On tumblr I was recently asked who my favourite manga artists were when disregarding the plot and characters of a series and simply just focusing on the art. Because I tend to get a little carried away when it comes to questions like this I decided I would just make an entire blog post about it. I've decided to exclude film directors from this post (such as Hayao Miyazaki, Makoto Shinkai & Mamoru Hosoda) because I eventually want to make a separate post for each of them and you can read the post I've already published about Makoto Shinkai's films here. I will also eventually have a post about my favourite anime series based purely on the art/animation of said series, so keep your eye's peeled for that one too! So that's what I've written for you today, a post all about some of my favourite manga artists. Remember if you want more anime/manga recommendations to check out myanimelist here.
Nanase Ohkawa, Mokona, Tsubaki Nekoi & Satsuki Igarashi
|Kurogane, Princess Sakura, Syaoran Li and Fai in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle|
I would eagerly sell my soul to meet this group of ridiculously talented ladies (slight exaggeration- but you get my drift). These four women have been working together since 1987 to bring you old classics such as RG Veda (1989 - 1996), Tokyo Babylon (1990 - 1991) and Clamp School Detectives (1992 - 1993) along with more recent works such as xxxHolic (2003 - 2011), Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle (2003 - 2009) and Kobato. (2005 - 2011). Their extensive list of works boasts fan favourites such as Cardcaptor Sakura (1996 - 2000) and Chobits (2001 - 2002) and the group have even collaborated with various animation studios such as Sunrise to bring you the character design for the popular mecha series Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (2006 - 2007). A full list of CLAMP's original work and collaborations can be found here.
My introduction to CLAMP's extraordinary artwork was with Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. Not even a few pages in on the first volume, I knew I had found a new favourite manga series (both for the plot and art) and it's still my favourite manga series of all time, almost six years later. I then made my way through a large amount of their works including; Chobits, Cardcaptor Sakura, xxxHolic, Kobato., Clover, Tokyo Babylon and X/1999- after reading more than one series from the artists it became apparent that their artwork really is some of the most intricate, detailed and exemplary work on the market. Their knack for re-using characters throughout different series and breaking your heart with unfinished or "on hold" series (I'm looking at you X/1999) will have you longing for the chance to enter a world as beautifully designed and seriously detailed as these.
|Yukito Tsukishiro (originally a Cardcaptor Sakura character) in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle|
|Ciel Phantomhive by Yana Toboso- Credit|
Like the group of women mentioned before her, Yana Toboso is one talented lady. At just twenty-two years old she began her career as a manga artist with Rust Blaster (2006) before finding immediate success with the mysterious Kuroshitsuji (2006 -), more commonly referred to as Black Butler in Western countries. As you can probably see for yourself from the images both above and below this paragraph, Toboso's work is simply exquisite. Most manga fans can agree that her work is some of the highest quality art available today- even if they don't personally enjoy either of her series. Yana expresses great attention to detail and a love for the Victorian era within her art which is what originally appealed to me. To be perfectly honest, when I started reading Kuroshitsuji many years ago, it really wasn't because of the plot (which sounded a little lack-luster to me) but, because of the art I had seen whilst online. I was pleasantly surprised to find the plot not only interesting, but the art as beautiful and captivating as I originally hoped. Her art simply continues to get better and better with each and every Kuroshitsuji chapter and I can't wait to see what she brings to the table in the near future.
|Kuroshitsuji Chapter 60: That Butler, Unrest by Yana Toboso|
|Miwako from Paradise Kiss by Ai Yazawa- Credit|
I think I'm yet to mention any of Ai Yazawa's work on the blog but here I am ready to share my love for her art with you all. Whilst her art may not be as extravagant or as appealing to a 'modern' manga art lover as Yana Toboso's work may be, Ai Yazawa brings us a very stylised look with her art which is now nothing short of iconic. Ai Yazawa creates the most colourful, enchanting and "real" characters within her artwork which is predominantly noticeable in her two most recent series, Paradise Kiss (2000 - 2004) and NANA (2000 - 2009). Ai Yazawa has become one of (if not the most) recognisable and popular josei manga artist within the last fifteen years and her work continues to gain popularity, even today. I originally started reading Paradise Kiss a few years ago because I was interested in the graceful art work I had spotted online and was immediately interested in reading a little more within the josei genre. Needless to say, the art did not disappoint and led me to read (and watch) NANA soon afterwards. Even now, I happily refer to Ai Yazawa as my favourite josei manga artist and continue to look to her elegant and decorative work for inspiration.
|Yasu, Hachi, Shin, Nana and Nobu from NANA by Ai Yazawa - Credit|
I hope you all enjoyed this post! Who's your favourite manga artist? Please let me know, I'm always looking for a new series to read!
Thank you for reading
Love Maddie xo