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The Other Jason The Other Jason is a Male
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Hi all!


A book featuring artwork from Gatchaman producer and Tatsunoko studio co-founder, Ippei Kuri has been newly published in Japan. It is titled Ippei Kuri Past & Future - All of Ippei Kuri. He hasn't had a lot of focus on his contribution to comics and animation until recently (a similarly themed Ippei Kuri Works Collection was published in 2013), so it's nice to see another nicely done project. Thankfully not much material has been duplicated between the two titles.

There is not a lot of Gatchaman content in this book, not even close to the amount that was presented in Works Collection, but what is present is interesting. A couple art pieces featuring Tatsunoko's main heroes are the main representations of the Ninja Team. But there is also a nice rough sketch of Ken's face and a funny photo of Kuri standing next to a life-sized Gatchaman mannequin in Birdstyle (Ken, again).

The book presents a lot of information about Kuri's early history and the founding of Tatsunoko. He even goes to the effort of illustrating some of the first homes and headquarters of the beginning days of the studio. Some old comic reprint material is shared along with a wealth of previously unpublished works and unproduced TV ideas.

Most of Past & Future is in Japanese but many of the art pieces have Japanese and English captions. Plus each chapter starts off with an English summary of what is being discussed. Anyone unfamiliar with Japanese shouldn't have too difficult a time figuring out the basic ideas of what is being shown.

I found it interesting that many of the new illustrations appear to have been done either completely in the digital realm, or heavily enhanced with computer effects and coloring. Kuri's style still shows through regardless. For someone in his seventies, it's pretty cool to see him embracing new techniques for his art. Still... I hope he hasn't completely abandoned his drawing board. As an artist, it just makes me feel good to know there are actual physical originals.

I like Past & Future better than Works Collection in many respects. The art is presented large and clean, unlike Works Collection that frequently overlapped pieces on one another. That was annoying and my chief complaint about the earlier book. Past & Future doesn't do a lot to alter the pictures. Some of the line art selections are printed rainbow style in more than one color (one fading into the next), instead of in simple black. But that's a minor criticism. At least they're still by themselves and clean.

I wish a little more of his earlier comic art had been printed. There is a small tease of some of his original black and white comic art pages, but that's about it. I also wish the book could have been longer. At 112 pages it feels like certain topics have barely been touched. Plus the text sections have w i d e spacing so it could have been published at an even shorter length. There are certainly many more images and stories from Kuri's career and history that could have been included. While it is nice to see so much unpublished material, I really would have enjoyed seeing more from the height of his Tatsunoko days in greater detail.

That's just me wanting more though. On its own, I think the book is a fine presentation of Ippei Kuri's work and history. More like this, please!

Here is the book's official tumblr blog page (in Japanese):

The book can be ordered from Amazon Japan (in Japanese, but you can switch to English under the wireframe globe pulldown menu):

Ippei Kuri Past & Future - All of Ippei Kuri
Released 9-16-16
112 pages, A4 size (about 8.5" x 12")
Published by Shuppan Works and offered through Kawade Shobo Shinsha

The Other Jason

This post has been edited 1 time(s), it was last edited by The Other Jason on 21-09-2016 at 04:25.
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ChrisW ChrisW is a Female


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Hmm might have to consider that one. Smile

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Originally posted by ChrisW Hmm might have to consider that one. Smile

I decided a while back, that if I can't actually read the book, I'm not going to buy it. I have way too many books in languages other than English (like artbooks etc), and unless there's something earth-shakingly magnificent in them, I'm not getting them. LOL.

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Thanks for the review, Jason! It's good to know that there's enough English for us to understand something of the content.


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