It’s been a while since I did a post on an art book, though there aren’t a lot of art books that pique my interest or I just forget about writing one as soon as I get a good art book. Though one art book that I love to look at is the Touken Ranbu Official Art Book and upon hearing that they’re releasing a second volume for the newer sword boyos I decided to get one right away.
This’ll be a short review. I originally ‘reviewed’ the first volume in my first game diary on Touken Ranbu which you can check out here. I wouldn’t call it a review but it’s something.
The second volume covers the character designs that were missing from the first volume, about 25 characters to be in fact. Chiyogane is missing though (as well as any other characters that may be revealed to the public after publishing this post).
Though it’s a bit disappointing how lacking this book is compared to the first volume that featured 46 character designs. This second volume is just about half the size as the first volume and it didn’t help that a couple of the second volume’s pages were dedicated to the different alternative appearances of Hizamaru and Higekiri as they toku’d up. Because Higekiri has 4 alternative appearances while Hizamaru has 3, I almost thought there was some sort of printing error where Higekiri and Hizamaru had duplicate pages of their design but turned out it was just their different toku appearances.
It makes me wish they also filled this book with Kiwame designs. It would’ve made the book more thicc and worth the purchase. Though, at least they lowered the price of the second volume by 500 yen compared to the first volume which was 3,000 yen (excluding tax) considering you’re getting a bit less than the first one but still…. Kiwame designs would’ve been a great addition seeing how these art books are great references for cosplayers or fan artists.
As expected, the in-depth details of each character is in this volume is wondeful. There are some artists in this book who don’t go into too much detail but there are others who just break down each layer of clothing/costume and detail of each sword boy’s design and I greatly appreciate it, as it motivates me to be that detailed when designing characters. It also helps flesh out their personality more. I particularly liked how Sengo had a hidden detail that wasn’t shown to the player with his sprites. That hidden detail being….. a fluffy bunny tail:
It may seem random but it definitely gave me an “Oh, I get it!” moment as Sengo’s design is basically going for a rabbit/bunny look. I always thought his little hair antennas gave a floppy bunny eared look and here it is, confirmed that he’s a bunny lol. His inner layer also gives that ‘playboy bunny’ feel too 😆
I do feel like I’m being spoilt by looking at the designs of sword boys I haven’t even acquired yet (which is almost half of this book’s pages), but I still appreciate the thought that went into each design.
I’d say it’s worth the purchase if you want to collect every Touken Ranbu art books for your fav artists or character or if you’re need references for when making cosplays or drawing fan art/doujinshis. However I have to repeat my sentiment before, it is a bit disappointing that it doesn’t have the same amount of content as the first volume did. I didn’t research before purchasing the book to see whether they would include kiwame designs so I just purchased thinking this volume would include them but I guess I’m the fool now.
Thanks for reading!