Friday, January 4, 2013

Wild Flower: Shunya Yamashita Works II

The wild imagination of Shunya Yamashita

Another unorthodox review on my blog in this new year after the action figure of Kane. The limelight is on an art book this time. ^^

This is "Wild Flower: Shunya Yamashita Works II", a 2008 publication featuring an assortment of published and unpublished illustrations done by Shunya Yamashita. It was published by Kotobukiya of all companies. ^^

Oddly enough, this book actually has a connection with the action figure of Kane from the previous posting - both were purchases made during my 2010 Singapore trip. ^^ The major difference was, this was an item I desired since a very long time ago. ^^ Unable to locate it on local hobby websites, I grabbed it when I saw it in one of the bookstores in Singapore while I was there. ^^ Ironically, I managed to get the third book entitled "OneVoice" almost right after I returned from Singapore, having pre-ordered it from a local hobby website months before. "OneVoice" came out in July 2010, but the two books ended up meeting each other in my collection almost the same time. ^^

Like I said in the review of Marvel Bishoujo Collection Rogue from Kotobukiya last December, I'm quite a fan of Shunya Yamashita's work. He really has a unique touch in bringing out the loveliness and youthfulness of all the female characters he drew. It's no surprise at all that he has an entire series of figurines based off of his designs released by Kotobukiya, and it's growing. ^^ From focusing on Marvel heroines when it was first launched in 2009, the Bishoujo Collection now features characters from DC Comics, movies and games. ^^ Shunya's designs must have an appeal that is acknowledged and appreciated by many for the figurine series to be so popular after all these years. ^^

Besides Kotobukiya, Yamato is another company that "actively" releases figurines based on characters designed by Shunya Yamashita. The Creators' Labo line features many of his work since 2009. Hattori Kiriko Ninja Ver. that I got back in 2010 was a Shunya Yamashita design as well. ^^

Kaiyodo surprised many with the release of Pocco in its Revoltech Fraulein line in 2008. I was hoping to see more of his work get realized as action figures once I knew about the release of Pocco, but that wasn't because I think action figures are better than fixed pose figurines (to appreciate the beauty of the Shunya's designs, the latter is way better actually ^^), it was just that action figures are generally lower in terms of price, so I could afford to get more in that release format. ^^; Unfortunately Pocco was the one and only Shunya's designs that got a Revoltech Fraulein treatment. ^^;

Of course, another way to see more of Shunya's designs without having to get all the figurines is through his art books. ^^

All 128 pages for "Wild Flower", the different designs are arranged according to various categories, most which are full page illustrations in glorious full color. ^^ Black-and-white line arts, partially colored illustrations and monotone designs can also be found in certain sections of the book.

As mentioned before, this book was released in 2008, about a year before the Kotobukiya launched the Marvel Bishoujo Collection series with the release of Black Widow, so nobody from that series is in the book. ^^; However, there are a few familiar faces that I do recognize under the "Original Work for Figure" section. Pocco for Revoltech Fraulein of course, Ayanami Rei for Creators' Labo and Needa for Good Smile Company's 1/8 scale figurine release. ^^ I can certain see more character illustrations which received their figurine treatment whom I do recognize in "OneVoice", as a whole chunk of that book was dedicated to the Marvel Bishoujo Collection series. ^^ But that's not knocking on "Wild Flower". It's still a fantastic art book full of great illustrations from Shunya Yamashita.

Rear cover.

"Wanna see me more?" Of course, that's why I bought the third book. ^^ I'll definitely do a review on that book in the future. ^^

As someone who really enjoys Shunya Yamashita's work, the question is not about wanting to get the book or not, but when is Kotobukiya planning to release the fourth compilation so that I can put down my pre-order right away. XD

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