Artbooks, more artbooks and Horo

After my little foray into artbooks with the Spice & Wolf artbook, my wallet’s been itching for a few more. Along comes an excuse named Horo and my wallet falls to pieces.


100 Masters of Bishojo Painting (絵師100人)

The last books I bought with Range Murata on the cover weren’t exactly what I was expecting. They contained all kinds of artwork nearly all of it not Range Muratas and that was unexpected. This time however I was much more informed having seen this entire artbook already elsewhere I knew what I was getting into and it wasn’t Range Murata. Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some Range Murata art, but there are 99 other artists contained within this book all of whom are worthy of praise though not all of them are on my list of favourites. In fact there are many I’ve never heard of or who’s artwork I’ve never seen before which made the experience quite nice.

One key item that added to my experience with this book was something that shocked me immediately as I opened to the first page. The book was in English. Rather, it was in Japanese and English meaning I could actually read what was said, this was totally unexpected though it shouldn’t have been. As mentioned above, I’d already seen the entire artbook, but out of habit for all things Japanese, dismissed the “moonspeak” assuming I couldn’t read it and kept my eyes on the artwork. I kind of like that I’d done this because it was one hell of a surprise when the book arrived.

The book itself is quite high quality with rather thick strong pages and vibrant colours. I’m not sure what kind of life time I can expect out of the book but at $25 CAD I feel it was a bargain of a price, especially considering I’ve seen the same book sell as high as $42 USD.

Here are some sample pages from the book featuring the works of Jyuu Ayakura, Imperial Boy, toi8 and Kumichi Yoshizuki. Complete list of artists.

Footprints (あしあと) by Kantoku (カントク)

Footprints by Kantoku is much more Japanese compared to 100 Masters of Bishojo Painting, the book opens from back to front by western standards and contains no English. It’s much more the sort of book I was expecting to get. The book isn’t as high quality as 100 Masters, the edges of the pages feel much more roughly cut as well as a bit thinner but far from low quality either. The book contains only artwork by artist Kantoku however there is a single picture that was a collaboration between Kantoku and Tenmu Shinryuusai (天夢森流彩).

I’m not sure when Kantoku’s name entered my brain, but it’s never been forgotten and I’ve always kept an eye out for it. His artstyle has a good mix of cute and sexy and often has some of the most detailed plaid print on a skirt you’ll ever see in a drawing, I’m not kidding. The artbook seemed like a good starting point as it was easily accessible and didn’t contain too much ero or ecchi content making it more or less safe. The book has 144 pages filled with Kantoku’s illustrations but doesn’t contain all the pictures I wish it would. All of the pictures are wonderful of course, but some of my favourites from other books just aren’t included, so I’ll have to keep my eyes open for those. Memorial of the 5th Year (5年 Memorial), Check x Check (チェックXチェック), Let’s Check Pattern (チェックしよっ), Shadow (影) and First Collection Book are what I’ll have to keep my eye out for, and if I’m feeling a bit ero perhaps Check Ero (チェックエロ), Check Ero 2 (チェックエロ2) or perhaps some of the work he’s done in the Tachiyomi Senyou (立ち読み専用) series.

Footprints in the Summer (ななつのあしあと) by Naru Nanao (七尾 奈留)

Like 100 Masters this book surprised me when I opened it up, but not for the same reasons. Unbeknownst to me when I ordered this $30 CAD item that it’s cover would be hard and it’s quality superior. The book has weight, the pages are thick and sturdy and of course the colours are vibrant. I might argue the print isn’t as high a dpi as perhaps the other 2 books, but I really didn’t look as them as closely as I did this book. The book is also larger than the rest at 30 cm (12″) tall and 22 (8.6″) wide making for an even more immersive experience. Being a hardcover book I almost feel bad just opening it, hearing the cracking of the binding and feeling the vacuum of the pages as I flip through, but what good would it be if I didn’t take a look inside?

Like Kantoku, Naru Nanao has been a favourite of mine for a number of years, though Naru quite some time longer. Her style is quite distinct and differs from Kantoku. Where Kantoku has a cute and sexy style, Naru’s style is elegant and beautiful, both however can draw a great ero picture. Naru’s drawn many characters and crossed over with artists such as Noizi Ito, but one character I’ve wished she would draw is of course Horo (ホロ), Kantoku’s done it so only Naru to complain about in this post. It would be interesting to get her first artbook Seven-coloured Ice Cream (なないろあいす) to compare as they were released 5 years apart.

