Thursday, September 2, 2010

infinite RYVIUS COMPLETE ARTWORKS 無限のリヴァイアス コンプリートアートワークス (ENTERTAINMENT ARCHIVE SERIES 9) (大型本) Review


Well, just another impulse buy from me lately… As my Infinite Ryvius Sound Renewal DVD modifying project coming to a close, I’m into this series so much now. This book titled infinite RYVIUS COMPLETE ARTWORKS 無限のリヴァイアス コンプリートアートワークス (ENTERTAINMENT ARCHIVE SERIES 9) (大型本) contains some good information which I cannot find online. I’m overall satisfied with this purchase for its contents, but as far as the size and paper quality goes, I think it’s just another overpriced piece from Japan. The book is B5 size with a total of144 pages, which is a little smaller than a standard A4 print paper and about 2/3” thick (25.8 x 18.2 x 1.6 cm from Amazon JP). Most of the pictures in it is printed with decent size, but some early design/conceptual art could be very small, especially the text can be hard to read. There’s a large section of text which I think the text is just a bit too small. The print quality is good enough, but the paper quality could be better. The paper is a little coarse, I think at least for the color pictures, they could’ve used at least some premium paper… The overall layout of the book is very clear, with references at the

_Infinite Ryvius Complete Works cover preview0

So the above is a cover from the book. It is the 9th book from Shikigensha’s Entertainment Archive series. All of them are mecha/giant robot anime, but honestly, none of the titles listed there are well received or worth getting the name of “famous work”.

Get the huge Neya from the above cover scan (I think I applied too much descreening this time which blurs the image quite a bit. I did take my time scanning at 600dpi though. Plus there is a version without the spine running across Neya in the last page of the book, with all black background instead of white here, but without completely disassembling the book, it’s not possible to scan it. And I’m of course NOT interested in disassembling the book and digitizing this archive. Maybe some enthusiast fan in Japan could have the fund to buy two copies and do the scans. But the hope is really low since this series is just not so well known…)


So the book has the following contents:

Opening Visual

Ending Visual

Ending Title Back Visual

Prototype Ryvius

Art Works

Staff List

Special Interview

DVD Jacket Gallery

Illustration Gallery

Staff&Cast Comment

infinite ryvius complete works2

The book starts with a collage of opening visuals, then the ending visuals. Ending Title Back Visual is a collection of the last picture shown in the series – those stylish color pencil drawings with Ryvius spelled as different forms. Such an example could be as following, picture grabbed from the DVD though, far worse than the actual print quality from the book.

All the pictures printed on the book looks quite decent despite their small size, which got me high hope for an eventual Blu-ray release could have this kind of quality…

Then the book goes on to original design (Prototype Ryvius). There are a couple good character designs in this section, others just ok, main character Kouji and Aoi look quite similar to their final version (Aoi’s name was ホウセン·冬美); while characters such as Juli, Reiko, Charlie has dramatic changes; Characters such as Ikumi doesn’t even exist and has to borrow from several characters. Neya (who I personally think is the most successful and unique design in this series) got some change as well, but not as dramatic as the above. I think I’m pretty satisfied with the final version after all. The early mechanical design also shows some traditional mecha which are quite different from what we see of the humaniod-ish mecha with muscles? in the final version. The preliminary title is called “riverius リべリウス1000” as there are originally 1000 people aboard “riveraiasu リベラィアス”.

infinite ryvius complete works3

The ART WORKS section is all about character and mechanical designs. The main characters usually receives two pages, support characters cover one page, and some side characters on the same page. Since there are 487 students in this show, the character section is pretty large. There’s birth date, age, three size for females, height, birth place, etc for each character, and a few comments. Mechanical design shows the Vital Gurader, Black Ryvius, and such in scale.

Staff List covers all the staff who has worked on this series on per episode basis in a table across two pages. It’s pretty neat. I wish there could be a episode synopsis like this…

Special Interview has three important staff in it – Aiba Kouji’s Seiyuu Tetsu Shiratori, series writer Yusuke Kuroda, and director Goro Taniguchi. All the interviews are done specifically for this book, which is ten years after the original work, and what they think about it then, and compared to the influences it had to shape their work now. The latter two interviews are quite long, but the text is quite small…

DVD Jacket Gallery shows all the covers used in the first release, one image for the 2006 sound renewal edition, and one image for the latest 2010 re-priced edition (no original 2.0 mix).

infinite ryvius complete works4

Illustration Gallery shows some pictures used in various magazines, which I’ve seen 90% of them just by watching the DVDs. Others are the pictures I’ve never seen.

Staff&Cast Comment (Bonus Section) shows a lot of the staff who have worked on it writing their congratulations to this show’s 10th anniversary.

The only thing they didn’t cover is the music. I think the music is a very important part of the series, especially the use of R&B rhythm is so unique, which I don’t hear quite often in any other anime. Also this show was done in 1999, which is the year J-pop R&B singers such as Hikaru Utada, Mai Kuraki are rising all of a sudden. Again I really appreciate all the opening, ending, insert songs along with the BGM.


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