This is a thick 272-page paperback for the long video game series Atelier that started in 1997.
Below are the list of game featured chronologically in the book:
- Atelier Marie ~The Alchemist of Salburg~ (1997)
- Atelier Elie ~The Alchemist of Salburg 2~ (1998)
- Atelier Lilie ~The Alchemist of Salburg 3~ (2001)
- Atelier Judie ~The Alchemist of Gramnad~(2002)
- Atelier Violet ~The Alchemist of Gramnad 2~ (2003)
- Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana (2004)
- Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny (2005)
- Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm (2006)
- Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis (2007)
- Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy (2008)
- Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland (2009)
Each game is split into two parts featuring the illustrations and the character profiles, which are just more illustrations. Each game only has a short summary and designer commentary are sparse except for Atelier Rorona.
The illustrations are beautiful, and are all character based. It's interesting to see how the art direction has been keep in line over the years even though the artists have changed. However, the style of Atelier Rorona is quite different from the other games especially the clothing design. The artists are Kohime Ouse, Isaemon Yamagata, Jun Futaba, Kazuyuki Yoshizumi and Mel Kishida (the artist who drew the cover for this book).
There's a section on how alchemy has evolved since the first game. This should be interesting for those who have played through the games.
The interview section is 23 pages long. There are interviews with director Yoshito Okamura, chief designer Yasuhiro Nakai, programmer Teruaki Nakai, illustrator Mel Kishida and the sound Team at Gust which comprises Daisuke Achiwa, Ken Nakagawa, Kazuki Yanagawa, Haruka Shimotsuki, and Akinobu Makaedani. They talk about the different parts to creating the game. The interview with Mel Kishida is rather amusing as it goes into his workspace and strange working habits.
It's a great book for fans of the game, and those who like art.
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