Book Review: 近藤勝也ArtWorks玉繭物語&玉繭物語2 (Katsuya Kondo Art Works)

近藤勝也ArtWorks玉繭物語&玉繭物語2 (Katsuya Kondo Art Works)

近藤勝也ArtWorks玉繭物語&玉繭物語2 (Katsuya Kondo Art Works)

近藤勝也ArtWorks or Katsuya Kondo Art Works is the concept art book for the Playstation game Jade Cocoon and its sequel. I've not played those games before.

The bulk of the book is on character design, all created with pencil and colour pencil. Because of the pencil treatment and the light colours, this book feels a bit like Studio Ghibli art books. We can see a great deal of tribal influence on the costume designs, which uses symbols and patterns. They actually look really comfortable to wear. And I also notice the characters have very cool hats and head gear.

There are also lots of great creature designs. The ones that look like insects are most interesting since I don't see a lot of insect designs from other art books. I like how there's a slight hint of comedic feature on them, especially those from Jade Cocoon 2.

Other than the character designs, there are also some environment sketches, artists interviews, storyboards and even a few pages of manga comic based on the game.

I find the characters really likable. Character designers should find this book interesting.

Here are direct links to the book:
Amazon.com | Amazon Japan | YesAsia USA

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Visit Amazon to check out more reviews.

Here are direct links to the book:
Amazon.com | Amazon Japan | YesAsia USA

If you buy the links, I get a little commission that helps me get more books to feature.

Here's the Amazon Japan buying guide for your reference.

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3 Comments

I want this artbook so badly,

I want this artbook so badly, but I`m scared to buy anything online due to the fact that on my second purchase my money was stolen -.-;. Not to mention that it`s rare, like you said. In any case, could you scan or take photos of the pages with the Sweet Knights? I would like to make graphics of something that isn`t overused -- unlike FMA, Naruto, or Bleach... (No offence, I just want to see something different). In the future I`m planning to ask for comissions for these characters, so clear references would be nice. I`m a big fan of this cult classic.

Here are the characters I`m talking about. http://www.rpgfan.com/pics/jade-cocoon2/art-illust2.jpg
Cocona (orange haired girl with red clothes), cinnamon (blonde girl in blue clothes), Vanilla (the green haired girl with yellow clothes), Choco (black girl with green clothes), and Cure (red haired girl with magenta clothes). Please. I would appreciate it very much. orz.

By the way, you can play the first game on your computer if you download a PS1 emulator and a Jade Cocoon rom.

The genre is RPG and should take you roughly 24 hours to complete, which is great if you`re short on time. The gameplay is simular to Pokemon, and you can merge creatures like in Monster Rancher. You are limited to the town of Sirus and 4 forests, but that`s okay because the game ends around the time you begin to get sick of them. *laugh* I also found that the story had a surprising ammount of detail, given how short it was. You won`t find anything mind-altering, but it`s entertaining nonetheless. I always thought it was interesting how the hero (Levant`s) friends were better suited to beast hunting than him. The music and visuals are a blend of native american, middle eastern, and african influences -- very cool. Some of the voiceacting is hammy, but for the most part it`s decent (if you`re going to play the English version). I had to resist the urge to laugh whenever the blue cocoon master spoke because he sounds just like Charlton Heston.

The only advice I can give you is to not get your hopes up too high since this is a 90s game. Regardless, it`s one of my favorites. As an aspiring artist and writer, I feel inspired by it.

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