Range Murata Illustrations – Kikan S Magazine

Posted By yonghow on June 22nd, 2009

Warning : The following post contains Adult Content.

Something of an illustration superstar here in Japan, Range Murata ( first name pronounced “rain-ji” ) is the brilliant concept/character designer behind anime series like “Blue Submarine”, “Last Exile”, the canned “Mardock Scramble”, and more recently “Shangri-La”. Besides anime concept design work, Murata-san is also prolific in published illustration, having released several solo artbooks and commissioned artwork/covers/posters for many more magazines, graphic novels and other publishings.

Illustrations shown here are foldout posters ( A3 size ) that come with every issue of the Japanese quarterly illustration/animation magazine “Kikan S”, the subject matter decided by the theme of that particular issue, say geishas or cyborgs. ( see below ) Yoko Tanji, one of my favourite Japanese illustrators, is also a regular contributor to this magazine.

With his trademark style doe eyed, petite female characters, often exhibiting subtle sexual innuendo, Murata-san’s illustrations can sometimes run dangerously into Lolicon territory. That said, there is no debate that the artwork is always done in excellent taste, and the design and technical artistry top notch. (Perhaps I’m throwing caution to the wind; let me know if any of the images with nudity are too risque for comfort and I will have them removed. )

(above) Handsomely designed gadgets, peripherals and mecha ( having studied industrial design in university ) are also some of the highlights of Murata-san’s illustrations, sexy nubile sirens notwithstanding.

(above) Covers of Kikan S magazines. Illustrations above were taken from issue number 13-26. To check the latest issue on sale, do a “Kikan S” search on my blog.

Any Murata fans out there ? ( I should think quite a handful. :] ) Are you folks ok/bothered by the Lolicon content ?


21 Responses to “Range Murata Illustrations – Kikan S Magazine”


My sexual preferences don’t exactly fall into the Loli area but my taste for gorgeous artwork places Murata’s work high on my list of favorite artists of all time.

Incidentally I just read an old interview of him with Kim Hyung-Tae today, he seems to hold his colleagues at Atlus, Katsuya Terada and the guys at CAPCOM in high regards. Which issue is the last 2 from?


*I mean, the last 2 illustrations of his, not the stack of magazines. I’m going to try and guess who the artist was for that cover… is it Takeshi Obata of Death Note fame? I’m not quite sure though, it looks slightly different than his stuff but the way the rendering is handled reminds me of him!


I own just one of his artbooks (Re: Futurhythm), and what I like most about his illustrations are his retro, yet futuristic designs in clothing and items. His vehicle designs are also handled very well. Aside from his trademark style, he is also highly capable of illustrating in a more realistic style too, and that never fails to impress either.


Wow!! i love Murata-San art, don´t mind the parcial nudity of the images, i found them beautiful and enjoyable, besides “Lolitas” rules 😛

What i like the most when first saw Murata-san artwork was the like-noveau style, ressembled inmediately artist like Crane and Mucha… also paintings like “The Wave of Kanagawa” of Katsushika Hokusai.

It happened to me a lot that most of times im more impressed of the background art than the caracters art itself, anime like “5 centimeters per second” or “Tekkonkinkreet” are great examples… but Range Murata make me forget even that jejeje 🙂


This post is full of references i´ll have to check out later, things like the anime series Murata worked in and Kikan S Magazine.

i already check your post about Yoko Kanji and his web page, beautiful work, thank you so much! 🙂

tragic comedy

Murata’s work is truly awe inspiring…man i miss collecting Kikan S…ever since i went overseas i’ve been starved of it.


um, the artworks are amazing. Details, design, and stuff. My most favorite is #6

JD Salinger

Wow! wish I could draw like that… it looks like an oil paintings


Range Murata’s one of my most favorite illustrators. I actually found out about him through Blue Submarine 6. Loved it!

I’ve yet to pick up an art book of his 🙂


weigy – I’ll be back with the information you asked about – promise !

otto – I agree totally – his realistic style of illustrating is amazing too, a clear indication of just how skilled he is.

rulascalaca – :] Glad you like Yoko Tanji’s work too !

tragic comedy – I’ve got about 10 issues, starting from number 13, but they’re all so good I think I’ll be getting all of them in the future !

RyoBase – Haha, I was thinking of using no #6 as the title picture…but I figured it was alittle too…naughty.

JD Salinger – Me too !

Lene – The book “Form Code” would be a good place to start I think, but its quite expensive…


Ah, one of my favourite artists. Totally dig his future-retro style, skin rendering and overall aesthetics. His nude works doesn’t offend despite the subject matter. It’s not sexy, but sensual, just like a tastefully done nude photograph/sculpture.

Would love to get my hands on his artbooks.


I’ll be awaiting that little info!

He’s one of my favorite artists of all time. This is what modern art museums should idolize instead of kitsch art.


weigy – The last two drawings are from issue 25 and 26 respectively. For the front cover, the artist is Misa Mizuya. :]


ive actually had weird dreams involving vanships before. haha.


Those magazines, where can you buy them? and are there any copies in english? I saw S magazine in a book about manga, now I am really interested but I cand find any place where I can buy them. btw loved the artwork!


major fan of range murata
he is one of my favs along with takeshi obata and hiroki endo
just seeing his work in a book store when i was a kid
inspired me to buy his pse collection thats nicely placed in my room i wish to collect more of his work
and anime’s like blue sub. and last exile
i will charish his work forever

Rasmus Mozahn

Good lord Murata’s good. As for the loli materials i’d say it’s lovely. There’s a great diversity in his work anyhow.


I’m not fond of anime’s but as I saw your work..wow! I am inspired to have this collection. Your such a great artist of the new era.


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