I am never one to go past a good art book, and Masashi Kishimoto has give us some gems with this beautiful selection from some of the most recent Shippuden arcs. The Uzumaki Naruto Illustrations Art Book include collections from Shounen Jump covers, Manga volume covers and movie posters in full colour A4 size. I really enjoyed my first flick through this, as you see familiar pieces and try to remember when or where you saw it first, and without any text or logos to cover the images you get to appreciate the artwork as a stand alone item. With just over 100 pages this is quite a substantial gallery, we also get a glimpse of Kishimoto trying experimental illustrations with different media and artwork styles like thick flowing brushes and even semi-realistic portraits.
The book itself is of great quality, and I have seen similar books for almost double the cost so that’s already a winner for me. The cover is removable, with a super bright orange softcover underneath, so if it get’s damaged there’s no real loss there. It reads like a traditional manga from right to left, and we are treated to some goodies with a sticker page and a pull-out double sided A3 poster. Pages are a thick glossy stock (about 150gsm) and are satisfying to flip through and the reproductions of the artwork is vibrant and crisp, keeping the pen lines and markers visible. And that’s not all, right at the end there is a small index of the artworks of where/when they were first published and Kishimoto’s input on his top 10 pieces.
Artists will surely appreciate professional art books like this, not only because you can use them for references on composition and colour pallets, but also the marker and inking techniques used are a subtle help for Copic and Prismacolour users. There are hours and hours of labor in every one of these drawings, and although there are one or two which look like they are completed digitally, all the others feel like you are looking directly at the original artwork. Perusing through a second and third time, I discovered small gems I first missed in my haste to “look at all of the things at once“, and I think that is what really gives Illustration Art Books such value. I still look through books I have had for several years, and this one will be no different.
Whether you are an artist or just a Naruto fan, the Uzumaki Naruto Illustrations Art Book is a wonderful addition to any collection!
A review copy was provided by Madman Entertainment to the author for the purpose of this review.