Sunday, June 5, 2016

Jump Ryuu - Yusei Matsui

(All rights belong to their owners. Images used here for review purposes only.)

Jump Ryu vol. 6 - Yusei Matsui
Again, I had a bit of extra spending money in my pocket and I wanted to see if the volume for Matsui was any better than the one for Eiichiro Oda (#3, One Piece). And in fact, it is. While there are only the two A4 sheets (Koro-sensei as a chef, and the blue one-page for practicing inking), and only 3 chapters on the DVD, what really stands out is that the manga artist Yusei Matsui appears a lot in front of the camera in the first two DVD chapters, and has a picture in the magazine. This makes it much easier to equate the person to the artwork.

(Inner sleeve art with samples of the two A4 pages - Chef Koro-sensei, and the blue sheet.)

I should probably describe the magazine layout a little better. Page 1 is the cover, page 2 explains the purpose of Jump Ryuu as a tool for aspiring artists, plus it has a short profile on the artist, and a bibliographic timeline. Page 3 is the table of contents for both the magazine and the DVD. Page 4 starts the "Road to Jump" section, which covers the artist's path up through his debut in Jump magazine, but also includes a few answers to editor questions and the schedule the artist follows for creating his manga during the week (i.e. - M-W drawing the pencils; W-Th - coloring, etc.; Sat-Sun - adding dialog). "Road" continues to page 6, and includes the "artist's message to his fans." In this volume, we get artwork for Assassination Classroom, Neuro: Supernatural Detective and a couple one-shots (Living Dead and Tokyo Depart Wars).

(Magazine cover.)

Page 7 details the artist's studio (this time focusing just on Matsui's desk, and not the assistants' area, with photos of replica weapons, sign cards from other artists, and Koro-sensei products). Pages 8-11 are "Jump Ken" (ken = "study"), which looks at some of the artist's sample manga pages to discuss storytelling techniques. "Jump Moshajyuku" (Art Cram School) covers pages 12-13 and shows how to ink the A4 blue page that comes with the magazine. Pages 14-16 are the "Manga no Iroha", which discusses, or summarizes, other Jump manga (Dragon Ball, Hunter x Hunter, One Piece). Page 17 closes with the editor's comments on Assassination Classroom, page 18 announces an upcoming new artist contest, page 19 advertises the next volume (Boku no Hero Academy), and page 20 is the back cover. The highlights for volume 6 are Matsui's photo, the pictures of the stuff in his office, and the Assassination Classroom artworks.

("Road to Jump" and the photo of Matsui.)

(Matsui's desk and studio.)

(Learn from the art.)

The DVDs follow the same pattern as well. The first chapter shows Matsui drawing Chef Koro-sensei, but in this volume he actually faces the camera and explains his decision-making processes. He starts with the pencil, which he erases a lot as he proceeds. During the inking stage he makes very heavy use of a drawing curve tool, and he'll use white-out to roughen the outlines as desired. Finally, like Oda, Matsui uses soft-tip markers to get a water color feel to the finished work. In chapter 2, Matsui takes the viewers on a walking tour of his studio, and answers the interviewer's questions, which was very informative. Chapter 3 is the next installment of the Jump manga course. This time, it's how to clean up your finished manga page (erase pencil marks, white-out extra ink lines, remove scraps of screen tone, and check where the screen tones have peeled loose and gotten folded back on the page). They also talk about two different approaches to putting in dialog (one is to make the word balloon and then pencil in the words for determining placement and font size; the other is to not have a balloon and just place narration directly over the art. In the second case, tape tracing paper over the page, and write on that.)

(Finished inked blue sheet.)

Overall, volume 6 may be the most satisfying DVD magazine of the series so far. I like the A4 pages, the stuff in the magazines, and being able to see Matsui in the interviews on the DVD. I've read Neuro, which I considered kind of disturbing because of the S&M elements, but the detective portions of the story were pretty imaginative. I may have to check Book Off now for 100 yen copies of Assassination Classroom, too...

The next volumes I have any interest in are #13 (Rookies), #17 for Masakazu Katsura (Video Girl Ai), followed by #18 for Osamu Akimoto (Kochira Kameari). After that, we'll see.

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