Those artbooks had been on my wishlist forever. I absolutely love Inoue Takehiko’s style but – as it seems to be always the case – pricing for Japanese stuff in Germany is insane… So I got them from Mandarake and paid for 2 artbooks what would have been the price for one in stores over here.
I had to order these from 2 different branches because none of them had all 3 in stock. Water and Sumi I bought from Nakano and Illustrations from Sapporo. As you can see they were wrapped up nicely in paper and bubble wrap. In addition to that, every artbook had it’s respective plastic sleeve.
All 3 artbooks were marked as B-condition. I was curious about what b-condition really was by Japanese standards. Turned out to be “nearly perfect” *laughs* So A is perfect condition and S is…? What’s an S-condition mandarake product? Can anybody tell me? I imagine something like “displayed under vacuum, wrapped up in gold foil”…
So… this is the only damage I could make out.. and it’s really minor in my oppinion. I didn’t even expect the artbooks to still have those tiny wrappers that go on top of the big ones.
This is what Sumi looks like. No damages here. Well, there’s a tiny wrinkle on the tiny wrapper (what are those called?) in the same spot as Water’s but it’s not nearly as noticable. Pages are the same with 160. The main difference between Water and Sumi is that Sumi is entirely held in black and white art. The art itself, though, is completely different.
Illustrations has a little less pages with around 120. It’s hardcover, though, which is pretty cool. I did not know that until I had it in my hands. No damages with this one either. If you really were in the mood of nitpicking.. there’s this supersmall black dot on the top left. It’s a Slam Dunk artbook, both colored and black and white.
Here are all 3 of them together. I did wipe the covers with a damp cloth, because after all they are used items and I also do this with used manga I buy and who knows where they’ve been and what the original owners were like..yeah..hygiene…and stuff…
I’m hesitant to show you the insides, if anyone was wondering. Publishers even went out of their way to have English writing inside, prohibiting anyone from spreading scans and such, so I won’t do that but you can find tons of pictures on the internet as long as you’re capable of using google.
You won’t regret buying them if you’re a fan of Inoue Takehiko’s work. This is the very definition of ‘art’ in the term ‘artbook’. At least I will never let go of them <3