Narita Toru (1929-2002) was a renowned concept artist/painter/sculptor who was instrumental in creating many of the iconic Kaiju designs appearing in Toho’s Tokusatsu series Ultra 7 and Ultraman. This rich volume is a superlative collection of his illustrations, concept drawings and sculptures, totaling some 515 pieces of art work.
I first introduced this art book in one of my Japanese art books digest posts.
(above) Studies for the alien Baltan, one of Ultraman’s most recognizable foes. Narita-san often based his monster designs on real world creatures, and in this case the inspiration seemed to have come from crustaceans.
I have fond memories of watching Ultraman as a little kid, but I’ve never considered myself a very big fan of the genre. Flipping through the pages of this book however, I have renewed respect for the unique design sensibilities of Narita-san, and his concepts have a charming, quaint 80s period look to them.
(above) One of the many beautiful marker illustrations in the book; Narita-san is as astonishing an illustrator as he is a designer.
The book has a big focus on Ultraman illustrations, but towards the end of the book we are presented with Narita-san’s more personal works.
A gorgeous volume with tons of amazing art work. Even if you’re not a fan of Ultraman, there’s still a lot of value in the book as the illustrations are great for reference and study of creature design aesthetics.
I only wish the book could have been released as a hard cover, which would have made browsing easier considering the thickness of the book. That said, this still comes highly recommended.
“Narita Toru Illustration Works” details :
– Dimensions – 25.6 x 18.4 x 3.4 cm
– Softcover, 400 pages
– Full color, in Japanese language.
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