Artbook Review: Mutsumi Sasaki Art Works Est

by eternal on May 21, 2009


Mutsumi Sasaki is another one of those popular eroge artists that you’ve probably noticed at one point or another. He’s been in the industry for quite some time, designing characters for the Memories Off franchise (the anime adaptations were mediocre, but that’s another story), and, more recently, titles like Chaos;Head and Myself;Yourself. Putting the inappropriate use of semicolons aside, neither of the aforementioned shows struck me as anything spectacular, but one of my favourite aspects of them was the character designs. Why? The answer should be obvious. I love Mutsumi Sasaki, and while he might not be my absolute favourite artist, his work always holds some sort of mysterious control over me. Est is his most recent professional artbook, and suffice to say, I wasn’t disappointed.

Like with all of my artbook reviews, the scans are mine and are not meant to be professional in quality. And since I can’t for the life of me figure out how to use WP-Highslide, you’ll have to expand them the old fashioned way.




Many of the images in the book were from Memories Off, which is understandable considering it’s a long running franchise. The recent Myself;Yourself also got quite a bit of figurative screen time.


Some of the pictures look quite a bit older than others, presumably because Memories Off started a decade ago.



I first got this book before I knew who Ushio was. Funny how things work.




That backpack looks like it has wings on it. Hmm…





You really can’t go wrong with Santa costumes, though I always wonder where the tradition started from.


She must have had an interesting Bad End.


Good old fashioned moe.



As you can tell, Mutsumi Sasaki’s style is entirely bishoujo. His characters look more mature than some moe artists like Noizi Ito and Goto P, and they fit in well with the standard dating sim look. It’s no wonder that shows like Myself;Yourself look totally normal when placed beside any other visual novel adaptation – and that can be a good or bad thing, depending on your perspective.

My take on it is that the man is a good artist. It’s the simplest and most effective way of saying it. His designs fit the industry standard, yes, but they also look great, and they were the highlight of the trainwreck adaptation of Chaos;Head (though the animation quality did quite a number to them anyway).

On top of that, we have the fact that Est is a great collection of some of his best work, and it’s one of the two options that overseas shoppers have, short of searching for doujins on Yahoo Japan. If you’re a fan of his work it’s obviously a must-buy, but really, I also recommend it for any self-proclaimed bishoujo fan, lest your badge of twisted pride be taken away by the gods of all things 2D and delicious.

In other words, it’s worth it.

Name: Mutsumi Sasaki Art Works Est
Purchase From: beNippon, Anime Castle
Scans/Reviews: Moe Moe Rabu


{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Sorrow-kun May 22, 2009 at 4:32 am

The character designs in Myself; Yourself were particularly great. Nanaka, Asami… for lack of a better way to put it, there’s “personality” with how these characters look, while they still remain distinctly within the moe aesthetic. Pity neither that anime or Chaos;Head lived up to the potential I thought they initially had.


0rion May 24, 2009 at 11:35 am

His art always reminds me a lot of Noizi Ito’s style, with the clean, sketch-looking lines and subtle shading. I never really watched Myself;Yourself, but I can definitely see him behind the character designs now that you mention it.

Anyway, I’d be curious to see you review some of Range Murata’s stuff one of these days. :)

0rions last blog post..Haruhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii ~ Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody


Alastor May 28, 2009 at 3:48 pm

I’d second that request for a Range Murata review! Ever since watching Last Exile (and loving it) I knew that his work was something special, and it’s still evident in the currently-airing Shangri-La, though it appears that his touch is lighter in it. The former was truly a tour-de-force, while the latter is still growing on me (and the story may not appeal to the mainstream all that much). The characters and clothing are definitely his though :-)

In the past I’ve always tried to get original artboxes, but the Murata special edition reissue of Last Exile was so glorious that I opted for that thinpak edition, with his full-cover artwork gracing each DVD case, front and back! Hopefully the Funi reissue with duplicate all of it.

Myself;Yourself was quite enjoyable to me though it had its ups and downs. As mentioned, the character designs were memorable; they still stick with me to this day (along with Aoi’s voice LOL). It was a good enough anime for me to want to buy (if/when I can afford it).

Love the pic of Nagisa and Ushio, but then I would say that :-P

Personally, I’m jazzed that some of my favorite “older” artists are having projects airing and with Yoshitoshi ABe’s (Lain, Haibane) confirmed Despera in the works, more still to come!

Alastors last blog post..A Bump In the Road (and on my head)


ETERNAL May 30, 2009 at 6:55 pm

@ Alastor: I loved Aoi when I first saw her, from the glasses to the voice, but I remember hating her on account of her voice by the end of the series. Too much of a good thing?

Anyway, I’ll probably be looking into Murata’s art in the near future. It never appealed to me subjectively but he’s unbelievably popular in anime fandom so I’d like to take a closer look.


Alastor May 30, 2009 at 11:27 pm

Well, Aoi’s anti-fan club is pretty huge. Oddly enough, it’s populated by members of Azumanga Daioh’s Chiyo anti-fan club LOL Which makes sense as Tomoko Kaneda voiced both characters. While her voice does take some getting used to (and then MORE getting used to) eventually it becomes one with the character and you either hate her, accept her, or love her. Personally I really liked Chiyo, and Aoi was very cute although not my favorite of the M;Y girls (Nanaka) (<— long dark hair fetish LOL)

If you’re interested in Murata’s artwork, here’s a very nice sample at the annoying Anime Paper site (annoying because… well… when you try to save some pics you’ll see :-P)

Murata’s definitely in a class by himself. While there’s a certain “sameness” to his pictures I think you (and your Visitors) will find his designs intriguing ;-)

Apologies if this is taking your Post too far off-topic… Knowledge is Power (or something) :-)

Alastors last blog post..A Bump In the Road (and on my head)


ETERNAL July 27, 2009 at 5:14 pm

Oh yes, I remember Anime Paper…quite annoying indeed :P


Quark February 14, 2011 at 6:29 am

Right on! AnimePaper sure loves to jerk us around. I hate them with a passion.


Lee June 1, 2009 at 12:15 am

I’m always so impressed with this type of art work. I can’t do it and really respect people who can do that. The detail is incredible.


deema June 3, 2009 at 11:16 pm

tell me from where do i buy that book


Anon October 6, 2012 at 8:07 am

“Mutsumi Sasaki is another one of those popular eroge artists”
Are you sure about that “eroge” part? None of the games he worked on have any ero content whatsoever, all of them being either console exclusives or direct ports of those to PC (excluding Chaos;Head which originated on PC, but it’s still rated 15+).


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