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Kantoku C76 ‘5年 Memorial’ review

September 29, 2009

Next to Tony Taka’s “Collect 1” artbook, the C76 release “5年 Memorial” of renowned artist Kantoku is one of the Comiket books I’m most enthusiastic about.

From the circle “Afterschool of The 5th Year” (5年目の放課後), Kantoku is an artist whose style I immediately adored after spotting the first individual illustrations on assorted sites.

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Just under 60 pages, the full color book is larger than the A4 size and has sturdy cover pages for a soft cover book.

Paper quality is excellent, each page feels thick and solid, the print is very crisp and thanks to the slightly mat paper there is little reflection or glare, except from darker color areas.

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Lovely illustration of Yui and Azusa by Kantoku, makes me wish Kantoku would create a “K-ON!” themed book as the artist’s cute style would suit the けいおん girls just perfectly.

Blushing Azusa with tanlines, oh my~ かわいい!

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An interesting feature are pages where Kantoku details steps in the creative process of some illustrations, especially for one of the illustrations printed on the fan that was included in the set.

Kantoku’s C75 release “チェック× チェック” (Check x Check) also contained such pages, interesting to see all the work artists complete to create a whole illustration. Looks like even a simple rock in the foreground can take quite a bit of work.

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Next to full page illustrations, most pages of the “5年 Memorial” book group three to four illustrations together that appeared on the “Afterschool of The 5th Year” homepage or other assorted illustrations created by Kantoku.

While some are original works, many also stem from different series or other franchises, such as seen above with the art of characters from “Suzimya Haruhi No Yuutsu” and “Kimikiss”.

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When the first Comiket books and doujins started to appear on Yahoo! Japan Auction, immediately grabbed an auction for the “5年 Memorial” set, which includes a pencil board and a fan.

Although getting the auction at the 2500Yen buyout price made it rather expensive, absolutely didn’t want to miss getting this book.

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The mix between original work and illustrations based on anime or other series is well balanced, many pages have great original art like the very enticing illustration seen above of the same original character that also graces the cover.

The included pencil board is a near A4 size semi sturdy plastic board with a similar illustration as seen on the artbook’s cover page. The fan, which seems to be a common type of additional promotional item included in such sets from famous artists and studios, features an illustration on each side of a cute girl with a definite summer atmosphere.

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Absolutely wanted to include this great illustration by Kantoku of Horo from “Spice & Wolf” that perfectly captures the wolf deity’s tsun tsun character side. Though Kantoku did take some artistic liberty by increasing Horo’s bust size.

While it originally appears on a page with other illustrations, decided to crop it out here for better focus. Also, all pages also have a header and bottom line that I opted not to include for these sneak peek images.

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Of course couldn’t leave out this page either, for it has two great artworks by Kantoku of the irresistible Kyonko, the transgendered form of Kyon from “Suzimya Haruhi No Yuuutsu”.
No one creates blushing faces quite like Kantoku.

Totally adored the whole concept of Kyonko ever since I saw the first illustrations pop up on the web, her character design is so cute!
Although she is purely fan created, Kyoto Animation should have spent six episodes of the new “Suzimya Haruhi No Yuuutsu” season on a Kyonko arc instead of all those ‘Endless Eight” episodes. (With only Kyonko being changed in the cast of course, the other characters needn’t change.)

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The ‘Home Page Log’ pages feature illustrations that appeared this year on the “Afterschool of The 5th Year” homepage, such as the terrific “K-ON!” and “Toradora” artworks seen above.

You can always catch some of the scans of “5年 Memorial” at Moe Imouto too if you want to sample Kantoku’s art.

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“5年 Memorial” closes off with a few pages of black and white sketches of artworks Kantoku published in previous books or illustrations, a nice touch as always love seeing some of the great pencil art style images.

As you have seen, this is a great book filled to the brim with amazing art so don’t hesitate in getting this terrific artbook if you can find, it’s definitely worth it!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 29, 2009 10:45 pm

    Yep, a good artbook ^^. One of the better items from my own C76 haul.

  2. March 2, 2010 8:30 pm

    A nice book.. I just bought Kantoku Art Works, and I will like buy this book ^^

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