Pixiv Girls Collection 2010 (~ピクシブガールズコレクション2010)

Pixiv Girls Collection 2010 is pretty much on par with 100 Masters, minus the “masters” and English. The quality of the book is quite good and feels rather sturdy for being a paperback. The size of the book measures in around the same dimensions as Naru’s book but doesn’t feel quite as substantial, likely due to the paper cover. The art styles vary wildly much like 100 Masters due to the wide variety of artists, unlike 100 Masters though the artists do not get 2 pages each, some artists get a whole page, others a half. I’m not sure why this may be, but perhaps it’s due to the size of the original piece of artwork as some might be too small for a full page. Because of this it’s hard to figure out just how many artists are contained within, but it’s a lot and that’s enough.

Since I can’t read or type Japanese characters very easily (or at all) I find it very handy that Pixiv has included the user id number next to every picture so that I can look up more of their artwork. It’s very nice as each artists only gets one picture in the book but they could have a boat load on the site that just couldn’t be featured. I should also partially retract my statement above about the book lacking English, because in the preface it does have English, along with Korean, Chinese and of course Japanese. But it’s really only there that there’s any meaningful English that I’ve noticed but that’s ok, because the art speaks for itself.

I wonder, do any of the artists get any proceeds from the book sales? Or are they just happy to be in print?

Dengeki Maoh May 2010 (電撃マ王 2010年 05月号)

This item on the list differs from the rest, it’s not an artbook as such, nor is it really a book at least no more so than a magazine is a book. This particular item has 562 pages of manga within, none of which I can read but you might start to guess why I bought it looking at the cover, it does indicate some of what might be found within. However that cover alone would not be the reason I purchased this magazine, look at the purple-ish picture of Horo on the right side that indicates that there was an additional item included with this issue, and that’s the main reason I bought this $6.50 magazine, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

Dengeki Maoh has some interesting manga serialized within in addition to the manga version of Spice & Wolf as illustrated by Keito Koume. Glancing through the pages a few things caught my eye, such as Amagami – Love Goes On! (アマガミ Love goes on!), Persona4 and Battlefield Valkyria 2: Gallian Royal Military Academy (戦場のヴァルキュリア2 ガリア王立士官学校) aka Valkyria Chronicles 2. If only I could read these, I could stay a head of the ever so slow scanlators, but I can’t and don’t even know if I got much of the Japanese correct on this page, I can only hope I have.

I apologize for the poor scans below, thin paper and no patience I didn’t do them properly but you get the idea anyway. For more info you can try to parse through the moonspeak at Dengeki Maoh’s website.

Spice & Wolf Mini Artbook (狼と香辛料 画集) by Keito Koume (小梅けいと)

Now here’s the real reason for this entire order. This mini-artbook came with the Dengeki Maoh magazine above and is the item mentioned on the cover obviously. But I couldn’t justify shipping a $6 item from Japan for anything more than the cost of the book itself and that just wasn’t possible, so I started adding things to my cart and this is all what I ended up with, it was a great excuse to dive further into otaku-dom.

This little artbook has just 15 illustrations all by Keito Koume. Funnily enough I’ve seen this book on eBay for $20 USD plus shipping, a laughable sum because the book it comes with cost $6.50 and adding in shipping I doubt would put you over the $20 they’re asking. Many of the illustrations contained within I’ve seen elsewhere in various formats but rarely with any sort of quality which was always terribly annoying, so it’s quite dandy having them in my hand for once with proper quality. Though Keito’s artwork is a bit inconsistent I think, she looks different on each page, worst of the bunch is the page where she’s naked which is probably just due to her odd expression. Overall though this little book alone was worth the $6.50 for the magazine that I can’t read so I feel cool with it.

So that’s my latest foray into the netherworld of the otaku. I’m rapidly filling that cabinet I got not so long ago with anime, anime artbooks and anime figures. Once that’s filled I don’t know what I’m going to do, I think I’ll have to move into a bigger house or kick a roommate out. Or perhaps the ‘better’ solution is to save my money and stop buying useless crap right? right?! Yeah I couldn’t convince myself of it either.

Before I go though I’d like to share a new term I learned at work this week, that term being “carpenters dream”. When this was said to me I had a blank stare, I had no idea what the person was trying to say and was forced to inquire. His response was simple, “flat as a board” and it all made sense. It felt rather applicable to the anime community despite it’s likely origins and I may try to mix it up from time to time between Deliciously Flat Chest and Carpenters Dream. Perhaps for flat chested characters I don’t like, well they’ll be Carpenters Dreams, and for flat chested or nearly flat chested characters I do like, they of course will remain delicious.



