Book Review: Yoshitaka Amano: The World Beyond Your Imagination

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Yoshitaka Amano: The World Beyond Your Imagination is the companion artbook for Amano's exhibition of the same name that ran during the period 27 September to 23 November 2014 at the Contemporary Art Museum in Kumamoto, and 11 April to 24 May 2015 at Kawara Museum of Takahama City.

Yoshitaka Amano is probably more widely known for his character designs for Final Fantasy. Well, he has also designed for anime titles like Gatchaman and Time Bokan at Tatsunoko Production before he went independent and worked on Final Fantasy later. He has always been doing commissioned works and selected pieces are featured in this book.

This book includes works from as early as 1979. There are artworks from different medium such as cel drawings, acrylic, silkscreen and more.

The artworks are group chronologically and starts with his early character designs for anime. Then Amano moved on to illustrate several Japanese novel series. One was Vampire Hunter D written by Hideyuki Kikuchi in 1983. The artworks included were from 1986 to 2000.

Next was the Guin Saga fantasy novel series by author Kaoru Kurimoto. Amano drew from 1985 to 1992. During this period of time he was also working on Final Fantasy I (1987) so you can sometimes see the similarity in conceptual style used in Guin Saga.

The section on Final Fantasy art is quite short. Anyway, there's a The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy if you can't get enough of Final Fantasy.

In the next chapter there are black and white artworks for Vampire Hunter D, Guin Saga, Heroic Legend of Arslan. Chimera, Lion Boy, SHINJUKU. After that, there are some cute illustrations you won't associate with Amano, and also random commissioned works.

Then there's Deva Zan, Amano's first fantasy novel as author and illustrator.

Finally, there are paintings from Deva Loka, which is an exhibition featuring paintings with anime-style like colouring and line work, such as the one you see on the cover. Those paintings are actually painted with automotive paint and acrylic on aluminium. The style here is very unlike Amano and I would have thought they are from some new contemporary artist.

The book ends with three essays by the museum staff who worked on the exhibition.

It's a nice book that gives you an overview of Amano's more than three decades of illustrious career.

This book is in English and Japanese.

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This book was borrowed from Basheer Graphic Books for review purposes. You can order the book from them. Check with Basheer on Facebook.

Yoshitaka Amano: The World Beyond Your Imagination (Japanese Edition) is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN) and Book Depository

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This book was borrowed from Basheer Graphic Books for review purposes. You can order the book from them. Check with Basheer on Facebook.

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