Narita Toru Illustration Works Art Book Review

Posted By yonghow on December 22nd, 2014

Narita Toru Illustration Works Art Book

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.

Narita Toru Illustration Works Art Book
Narita Toru Illustration Works Art Book
Narita Toru Illustration Works Art Book
Narita Toru Illustration Works Art Book
Narita Toru Illustration Works Art Book
Narita Toru Illustration Works Art Book

(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.

Narita Toru Illustration Works Art Book
Narita Toru Illustration Works Art Book

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.

Narita Toru Illustration Works Art Book
Narita Toru Illustration Works Art Book
Narita Toru Illustration Works Art Book
Narita Toru Illustration Works Art Book
Narita Toru Illustration Works Art Book
Narita Toru Illustration Works Art Book

(above) One of the many beautiful marker illustrations in the book; Narita-san is as astonishing an illustrator as he is a designer.

Narita Toru Illustration Works Art Book
Narita Toru Illustration Works Art Book
Narita Toru Illustration Works Art Book

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.

Narita Toru Illustration Works Art Book
Narita Toru Illustration Works Art Book
Narita Toru Illustration Works Art Book

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.

Narita Toru Illustration Works Amazon Japan Buy Link
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4 Responses to “Narita Toru Illustration Works Art Book Review”

Distrakt

You keep posting things that just changes my life! Lol

nyuudo

Do you know if Narita-san was involved in the Dada kaiju’s concept? Ahead of his time approach to character design… so unusual/surprising characters, some of them really simple but dark and intriguing, in my opinion that’s precisely what defines the early kaiju design in the Ultraman franchise, after that period it turned into some kind of goofy childish design.

yonghow

Distrakt – Haha. :]

nyuudo – Just flipped through the book to check, and yep, the Dada kaiju was indeed designed by him as well. :]

nyuudo

Thanks for confirm.
Dada kaiju is probably one of the most intriguing characters. I’m even more curious to know what was Narita san inspiration for Dada… I got a my own bet, he ran into the “Selknam” aboriginal people’s story.