November 5, 2010 9:56 pm

    @Yi
    “Queen’s Gate” seems to be Hobby Japan’s line to use characters from other franchises in the “Queen’s Blade” universe.

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