Every once in a blue moon, you find something that completely changes your life – colors become brighter, the sounds of the world soothe your soul, and you look forward to each coming day with a smile.
I have found it.
While ordering five of the Rail Wars novels from Amazon, I noticed this book was recommended to me. And how could I pass this up? This gem is 119 pages in total, filled to the brim with art, interviews, details, and other cool stuff concerning Rail Wars. Quite simply, it all speaks for itself.
The main draw of this book is the art from バーニア600, henceforth known as “that guy who did the art” (because I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be Bania, Vania, Vernier, or something else), the character designer and artist for the light novels. In addition to the full art from the covers of the first nine books (the tenth just came out on Christmas, so it’s absent), the coolest art in the book is the two-page stuff unique to this book, especially since it all focuses on Sakurai (also known as best girl). Some of this is so nifty that I’d consider framing it.
For those that can read Japanese, there’s a goldmine of content here. First off are interviews with Toyoda Takumi (Rail Wars’ author) and that guy who did the art. While I would love to pretend that I understand everything that they talk about, I can’t read. Based on all of the train illustrations, I’d imagine the artist talked a bit about their real-life counterparts or something. Who’s here for the trains anyways?
Beyond this, there are also interviews with Sueda Yoshifumi (the anime’s director) and the voice actors for the four main characters. If anything, I need to give the director credit for creating one of the most memorable anime of all time.
Beyond that, there’s a new short story from the author, and details on each of the nine books and characters added in each. This section includes train designs and rail maps for relevant travel in the story, perfect for the train otaku out there. Weirdos. It is pretty cool to see that actual tracks and trains were used for the art and story though, showing that everyone did their research. Probably.
Back to visuals, the book also takes a look at the character designs, both the originals for the novels and the variants for the anime. This is a nice treat, and in many cases shows some preliminary ideas that that guy who did the art had before settling on the final design. Takayama still looks like your generic male protagonist though. At least Sakurai makes up for it.
And bringing up the rear, there is key art for the anime, some art in the style of the anime, a poster, etc. Personally, I prefer that guy who did the art’s artstyle over the anime’s, but it’s still a very nice addition to the book. There’s also far too much stuff with Koumi in it. At least give Noa some attention!
Price – 2500 yen from Amazon.co.jp (about $25 US)
Recommendation – Do you like trains? Do you like pretty young anime girls? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, buy this book immediately.
If you got to this point and you’re thinking, “This guy has an unhealthy obsession with Rail Wars,” you’re probably right.
My New Year’s resolution was to avoid spending all of my money on Rail Wars stuff. But then I remembered that the Vita game still isn’t out, and that this figure exists.
I have a problem.