Brutal Love – Samura Hiroaki Art Book Review

Posted By yonghow on August 15th, 2009

Warning : The following post contains Adult Content.

Fans of Samura Hiroaki’s quasi-samurai manga Blade of the Immortal are no doubt familiar with his superb artwork, including this particular artbook featuring an amazing collection of illustrations from the manga. Fewer folks however, might have seen the work from his lesser known artbook, aptly named “Brutal Love”. The art book contains an all graphite collection of some truly disturbing illustrations by Samura, with heavy bondage themes, many too macabre for my tastes.

The quality of his illustrations however, are astounding as expected, most of them rendered in a much more realistic style than Blade of the Immortal, with noticeably more detail, further adding to the grisly impact. One can only imagine what really goes on in the mind of the artist behind such disturbing work.

The illustrations in the book comes with copious amount of full frontal nudity, but none of which I have reproduced here to keep the contents PG – barely. ( let me know if any of the images are still too offensive and I will have them removed. )

(below) The somewhat innocent looking cover belies the grim contents of the book.

Samura Hiroaki – manga genius, or twisted mind ? You decide.

You can get a copy of the book here.


19 Responses to “Brutal Love – Samura Hiroaki Art Book Review”

john smalls

Samura Hiroaki is one of the best pencillers and artist around. No matter how demented or twisted the subject the artwork is always amazing.


His art is really awesome, and this side of Samura’s art is impressive too (In fact, I ask myself how could he do things so disturbed – If I can say that). Which draws the most attention is how it draw expressions, it’s incredible.


Brutally cool penciling from Samura Hiroaki, in spite of subject matter 🙂


Is the 2nd to last one a foot w/ shoes in someone’s vagina and a stick thing in someone’s anus?

Looks disgusting.


A friend asked me back then if I really wanted the book, he said the contents are disturbing. I told him, go ahead get it, I’ll take it; it’s Samura, there’s nothing that he’d draw that I wouldn’t buy.

When I received the book, I honestly was shocked. They really rejuvenated the meaning of the word “brutal” in today’s somewhat jaded use of that word. I still can’t quite place just how he could have put so much loving attention to such scenes. The craftsmanship is impeccable… The pencil work in this book is just astounding and the content, very, very shocking.

He’s a brilliant storyteller though, it still shows in this book. He’s still 1 of my utmost favorite artists.


To assume an artist is disturbed or twisted just because one finds the subject matter of their art as such is not very realistic. It’s called imagination; storytelling, even those expressed in a grisly or grim manner, can come from normal, average mind, but one that is willing to travel to places in the mind other might not.
If one to were to equate disturbing art with disturbed minds, then we would have to call in to suspect writers and makers of horror films and novels; murder mystery novelists; special effects makeup artists or painters like Francis Bacon.
Let’s appreciate Samura-san as an artist first and leave guesswork as to his personality out.


I googled him and found a some samples of his work from this book. I know the japanese like their shibari bondage and domination themes, but this guy must just really hate women!

Really nicely rendered, but not my cup of tea, and not really something to show grandma!


Amazing pencil work as expected from Samura Hiroaki


I just finished reading the latest chapter to Blade of The Immortal and I must say… Samura is just an astounding observer of humans. He’s 1 of the most excellent artists our generation have got.

And as for the comment as to whether or not Samura really hates women, I think he loves women. His portrayal of women characters, the horror they receive and how they react to it simply are proof just how much he thinks of the strength of women. He doesn’t make light of the suffering and it shows in just how genuinely disturbing the portrayal is. This book though, I’ll admit I can’t treat it like an erotica. I shelf it along with my other horror books.

Also, I think he was commissioned for these by a ‘guro’ magazine for these if I’m not mistaken. I’m curious if there’s some sort of editorial push/pull for some of these depictions.

All in all, I came back just to say, this man here, Hiroaki Samura is one of the finest writer + artist multi-tasker out there.


I guess the general consensus here is that all of us agree to Samura’s amazing artistry, though not all of us can stomach his subject matter sometimes ! Speaking of which, I can’t wait for the next issue of Immortal !


x____X disturbing really!!
but indeed beautifully drawn, u can appreciate much more the artistic side of things than the context in art like this, but still it freaking twisted.

Another one who i founded even more disturbing it´s H.R. Giger sexual art collection.

greetings! 🙂


Anyway, I identify myself with him and his art style, he’s the master that I want to be like one day – I am a disturbed art studant (or stayed because of him) =D

…Still waiting for new BotI chapter… anyone saw the oneshot last month? What you think of that?


Impresionante la técnica del Sr.Samura Hiroaki’s que ya nos había
dejado alucinados en un tomo de 10 pulgadas. Lo dicho que mantengamos la vista muchos años para poder ver obras maestras como estas.


most of the pros that have an eye catching interesting and unique style, i’d say aren’t too different from others.

they just show their difference more openly and bluntly if you compare them to regular people.

regular people are probably just as “twisted” as this guy. artists can just show their “twisted” nature far more vividly, which could cause the misinterpretation that they are more “twisted” than the average individual.


As a big fan of Hiroaki Samura’s art I bought this one without a second thought. Was surprised and shocked flipping through the pages. I was like what the f**k did I buy?! As a girl some of those images really sends shivers down my spine! And they’re all so detailed(hidden bodies in Hiroaki-sans closet?!)BUT I don’t regret buying the art book. How disturbing it may be it’s still very nice drawings, but nothing I would show my friends. This art book is “a kick in the crotch with something sharp” kinda pain!


I’ve always liked his work but never really bought any of his artbooks. Not too sure I’d buy this one, more because of the laws here in NZ, but if its anything like ‘Bitch’s Life’ or Katsuya Terada’s ‘Rakugaking’ then I think it’s safe to say this won’t bother me too much, even if the subject matter is women in not so appealling situations (which is odd, cause I am vehemently child/woman violence.)

Andy P

Stunning looking book!VERY dark stuff,but I’m uncomfortably drawn to it anyways.Tried to order a copy through your link as I want to incorporate some of the art into a non-traditional japanese tattoo sleeve I’m developing,but it APPEARS they’re reluctant to ship outside japan.for some reason.heh.
Do you know if thats correct?And if it is,is there any way you would be able to help a fellow art bibliophile in the UK to obtain a copy?
Thanks n best Wishes

Eli Graham

Hi Yonghow,

I noticed that the images are all suffering girls. Is there any Samura Hiroaki’s art work that has pleasant images and messages rather than brutality?

Eli Graham


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