Artbook Review – Mahou Shoujo Ai Illustration Collection (NSFW)


Mahou Shoujo Ai Artbook Review

So a few days ago, Blowfish posted a writeup on the Queen’s Blade Leina Battle Book. It’s a great-looking book and the best part about it is that it features Nyx, the peasant girl-turned-sorceress-turned-tentaclebait. However, that means that his site has more tentacles than mine. I’ve been running this site for over a year, I’m a big fan of tentacles, my site is even named after tentacles, but now Blowfish has more tentacles on his site than I do on mine. That’s unacceptable, it’s completely unacceptable, and I need to do something about it. So to restore balance to the universe, here we have a quick review of the artbook Mahou Shoujo Ai Illustration Collection.

Mahou Shoujo Ai – localized in the United States as Sexy Magical Girl – follows the crusade of the sullen, taciturn heroine Ai Kagano against the various slimy, lecherous baddies plaguing her city. She was first introduced in an h-game developed by colors and subsequently appeared in two anime series, Mahou Shoujo Ai and Mahou Shoujo Ai San: The Anime. Unfortunately for tentacle fans, the US licensor of the first anime seems to have no plans for releasing the fifth and final volume of the show and most of the second series isn’t as good as the first, apart from its first episode’s opening sequence, which is epic.

This artbook actually comprises three volumes, the main book which is almost entirely artwork with very little text, a second book which mostly shows off some of the CG sequences from the games, and a third book which has a few full-page pieces from different artists and then covers some of the Mahou Shoujo Ai merchandise that is available. One note: I’ve seen this book referred to as Groundwork of Ai, but the pages say “Illustration Collection,” so that’s what I’m going with.

Mahou Shoujo Ai Artbook Review

Here’s the front cover of the main book inside the dust jacket.

Mahou Shoujo Ai Artbook Review

I’ve said elsewhere that I’m not a big fan of flat-chested girls, but Ai is definitely an exception. She’s feisty, she’s spunky, she gets molested quite a bit, and she’s the only hentai heroine I know of who uses her teeth when she can. She’s a great character and fun to watch in the anime.

Mahou Shoujo Ai Artbook Review

The brown-haired girl is Rin; I’m not sure if she has a last name. Actually, I don’t know much else about her at all, as she didn’t figure into the first anime series. The large-breasted magical girl is Meg, whose last name also seems to be Kagano, so I’d guess she is related to Ai.

Mahou Shoujo Ai Artbook Review

I’m not entirely certain which artists are featured in the book. Masahiro Kuroki did the original character designs and the art here is done by Ugetsu Hakua (best known for his Burst Angel character designs), but there’s some other artwork in the book whose style I am unfamiliar with.

Mahou Shoujo Ai Artbook Review

There we go, getting raunchier.

Mahou Shoujo Ai Artbook Review

And getting cuter, with chibi versions of magical girls and tentacle monsters. I’ve got the feeling you won’t ever see nendoroids of these characters.

Mahou Shoujo Ai Artbook Review

The first half of the book (about fifty pages, with some pages containing multiple illustrations) is composed of color illustrations, and it’s not actually overly explicit, although there are a few tentacle rape pictures. The second half is all sketch art, and it’s entirely explicit, as you can see here.

Mahou Shoujo Ai Artbook Review

If I knew how to draw, I’d probably spend all my time drawing subject material not overly different from this.

Mahou Shoujo Ai Artbook Review

The second book shows off sequences from the video games. Here’s Ai in battle …

Mahou Shoujo Ai Artbook Review

And here’s how the bad guys celebrate after they win.

Mahou Shoujo Ai Artbook Review

It wouldn’t be a magical girl game without the obligatory nude transformation sequence.

Mahou Shoujo Ai Artbook Review

And it wouldn’t be a tentacle rape game without, well, tentacle rape.

Mahou Shoujo Ai Artbook Review
Sora says, “I like it, but is it art?”

Here’s the cover to the third book. Very classy.

Mahou Shoujo Ai Artbook Review

Some more art following the common theme here. The piece on the right was done by Takuya Inoue, who’s inspired a couple of Orchid Seed figures, perhaps most noticeably this one of Al Azif.

Mahou Shoujo Ai Artbook Review

I kinda get a Rei and Asuka vibe from this picture on the right. Ai’s definitely more emotive when she’s angry than Rei is, though.

Mahou Shoujo Ai Artbook Review

Some coverage of the various figures that have been produced of Ai and Rin and Meg. I always wanted that Volks X-brand figure, and I’ve seen it up on YJA a few times; maybe I ought to think about possibly putting in a bid one of these days. This book was published in 2004 so it doesn’t cover some of the more recent Mahou Shoujo Ai figures that have come out, like this one by Miyabiya, which doesn’t look all that great. Hmm … I’ve got this figure of Shiraki from Bible Black preordered, and it’s also by Miyabiya; that’s a bit concerning.

Mahou Shoujo Ai Artbook Review

And some pictures from the anime. The first anime series is fantastic, although I’m guessing the drill and pillar sequences in the third and fourth episodes may make some people queasy, and if that doesn’t, the gore and violence in the later episodes may very well turn viewers away.

Overall, this is a very nice set of books, particularly the main volume. I very much like the emphasis on art at the expense of words, and as a fan of Ugetsu Hakua and Masahiro Kuroki as well as tentacles in general, the pictures are very pleasing to the eye. This is an older book so it may be a bit difficult to track down but I think that tentacle lovers will enjoy it.

