Here’s a quick post on my copy of the Jyuuzaengi ~Engetsu Sangokuden~ Visual Guidebook. Besides this, the game also has a masterbook, and an artbook released so people may be curious/confused as to what’s the difference. Hopefully this post will help to clarify about this VGB. Lots of photos and spoilers for Jyuuzaengi!
First up, as always, is the gallery section. This spans just over 20 pages and besides the game (tokuten) and VGB cover arts, it also consists of the illustrations that have appeared in B’sLOG and Dengenki Girl’s Style. There’s also an absolutely adorable one of young Ryuu Bi and Chou Hi which I believe was specially drawn for this. All the illustrations are neatly flashed out in one or two pages. If you ask me if this is everything, I would say no as there was actually an artbook released later for the game.
Following that are the character profiles and enlarged CGs, including all the sub-characters which they placed at the back. But before that they inserted a nice relationship map which I found cute. These pages make up the bulk of the VGB but to be honest, what’s really golden for me is the next section: the interviews. Interviews featuring Ishida Akira, Okamoto Nobuhiko (aka Ryuu Bi’s army!), the producer Nohara, director Itou, illustrator Teita, Hiroi who proposed the original story, Uematsu who did the theme song and game theme, Ogawa and Kevin Penkin who produced the music, Takagaki who sang the theme song, and Itou who was in-charge of the OP production. Wow, that was quite a mouthful.
I’ll be honest, I mainly bought this for Ishida’s interview. But I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of other interviews too! Ishida and Okamoto were asked about both the game and their own roles, and also got to send each other a short message! I really enjoyed reading both their interviews, especially Ishida’s since he had to voice kid Ryuu Bi 90% of the time. It was nice to read about his image of Ryuu Bi and how he handled the different sides of Ryuu Bi. His message to Okamoto was to switch roles (as a joke) and Okamoto asked Ishida to let him off as he would make Chou Hi a very cute role lol.
The creators’ interview was really interesting! Reading how the game idea was derived, developed, and the random insider information etc. made me appreciate the game more. I was really in awe when this was mentioned about Kakou Ton and Kakou En so I’ll share it: in Kakou Ton’s route the major theme is about one’s other half. Eventually he and Kakou En are no longer each other’s halves as they go on separate roads and after Kakou En dies, Kakou Ton always feels like he’s missing his other half – 欠落. And if you notice in Kakou En’s special route, Kakou En practices his special skill called 「完全無欠十文字」. 完全無欠 (lit. impeccable) is the opposite of 欠落. I chuckled at first when Kakou En mentioned this in the game, saying that when it’s complete he and Kakou Ton will become legends imprinted in the history of Sou Sou’s army. But after reading this inside story, I can’t help but be filled with more bittersweet feelings.
The last section contains Teita’s rough sketches (both character profiles and illustrations), the game’s backgrounds as well as a quick overview of the game’s merchandises. The whole book is printed with pretty thick glossy paper which makes it a bit heavier, but very nice in terms of quality. I didn’t regret my buy at all ‘cos I love reading interviews, moreover when it’s on one of my favourites. Basically I love it when a fanbook can make me appreciate and love the game more.
The VGB is Jyuuzaengi’s 2nd official book to be released. The 1st one was the Masterbook which I believe introduces the characters, capture guide, explains the game motifs and Three Kingdoms world, and also contains short stories. The 3rd one is basically an artbook. Hopefully this will help people to decide on what they’d like to buy!