Saturday, December 17, 2016

Jump Ryuu - 23, Hideaki Sorachi

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

Jump Ryu vol. 23 - Hideaki Sorachi (Gin Tama)
As mentioned in the last review of Jump Ryu, the magazines all follow the same pattern, and there's really very little point in listing what's on each page every time. If you're not familiar with Sorachi, he was born in 1979, he debuted in 2003 with Gin Tama, but his first work was Dandelion, which was included in the first collected volume of Gin Tama. He's put out a few one-shots, such as Bankara (2010), 13 (2008), and Shirokuro (which appeared in volume 2 of Gin Tama). But, obviously, Gin Tama is his main work. I like a couple of the characters in GT, and the overall premise (in an alternate Edo era, aliens have taken over Earth, and one guy that does odd jobs, Gintoki Sakata, fights them off in comical ways) is interesting. But, the character poses look too stiff and mechanical to me, so I don't really care for that aspect.

(Box artwork, showing the art and blue sheets.)

The magazine has Sorachi's timeline, examples of his work, a reprint of a letter to his fans, and mentions of other manga that run in Weekly Shonen Jump's sister publication, Young Jump. And of course, there's instructions on how to ink the blue sheet. I'm disappointed again that there's no alternative wrapper for the DVD.

(DVD front cover.)

The DVD, especially, is a let-down. There are only 2 chapters this time - close-ups of Sorachi drawing the Gin artsheet, and the Manga Studio Technique section. Sorachi never talks while he's doing the drawing, and the cameraman, or narrator, doesn't ask him any questions. So, we never hear what his voice sounds like. And the camera focuses only on his hands, and on the art. Regarding the art process, Sorachi immediately drew the rough pencil sketch for the finished pose, then copied it onto another sheet. He roughed in the pose in pencil, and copied that sheet as well. He used a lightbox to ink in the finished outlines on a third sheet, and the last step was to use soft-tip markers to add the watercolors. Very clean, very polished, very practiced.

(Intro page, plus the timeline.)

As implied above, the DVD doesn't have a tour of Sorachi's studio, which makes the magazine feel like kind of a cheat (it's priced the same as all the other magazines that have 3 chapters, and even occasionally have the extra DVD case wrapper). And, one of the reasons I got this volume was to see what Sorachi looked like. Given that I consider his artstyle to be very stiff and wooden, I wouldn't have gotten the magazine just for the art.

(Drawing the characters to be what they're like.)

Lastly, we have the manga technique chapter from the DVD. This one is the first part of how to draw houses. There's a lot of instruction on eye level, and putting tic marks along the edges of the sheet so you know where to place the ruler for making the perspective lines as they pertain to the building walls, window frames and other features. There's no explanation of perspective, just dictation on how to achieve it.

(Example of the fully-inked artsheet.)

Summary: If you like Gin Tama, then you'll probably like the artwork in this magazine, and the chapter with Sorachi drawing Gin. And, if you're studying how to draw manga, you'll like the bluesheet (for inking practice) and both chapters on the DVD. Otherwise, there's not much to appeal to the rest of us. Recommended only if you're a Gin fan, or manga student. (1,295 yen w/o tax ($12 USD).)

Next up, Kazue Kato, creator of Ao no Ekusoshisuto (Blue Exorcist). The artwork on this manga is very good, but I really got bored with the story line after a couple volumes. Unless the DVD shows his face in the interview section, I'm not going to bother getting this issue. After that is the last one in the series - Hirohiko Araki, and Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. That one I will get, but it doesn't come out until January.

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