Though not exactly a masterpiece, I quite enjoyed Shimoyama Ten’s fantasy/period ninja film Shinobi (released back in 2005) for its fantastic character and costume designs. In fact, the sleek and impressionable characters and their well designed costumes were pretty much the highlights of the film – no surprise, considering they were created by manga artist Yamada Akihiro, who gave us the classic manga Record of Lodoss War.
(above) Shinobi posters featuring the lead protaganists Oboro ( Nakama Yuki ) and Kouga Gennosuke, ( Onigiri Joe ) and their original character designs by Yamada-san below, faithfully reproduced in the film.
(above) Yakushiji Tenzen, an immortal with sacred bloodworms not unlike the swordsman Manji from Samura Hiroaki’s Blade of the Immortal.
Yamada Akihiro’s exceedingly detailed character design sketches are not only a pleasure to look at but an invaluable resource for concept artists looking for some reference material. The same goes for his studies for the set designs. ( below )
Folks who are interested in getting a copy of the book can find a used copy on Amazon Japan.
Anyone else a fan of Yamada Akihiro’s work ?1