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Ontology on the gone!

The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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10/04/2008 Archived Entry: "Artbook Review: Flamboyant"

Flamboyant
Art: Ugetsu Hakua
Published by Digital Manga Publishing
ISBN-10: 1-56970-801-0
ISBN-13: 978-1-56970-801-9

Review by Kris

I love artbooks. For example, I have no problem with shelling out $50+ for Shiuko Kano-sama's Playgirl. So for me to have the opportunity to snag DMP's production of Flamboyant at no cost to me, of course I'm going to jump!

Honestly, I had never heard of Ugetsu Hakua. All I had ever seen of sensei's work was the cover at different DMP websites. While doing some digging I found out that Hakua-sensei was involved with the design of the anime series, Burst Angel. I had never heard of it, but because it had been licensed here in the US I figured that this is a series many have heard of.

This is one of DMP's books that they have presented in English. Since I was impressed by the quality and production values of Kiss of Fire by Youka Nitta (Juné's release), I knew that I wouldn't be disappointed with Flamboyant. Not only do you get beautiful, glossy, color images, but also in the middle of the book there are notes and rough sketches made by the author. The cover is a smooth, matte finish, which makes the book that much classier. This work is definitely aimed at men, which I am not of that demographic. That doesn't mean that I can't enjoy an amazing artbook, can it?

I'm a bit torn on how I feel about this work. The women that are presented are athletic and beautiful, they wield large guns, and are scantily dressed. I do admit, they are drawn beautifully. The colors are vivid and vibrant, it's an all around gorgeous work. But because I am a woman I can't help but feel like this also objectifies women. When men ogle at these beautiful women, they can't help but wish that real women looked like these beautiful sexy, babes. But when they look around there aren't any that look like that. Women weren't created just for men to enjoy. We have feelings, too. If I lived in a universe that was created by me, of course the women (including myself) would be gorgeous like the ones on the pages of Flamboyant, and the men would look like they just stepped out from the pages of manga written by Shiuko Kano-sama and Youka Nitta-sensei.

DMP did a great job with this artbook. This book has five additional illustrations that didn't show up in the Japanese release. It is a beautiful book, and I wouldn't expect anything less from DMP. Even though I'm torn on my opinion of this work, it was worthwhile to check it out. This is definitely a book for guys, but it can be enjoyed by both men and women, especially if you're a fan of Ugetsu Hakua.

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