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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Deluxe manga in the morning. 
13th-Oct-2005 08:06 am
I am not, alas, as up on the Japanese artbook scene as I used to be, though I did have the presence of mind to preorder the Trinity Blood limited edition artbook, Fabrica Theologica. That should come in another two months or so.

Murata, Range, et al. Robot. Vol. 1. Carson: DMP, 2005. (First Japanese Edition: 2004)
Summary: A cross between an A4 artbook and a full-color manga anthology (except that *bleh* some of the artists skimp on the full-color aspect), Robot features brief contributions from a large number of "otaku" artists, most notably Murata Range, Abe Yoshitoshi, and Hakua Ugetsu. The stories themselves are either too brief to be worth summarizing, or too weird/confusing to be worth remembering and range from the annoyingly sexual, to the unfunnily comic, to the eerily moronic. The first one I read, for example, (and it didn't get any better) was about a butcher with human body parts for sale--until a woman stops by his shop needing something "special"--and butchers the butcher! She then takes his place behind the counter.
Comments: Okay, okay, not all of these mangaka are male, but they might as well be, because we're talking exploitation of the female form left and right from beginning to end. Only Tajima Sho-u's entry features no female characters at all, but he makes up for it with perverse and disturbing violence. At least I can now say that I've seen some more of the professional endeavors of doujinshika whose work I've owned for years (such as Okama and Abe Yoshitoshi, for example). Of all of the stories, I like the ones by Asada Hiroyuki, Itoh Mami (butcher story), and Sanbe Kei the best. Asada's in particular managed to tell an interesting story without either sex or violence: a girl in a post-apocalyptic world (those were definitely popular in this volume) unwittingly uses a family's old home video film as a muffler and, for a brief moment, shares in their idyllic memories. Really, though, the best thing about this book is the gorgeous print values. Though the book was in actuality printed in China, it might as well be a Japanese book because all of the materials appear to be in line with what is available there, from the texture of the dustjacket to the thickness of the paper. We're talking a VERY nice book in form albeit not in function...so, like a sucker, guess who's going to preorder Vol. 2 when it becomes available? (^^;
Notes: paperback, 1st American edition
Rating: 6/10 - Worth it just for the print values...if you get it for 40% off like I did. Otherwise, only for the overaged fanboy.
13th-Oct-2005 12:34 pm (UTC)
The story that stuck with me the most from Robot was the monochrome one, with those few bright patches of color. Very striking.
13th-Oct-2005 12:35 pm (UTC)
The one where the chick wants all the color taken out of her house because it makes the outside world look better that way? Sounds like a transparent commentary on the virtues of B&W manga to me...
29th-Oct-2005 11:59 pm (UTC)
Review archived.
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