While I was living in Taiwan last year I spent a lot of time at my local Kinokuniya branch stalking the BL section and hiding amongst the shonen manga stacks whenever I was convinced people were looking at me askance (they weren’t). It was during one of those times that I stumbled on the manga/anime art book shelf and discovered that Nakamura Asumiko (中村明日美子) had released a retrospective of her art for the manga Doukyuusei (同級生) and its two-part sequel Sotsugyousei (卒業生).
I am a huge fan of this series and Nakamura-sensei’s unusual art style, so although the Doukyuusei/Sotsugyousei Official Fanbook was more than I’d been planning to spend that day at NT$983, I snapped it up anyway.
The book is full of beautiful colour reproductions of the tankoubon covers and many other illustrations I wasn’t familiar with (some of them rather erotic in an understated way), and also comes with a sticker sheet where you can dress Rihito and Beyan up in silly costumes! Extra content includes a timeline of the boys’ lives, a lengthy step-by-step discussion of sensei’s drawing methods from conception to post production on her computer (including a look inside her apartment and workspace), and a lovely 4-page colour comic exclusive to the book. For fans of Doukyuusei and Nakamura’s distinctive art, this is a must-have. My only complaint is that I would have liked a larger selection of her beautiful monochrome illustrations — those incredibly fine black lines are irresistible.