Artbook Review: GU-RE-N (Noizi Ito)

by eternal on July 11, 2009


I would be surprised if you haven’t already seen Noizi Ito‘s character designs somewhere, even if you didn’t realize it at the time. Though she appears to be more active in the eroge scene, I’m sure we’ve all laid eyes on the covers of the Shana and Haruhi light novels by now, both of which have been released in English. To my knowledge, Guren was her first commercial artbook, and it’s comprised mainly of miscellaneous pictures from the games she’s worked on, with a solid chunk dedicated to Shakugan no Shana. The only downside I can think of is the lack of full-sized images, but you’ll be able to make those decisions for yourself in a moment.

All images are scanned by me, but none of them are intended to be anything more than reference – if you want to download quality scans you’ll have to go to one of the usual sources. These pictures are also thumbnailed, so click to enlarge.



The first third of the book is dedicated to Shana, most of which I didn’t scan due to redundancy. The pictures aren’t bad, but many of them are far smaller than a full page, and they’re mostly the same ones that have been circling the internet for years. Of course, that’s understandable considering the book was published in 2005.



At least it isn’t furry.




As you’ve no doubt noticed from Nanatsuiro Drops and Shakugan no Shana, Ito’s designs are almost always on the loli-er side of things. Not that this is a problem in the eroge industry, but it might not be your thing.


Artist’s rendition of the Tales of Symphonia cast (which really wasn’t such a great game, but let’s not say that too loudly).


This one’s more cute than moe, really.


I am unworthy to caption this.


Looks a bit like Mutsumi Sasaki‘s Chaos;Head designs.





Some older and darker characters near the end.

One thing that could be said about Noizi Ito’s art is that many of her designs look the same. If you showed a non-anime fan a picture from Shakugan no Shana and another from Flyable Heart, I wouldn’t be surprised if they assumed that they were both from the same show. A discerning eye (which, frankly, I don’t have) could probably lend a deeper perspective, but to the casual viewer, her work lacks distinction. Or, to be more specific, she distinguishes herself from other artists but not from her own creations.

Of course, the fact remains that subjective opinion is the most important thing when it comes to anime artbooks. I personally like her style and plan on getting KA-E-N, her second book, but there’s still something left to be desired about the first one. It isn’t bad, per se, but a lot of the images felt like the kind of thing you’d see in a typical blog post, and not the kind of full-blown artbook gallery style format that forces you to remember why print still exists. Most of the pictures in print didn’t look all that much better than the same pictures online, which isn’t the case for me with other books, and there was a lack of solid material to scan.

Ultimately, I’d say it’s worth buying if you like Noizi Ito – it’s her book after all, and it’s a decent collection of her work – but if your opinion of her is neutral, you might be better off saving the money and investing in something else that suits your fancy. It might not be worth your while unless you’re a true fan of her art style or if you’re looking for something to analyze for its artistic merit. Which it might or might not have, I’m awful with fine arts.

Name: Noizi Ito Art Collection – Guren
Purchase from: beNippon, HLJ (backordered)


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Fang-tan July 11, 2009 at 2:02 pm

I don’t know, personally all her drawings start to look the same to me after awhile. It might just be that I’m tired of seeing Shana. Nanatsuiro Drops wulds have to be her shining designs, IMO. Mahou shoujo is cooler in her style.

Fang-tans last blog post..End of the Golden Witch/EP5 OP


zenical July 14, 2009 at 9:31 am

I saw this a very long time ago, was considering to purchase it. Now I want to purchase it but I don’t have the money XD. Am broke haha.

zenicals last blog post..Giveaway at Zotaku


kevo July 21, 2009 at 12:02 am

I believe I have this artbook somewhere on my computer. Noizi Ito is definitely one of my favorite artists, her soft, washed out art style and beautiful character design is both distinctive and appealing. I think my first experience with her was Colorful Uniform Book.

kevos last blog post..Japan’s Three Great Stories


AAREW May 20, 2013 at 5:02 pm

jashone STINKS


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