  1. Smithy says:

    Have Kantoku’s “あしあと” book as well, it’s a really terrific book collecting his best art. “5年Memorial” is a nice addition to it even though they do share some illustrations (but not that much).

    That Horo artbook while small does seem worth it, adore Horo. ^^

    • Aka says:

      I was definitely nicer having it in person than seeing the scans on moe.imouto. While they’re great scans, it’s just like anything, it’s better to have the original in your hand.

      I’d love to pick up more of Kantoku’s book for sure.

      Horo’s always worth it!

  2. Leonia says:

    Thanks a lot for these presentation. I had Kantoku and 100 masters artbooks, and I love them so much. I hesitated to buy Pixiv but finally.. I don’t know xD I want many others artbooks, but I can find them only on Yahoo Auction, and with Crescent service, prices are not the same..

    • Aka says:

      You can check out Pixiv a head of time if you travel on over to moe.imouto and check out their pools section.

      I’m not sure how expensive it is to ship things to France, I certainly learned the hard way that shipping from Japan to Canada using is rather expensive as they only allow for International Express shipping. Ended up costing me a small fortune just in shipping charges for all these.

      Despite that it worked out cheaper than using J-List, and probably similar to using a 3rd party. I’ll just have to stay in moderation I guess.

  3. bluedrakon says:

    I just ordered 100 Masters of Bishojo Painting on Amazon. I wish I could get the Pixiv Girls Collection 2010 from them, but I need to go to J-List or someone else for that.

    I love collecting these art books myself and am waiting for Apple 4 to come out soon.

    Nice review 🙂

    • Aka says:

      I went to and ordered all the books. They’ll ship internationally (for a price!), and they have all the books I ordered. Despite the expensive shipping, I believe it still worked out in my favour over using J-List.

      Apple 4? I’m not entirely familiar with the art book scene, just taking the dive now.

  4. Rajura says:

    Still waiting on my copy of the artbook; the images do seem quite beautiful, and I’m looking forward to it! I just can’t get past how cute she is on the cover with that “come hither” expression on her face!

    I did the same thing, buy about a hundred dollars worth of stuff and ship it all together at a flat rate.

    Next time your money starts to burn a hole in your pocket let me know… I’ll be keeping an eye out for some good stuff, though I’m sure you are much more savy at searching for deals than I am!

    Save money? Not spend it on Horo? Where’d you get a dumb idea like that! (kidding not calling you dumb)

    Overall, nice haul! Keep putting up those Horo scans… I love sharing them with friends and your scan technology and website are a great resource!

    Thanks for keeping us up to date!

    • Aka says:

      “I just can’t get past how cute she is on the cover”
      *cough* I think you mean to say “I just can’t get past how cute she is.” full stop 😛 But yes she is cute on the cover, and inside.

      Where did you order yours through? I didn’t really search for a deal, I just ordered off Very expensive shipping but cheap pricing on the books, I feel it worked out about similar to any other service in conjunction with Yahoo! Auctions etc… Just seemed simpler. Maybe I’ll work out what it would have cost me had I chosen another method, but w/e.

      Well, I do have enough Horo for any person already, and while more is always good, do I need it? No. Will I keep buying? hell yes I will. But that’s where the idea came from.

      I’ll work on the Horo scans after Thursday, I haven’t had a lot of time between trying to write these posts, and keep up with things. But after thursday I’ve got about a week of free time available to me.

      Thanks for your enthusiasm!

      • Rajura says:

        Yes, I stand corrected… I was just very pleased with the cover art and focused on it. But, I should have said “I just can’t get past how cute she is! The cover is exceptionally nice with her giving the “come hither” look!”

        I bought mine through It cost me a bit more ($7 US) because someone else put in a bid, but I bought several other items and got a great deal over all! I’m still looking for that green Horo ceramic (I think that’s what it is) cup or it could be an otyaka(sake cup)… maybe that is what it is… (my romaji may be bad there). I just wanna complete my drinking vessel collection.

        I may have to check but yahoo has had a good variety of stuff over the last month! I got a really great deal on shipping with the proxy I used that you had mentioned (easyjpauctions). I have been very happy with their pricing and service!

        It seems like now we’re helping each other burn cash!

