Book Review: 背景画集 草薙

背景画集 草薙 Kusanagi

草薙 (Kusanagi) is a Japanese artist group that creates background art for animation and computer games. This is their first portfolio art book.

Right at the start is a short background story of how 草薙 (Kusanagi) was started, written in Japanese. The rest of the books are full coloured illustrations coming from the following titles:

All are captioned, in Japanese, but the art speaks for itself. These are mainly background paintings for animation and computer games. For game art, they are actually the plane characters walk on. If you've watched or played any, most of the images will be nostalgic.

The book contains much more art for animation than for the games. There are bits of everything, from rural landscapes, cityscapes and fantasy settings. There is nothing on character design.

Some of the art shown here are reused in the later volumes of the book, but luckily not too much.

This book is recommended to background or video game artists.

背景画集 草薙 - 01

背景画集 草薙 - 02

背景画集 草薙 - 03

背景画集 草薙 - 04

背景画集 草薙 - 05

背景画集 草薙 - 06

背景画集 草薙 - 07

背景画集 草薙 - 08

背景画集 草薙 - 09

背景画集 草薙 - 10

背景画集 草薙 - 11

背景画集 草薙 - 12

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

If you buy from 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.



Great to see background

Great to see background artists releasing books like this. I find that background art is often neglected in animation and only the character animators and designers given the spotlight.

My two favorite bg artists are Kazuo Oga of Ghibli fame and Hiromasa Ogura (Patlabor, Ghost in the shell, Jin-roh..). Both do extremely beautiful background art and deserve to be named.

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