Rakuga King – Katsuya Terada Sketches Art Book Review

Posted By yonghow on January 15th, 2011

Running over 1000 pages, renowned Japanese illustrator/concept artist Katsuya Terada’s doodles compendium “Rakuga King” feels and weighs more like a dictionary than an art book. I imagine the artist’s brain to read very much like this book if ever we were allowed to transcript his thoughts into visuals.

Somehow labeling these pieces of work as “sketches” or “doodles” seem like a bit of an understatement given the complexity and attention to detail. Works like The Monkey King and Viva Il Ciclissmo are what you get when the artist goes on full steam.

(above) Some select pages come in color.

I’ve tried to reproduce in this post the whole gamut of Terada’s work that appears in the book but there’s just way too many; ( 20 pages from over 1000 ) what you see here is but a very small sampling and I’ve left out some of the more abstract and explicitly adult content.

(above) The book comes with an attractive slipcase cardboard cover.

Rakuga King – Katsuya Terada Sketches Art Book details :

– Dimensions – 8.7 x 5.9 x 2.1 inches
– 1000+ pages
– Soft cover cardboard slip case
– Black and White with select pages in color

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12 Responses to “Rakuga King – Katsuya Terada Sketches Art Book Review”


it’s funny, i ordered this book along with his Zenbu art book reviewed here about a month ago, and i have been eagerly awaiting it’s arrival. seeing this post makes me even more excited about it. i thought when i read the description that it couldn’t possibly by 1000 pages and that must have been a typo or something, but i’m so glad to see that that was true. i can’t wait for my copy of this book to arrive!

john smalls

another one for the collection. great find. thanks!


I have this book too.

At first I was disappointed by how it was presented. Tissue thin paper and a small format really does give a dictionary feel to it. Initially, this was all that I felt. But now I like it a bit more because it is SOMETHING different. It’s almost as if you have Terada’s brain spewed up all over. Not to mention.. the transparency of paper really adds to that element of organized chaos.

I really believe it must have been intentional


HI! is this book reprinted? because last time i checked with basheer they said it is out of print


Zack – I’m pretty sure you’ll love the book when you see it. :]

john – No problem !

Jenn – That’s right, the book is Terada’s musings in visual form.

Arief – This book has always been pretty popular and do go out of print every once in a while. Its up to the publisher to decide if they want to do another reprint, looks like they did this time round. :]


i have been following your blog for quite a long time and thank to that, i bought a lot of good artbooks. Fable, Akira, Water, Katsuya Terada, etc… After looking closer his works, i really want to get Monkey King now ^^
Did you check the manga Otoyome Gatari from Kaoru Mori? She is a great artist and i believe there are some videos of her working.


whitezero – Thanks for visiting and for the purchases too ! I’ve not seen Otoyome Gatari but I’m going to check it out. :]


I have this book! IT’S AWESOME! I’m looking to get more books from this artist, especially his pen and ink work…but I feel like there’s not much out there (viva il ciclissmo is too expensive for me)


The drawings look just awesome. Respect to the author, I’ll head over to amazon now.


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