      • Kevin says:

        Lol just from reading this post I quickly went and ordered the Dengeki magazine just for the artbook as well. I was wondering , when you said “very expensive shipping” exactly how expensive are you talking about?

        • Aka says:

          For all the books in this post, it worked out to something like $55 CAD total shipping, that includes an inforseen expense, that being $16 tax/duty at the door. Something that never happens via SAL, but always happens via FedEx/UPS. This shipped FedEx.

          Keep in mind though, all the books I shipped have a good amount of weight to them, the Dengeki Maoh magazine has very little weight, and this will affect the shipping cost significantly I imagine.

  5. Ashlotte says:

    To hell with you Aka…Gonna make me want to get one of these myself…And then from there its 3…then 5…then 10…Ahhhh!!!

    • Aka says:

      *waives hand infront of Ashlotte*
      You WILL buy and artbook.

      I bought one, and from there it was 4 more. They’re really quite nice, you should check ’em out. I was surprised by the overall quality of all of them, I was expecting lower quality really. Maybe I’m just used to North America and the crap they sell here.

  6. Blowfish says:

    Oh thats 100 Masters of Bishoujo Artbook looks actually quite interesting.
    Its actually a pretty cool feature that its bi-lingual since I cant read japanese either and can only justify myself for the pretty pictures.

    Its crazy how expensive Dengeki Extras are resold,righ?
    You should see the Freebie Dakimakuras!
    Theyre sold for a fortune while the magazine itself was dirt cheap

    • Aka says:

      I know! I keep seeing these extras for obscene amounts of money given their initial cost. It’s really unfair but if the market will bare it then I can’t argue it much.

      I bought them for the pretty pictures, that’s what they’re really intended for. It was just a pleasant surprise to have English.

  7. lovelyduckie says:

    I don’t own many but…sigh…I love art books, the sight of such gorgeous illustrations really makes me happy. I wish I could flip through all the books you got.

  8. […] much like a pocket novel. Having purchased one of the magazines Spice & Wolf is serialized in, Dengeki Maoh (電撃「マ)王), I can tell you that in it’s original format it was indeed much closer to the American comic […]

  9. Quazacolt says:

    i came across the scans from a torrent and now i guess i know where they are from thanks to you. didnt pay much attention to dengeki as the horo hype died down since s2 ending. back then i frequent their staff blog and about 6-7 merchandise sites searching for horo items non stop lol. the hardest and most favored of my loot is definitely the lawrence + horo hand puppet. you absolutely NEED someone in japan to get it, and that costed me quite a ton ROFL

    FYI: they are handed out PERSONALLY by koshimizu ami herself during the dengeki event. the website purchase is ONLY the ticket to the event.

    anyways yeah, took a loan just to get this book rofl. going to the local kino bookstore get it in a short while XD
    if that fails, either special order from them or amazon time wwwwww

    • Aka says:

      Horo hype has never died down for me 😛

      I never liked the puppets though, they don’t look like Horo or Lawrence. Seems odd to me you’d like those but not the Global figures. I’d say both are fairly low in overall quality of reproducing the original characters.

      I still keep an eye out for things, but I don’t necessarily buy, there’s a number of things I’d like to buy if I can find a reasonable deal.

      I’d like to get as much of the merch as I can, but within reason. The mini artbook I think was the cheapest Horo merch I’ve bought, so I’m quite satisfied.

      • Quazacolt says:

        i bet you havent been watching the horo hand puppet show? ROFL

        as for the plushies, id like a huggable plushies and apparently they are all designed ‘that way’ XD

        stroking her tail while hugging her = much <3

        • Aka says:

          I haven’t. I wouldn’t mind a plushie that was more properly proportioned, I’m not a fan of the chibi look.

          • Quazacolt says:

            try to find on niconico proxies, i had em downloaded to my hdd and lost the link lol.

            if im free during work ill try to look it up for you ^^;

            seeing the couple goin at it is just awsm XD

  10. radiant says:

    I just picked up the 100 Masters of Bishojo today online. I can’t wait for it to arrive! I had originally seen it on, as an english release, but it was out of stock before I could place my order. 🙁

    • Aka says:

      What was it’s price on originally? Would be interesting to compare.

      It’s a great book if art books are your thing.

  11. Riven says:

    I realize this is an older post but I just have to comment because I too have purchased every book in that photo! XD You have great taste in artbooks! I also had to purchase that issue of Dengeki Maoh just for the little Spice and Wolf artbook; it’s small but it’s really good. 🙂