Those who’ve been reading HD for awhile can probably guess that this review won’t be exactly unbiased. If Sano Toshihide were romantically available I would gleefully bear his offspring, but given that fate has kept us apart he’s still one of the artists I most admire in the field of Japanese 2D erotica (or out of it, for that matter). Assuming therefore that the book’s content is unimpeachable, we’re left to ask only about its presentation…. Read on for the juicy details:

Artist: Sano Toshihide (personal site)
Release Date: August 31, 2007
Price: 2,200 yen (tax included)
Publisher: Kill Time Communications
Format: A4 size, 96 pages, full color, fold-out poster included
Current Availability: [Amazon.jp] [J-List]


Sano Toshihide Illustrations artbook cover

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There isn’t much I can say that would add to or detract from the visuals here (there isn’t much I can say period with my jaw permanently affixed in this shit-eating grin); Sano’s brilliant work speaks entirely for itself. It’s worth going into a bit more detail regarding the content, however, as it is quite exceptional indeed. As anyone who has ever pursued them knows, obtaining limited edition telephone cards is an exercise in exorbitant cost and frustratingly low resolution. A collection of telephone card and other limited promotional art printed at higher resolution than the original is truly a godsend that I lapse into incoherence trying to describe. I mean, this is totally awesome. I need some sort of new hieroglyph-based language to describe how awesome this is, and am presently trying to avoid typing a several thousand byte string of exclamation points in lieu of coherent text.

Not only does this book contain nearly every bit of telephone card art from the three most recent G.J? releases (Queen Bonjourno, Tsuma to Mama to Boin, and Shichinin no Online Gamers), it also has a ton of promo art and illustrations from novels, event promotions and earlier Ripe games that he also illustrated – not to mention reprints of posters from magazines long gone, and the brand new original fold out poster especially created for the book. Most artbooks from eroge artists are just reprints of CG from the games with a few pages of promo art and character profiles, and this has a bit of that, but the vast majority is very high value content not available anywhere else (without spending hundreds or thousands of dollars at auction).

Putting my obvious inability to view this item in anything resembling an objective light aside, in my opinion this is a must-have addition to the collection of Sano Toshihide fans and fans of great erotic art in general. If you’re thinking of picking it up, the book is currently available at Amazon.jp and J-List!

Overall Score: Sanolicious