This book contains more than 150 color illustrations including the most popular character nowadays “Hatsune-miku”, “Kagamine Rin, Len”, other works for commercial magazines and light novels. In addition, 26 new works are also included! This book is packed with KEI’s watercolor-like CG painting and illustrations of the coloring expression with the depth. You will be fully satisfied with lovely and fantastic KEI world.
Title: KEI’s Gallery (Japanese: KEI画廊)
Format: Soft cover artbook
Vintage: 23 July 2008
Cost: 2380 yen (ex tax)
The inside cover (after stripping the jacket), and the blurb page as quoted above.
The book is not actually structured with any hard division. It’s basically a collection of pictures which transition from one theme to the next. Of course there are little captions for each of the images just describing the source. The most obvious first part is Vocaloid. As you can see, KEI has a variety of styles. There is that character art style where the colours are more solid, and then there are the painterly styles, where details can either be vague, or jam-packed into the image.
Note that many of these pictures are just parts of page spreads which cover both pages with colour and lines.
The next thematic section I could detect was for this glasses girl, whose name I do not know. In the last picture we also see the third style of KEI, which involves high contrast colours in an almost cut-out look, usually red, black and white.
And then we move on to more generic and assorted stuff. To be totally honest, I feel the artbook really gets into its element when we are out of the character-bound sections. These illustrations are of course sourced from a number of different commissions, and they are each uniquely attractive. Note the last picture is that of “Yoake Mae yori Ruriiro na”, which is a great example of how KEI’s style can give a very different (and much darker and sophisticated) look to a subject.
Many of KEI’s stuff I wouldn’t really classify as “moe” as such. Of course there are a number of cute girls but if you are new to his art, it does take some getting used to. Much of it has a very dark atmosphere, with harsh lighting effects and girls looking like wraiths. But it does eventually suck you in.
The works just get darker and darker. The overtly gothic nature of the second picture above in particular jolts me to remember CHOCO’s Gothic Lolita trilogy. Also note the realist styling in the first picture.
The descent into darkness is followed by a return to the light, with some cute style illustrations.
There are no obvious Touhou illustrations in the artbook, but I think KEI’s style will lend itself well to Touhou illustrations.
ote that although not present in this review, there is vague nudity in the book, although it falls within “tasteful” nudity.
I think the first picture is about as close to chibi as KEI can get (not counting Vocaloid chibis).