This is the official “Art Of” book for Ghibli’s animated film Kaguyahime No Monogatari (The Tale of Princess Kaguya), directed by veteran animation director and co-founder of Ghibli Studio Isao Takahata (Pom Poko, Grave Of the Fireflies, My Neighbors The Yamadas).
The story of Kaguyahime is based on a famous Japanese folktale “The Tale Of The Bamboo Cutter”, which tells the life of a mysterious girl born inside the stalk of a glowing bamboo plant.
Running at 229 pages, the art book covers character design and sketches, image boards (illustrations used to define the look and visual treatment of the film), background art plates, as well as a small “art techniques” section near the end of the book that details the creation of several scenes, from start to end. Some marketing material/posters are also included. For storyboards of the film, check out this book.
The character design and visual treatment of the film is markedly different from previous Ghibli films, with a very painterly feel and subdued color tones using watercolor as the main medium.
Veteran Ghibli background artist Kazuo Oga takes on an expanded role in this film as art director, producing both image boards used to define the look of the film, as well as the watercolor background art plates.
Although not my favourite Ghibli film, Kaguyahime is a beautiful and poignant tale exploring sombre themes like loneliness, regret and loss. At the end of the screening I attended in Shinjuku I could clearly hear sniffing from audiences seated around me.
This book covers the voluminous and superlative art that went into the creation of this film and comes highly recommended, especially for fans of Kazuo Oga’s watercolor illustrations.
“The Art Of Kaguyahime” art book details :
Dimensions – 11.6 x 8.4 x 1 inches
Soft cover, 229 pages
Full color, in Japanese
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