Worlds of Amano Vol. #01 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Friday, April 20, 2007
Release Date: Saturday, March 31, 2007
Writer/Artist:Artist: Yoshitaka Amano / Text: Jean Wacquet
Translated by:Samantha Robertson
What They Say
Worlds of Amano provides a rare look inside the creative process of one of the most influential popular-culture artists working in Japan in the last thirty years. Originally published in France, Worlds of Amano presents a unique overview of Yoshitaka Amano's diverse work. This vast introduction allows one to take in the full measure of the immense talent of this famous Japanese illustrator, who is so well known for his designs of the Final Fantasy video games. Eclectic and apparently without limit, Amano's art is stunning. Drawing on numerous projects from over the last thirty years with many rarely seen illustrations, this book captures the rare beauty and inspiration of Amano's vision.
Dark Horse has put together another amazingly beautiful package with their release of Worlds of Amano. This hard cover book not only has a dust jacket, but the cover art is also printed directly onto the books cover. I actually really appreciate this since dust jackets often rip and then your left with a plain book exterior that simply has the title on the spine. The front cover depicts a scantily clad woman leaning against a massive black panther, which was one of the many covers he designed for a literary magazine entitled Shishi-o. The back cover has a character any Amano fan would be familiar with, Vampire Hunter D. The paper stock in this book is pleasantly heavy and glossy.
The Worlds of Amano is a fantastic look at Amano's work from 1983 to 2001. This book highlights his most popular work over the years, such as Final Fantasy, Tales of Genji, Guin Saga, and Vampire Hunter D. The book is broken up into twelve chapters, each dedicated to a specific subject and often spanning multiple years. For example, the Vampire Hunter D chapter has paintings spanning from 1985-2000. I definitely appreciate the inclusion of each illustrations year, media, and size along with the title.
Amano's mastery of color always impresses me. To give a picture a dark or dreary theme he often uses various shades of only two colors, sometimes he uses three or four colors to create a specific flow sense of an element such as fire or water to the content. Some of his most impressive work invokes a feeling of jubilance with a myriad of colors exploding across the canvas. One aspect of Amano's artistic style that always amazes me is his backgrounds. At first glance, they appear to be a simple splattering of paints to create depth, but on closer inspection, it becomes obvious that he has put in a lot of work and detail. The splatter spots in the backgrounds turn into flowers, vegetation, and often little magical beasts. The pot-bellied little goblins always add some humor to the illustration.
For Worlds of Amano, a better examination of Amano's works spanning his entire career may not exist outside of Japan. If you have ever thought about picking up an Amano art book and have not done it yet, then I highly recommend this reasonably priced art book. Even if, like myself, you own one of Dark Horses other releases such as Faeries, The Tale of Genji, or Coffin: The Art of Vampire Hunter D, I still recommend picking up Worlds of Amanofor its variety and information about Amano's career.
Mania Grade: NA
Art Rating: N/A
Packaging Rating: A+
Text/Translatin Rating: A
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Released By: Dark Horse
Orientation: Left to Right