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Valkyria Chronicles: Design Archive Paperback – August 9, 2011
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It's a 400-page thick book and Udon did a good job with the binding this time, much better than some of their previous books. The binding is a bit stiff but at least the pages don't threaten to fall off. You'll still want to be careful with the spine though, it is a very thick book.
What's unique about the game is perhaps the graphics, which resembles watercolour paintings. It reminds me instantly of the game Okami which also uses a traditional art style.
The book is split into different chapters, namely Story, Characters, Weapon Machine, Military Affairs Natural History, Geography, Illustration, Preproduction and Interview. It's loaded with beautiful concept art for all aspect of the game. Character designs, storyboards, background art, promotional art, etc.
If you haven't played the game yet, the first chapter covers the game. This section will be a major spoiler as it covers the key events for every battle from start to finish.
There's plenty of character design. There are so many characters I lost count somewhere. Each character has different drawn profiles, uniforms, weapons, armour and gadgets. Just like the game, all these are in watercolour style with pencils. There's also plenty of commentary on the design.
Under the Weapons and Machine sections, lots of tanks are featured, among other war machines. You'll get to see the different sides of the tank profiles and 3D models before and after paint is added. They are very beautiful and detailed. Absolutely gorgeous. All the fact sheets are included, as with all the characters.
And there are also the set and background concept art for the locations. Most of them are development sketches and paintings.
Right at the end are few pages of interviews with the production team and the music composer Hitoshi Sakimoto.
This book is well worth the money, considering it's also much cheaper than the Japanese edition. It's loaded with so much content that every page takes a while to admire. There are so much details to see and much to read.
Highly recommended to fans of the game, artists and those who just like anything military related.
Definitely worth the money for Valkyria fans as well as those who enjoy a beautiful artbook.
On a side note, I hope Udon follows through with the artbook for the second game, and maybe considers translating the manga. They certainly did a beautiful job with this one!
There's sections on everything the characters,the vehicles,the missions,the weapons,the outfits,the locations,etc
(it's the whole reason the book is so big)
Practically everything you would want to know about from either end (game/anime) is in this book
so again, it's definitely a must have for fans