Friday, December 27, 2013

Comic Market 85: Shigunyan / しぐにゃん

Haruna Nekomimi Mode Melts My Face Off

One of the great thrills of being a doujinshi fan is discovering new artists.  Whether via Pixiv, Twitter, or Toranoana, it seems that every Comiket I find a new book from an artist I don't recognize which stops me in my tracks and forces a headlong dive into their backlog to learn more.  With just a couple of days between now and the beginning of Comiket 85, and a never-ending stream of the same kanmusu over and over to wade through, I truly did not expect to find anything to capture my attention this time around.  Then, I saw this cover, and my rate of deceleration was concussion-inducing, Formula One-grade.  I needed to know more.

From long-time doujinshi circle Shigunyan, this presentation of Kantai Collection's Haruna reclined on tatatmi and sporting nekomimi arrested me on the authority of her supreme cuteness, and the preview pages proved that the art quality carried over into the interior of the book, which, given the high number of submissions and short turnaround time from the Summer Comiket, is even more rare in Winter Comiket releases.  I am rapt.  Going to the artist's website reveals that in addition to this release, the circle will offer a second full-length book featuring a fuwa-fuwa take on Kan Colle's Kaga and a third omake book with kanmusu I-19's torpedoes heavily featured.

Looking back through Shigunyan's previous works reveals that the circle has been in the game for quite a long time, and sticking on a pair of nekomimi to a character seems to be something of a trademark of theirs, but, in this writer's opinion, the circle's art seems to carry shades of mid-90's character designs and, quite simply, isn't that attractive to me.  I am not certain what elements have clicked to produce this Haruna release, but I will definitely be watching to see if Shigunyan's work stays at so high a calibre as this.  

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