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30 Responses to Artbook Review – Mahou Shoujo Ai Illustration Collection (NSFW)

  1. Wolfheinrich says:

    So Blowfish has Leina battle book, you have Mahou Shoujo Ai, but that alone simply cannot restore balance the universe! You have done it now, I must step up to my plate and review my collection Tentacle artbook!

  2. Steve Chen says:

    I’ve got mine 3 years ago from Jlist (The Ai selection), same with the Leina Artbook, I must admit, Mahou Shojo Ai truly pushes the envelop indeed.

  3. Guess you haven’t seen the second Mahou Shoujo Ai OVA series then.

    Rin and Meg appear in that one and Rin pulls one of the funniest faces I have seen when she goes through a sudden backdoor insertion.
    It’s really out of place but so damn funny!

  4. Tier says:

    >> Wolfheinrich
    You should do this; there can’t ever be too many tentacles in the world. Especially at a time like now, when Beat Blades Haruka gets a pair of OVAs which don’t even really have tentacles, unless you count the thingy on the mushroom guy.

    >> Steve Chen
    The body distortion in the anime isn’t entirely to my taste but the tentacle action is so good that I can overlook it. I’m not a big fan of the gore though, guro really isn’t my thing, most of the time. I don’t even watch horror movies since I’m a big wimp when it comes to gory, bloody films.

    >> gundamjehutykai
    Ha, you guess wrong! This is how I know that the first episode of the second series has an epic opening sequence. Especially with the water fountain. It’s a shame that the second and third episodes don’t quite measure up to that standard. Being unable to comprehend Japanese, I didn’t quite get what was going on in the second series, but I gathered that Rin is the more excitable one and Meg is the older, more serious type but apart from that, I don’t know much about their backgrounds, and they seemed to be dominated and possessed through most of the show, too. I’m still hoping someone brings it over to the US but given the state of the anime industry, I’m guessing that ain’t all that likely.

  5. Steve Chen says:

    I also have the censored vol.5 (which Japanime failed to release was even more gory…………..especially the “Xtro” style birth of Toru).

    The second series wasn’t as good in quality in a sense that there were just too many recycled scenes. I wish vol.5 gets the uncensored treatment sometime in the future.

    I own all of the original Japanime DVDs and that got me hooked on looking for the artbook collection from Jlist.

  6. BioToxic says:

    Damn, I watched the first anime like… 5 years ago maybe longer, up to episode 4. Just so happens I saw the 5th episode this week. It was…. yeah. Episode 4 though with the pillar still sticks in my mind – in a bad way. At least she kung pow kicked his ass in the end.

    I need to go find these CGs and this second season, just for Rin. I considered getting her pearl version by Miyabiya, but on closer inspection the cast off looked quite naff.

  7. Wolfheinrich says:

    Don’t get me started on how lackluster Beat Blade Haruka OVA2 was, it was a huge disappointment. To think that they couldn’t even manage to match the quality of Beat Angel Escalayer from eons ago is just plain bad.

  8. Pingback: Kourin Tenshi En Ciel Rena & Mahou Senshin Sweet Knight 2 Artbook (NSFW) | Wolfheinrich's World

  9. Tier says:

    >> Steve Chen
    It was good stuff though XD Especially when Ai used her fangs … never seen any other hentai girl do that.

    Yeah, I had high hopes for the second series and the opening sequence might be my favorite tentacle scene in all of h-anime, but I didn’t like it much after that. The orgy scene in episode 2 was kinda lame, and I don’t really remember much of the third episode at all. I’d still get them if someone brought them out over here, though (it’d be nice if we got Himekishi Lilia at the same time, too).

    >> BioToxic
    That pillar scene was hardcore XD Not entirely my thing, I’ll admit … I’m not really that big into body distortion and I liked that the second series toned it down some.

    I was tempted by those figures just because tentacle figures are kinda rare, but I couldn’t really justify the price (which seemed higher than most 1/8 scale figures) for something that looked so low-quality.

    >> Wolfheinrich
    Yeah, I’m pretty disappointed by the series in general. I did like the Narika/Haruka scene at the beginning of episode 2, though; Narika was pretty cute and Haruka’s voice was hot as hell. Seemed like the rest of the episode was on fast forward, though. What was up with that shot of Subaru right at the end? I read on Hongfire that this show was going to end in two episodes so I dunno what was up with that.

  10. Steve Chen says:

    Spoilers:(?) In the last episode of the second series…….did Ai well, die? Still, lots of lost potential on the second series, it’s like the writers lost all their creative funk hehehe.

  11. phossil says:

    Wow, thanks for sharing the pics. Great artbook you got and good photo review ;)

  12. Wolfheinrich says:

    @Tier

    The moment you think Tentacle figure is rare… you just have to, I mean have to take a look at this ^^;

    http://tcwenterprise.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/escalayer-003.jpg

    I plan to do a review of this figure in the near future.

  13. Tier says:

    >> Steve Chen
    I’m not sure, but it seemed like it, didn’t it? The two other girls didn’t seem to be hugely perturbed so maybe she might come back. Then again, I heard the third game in the series was so bad that it might’ve done a better job killing her off than any of the villains in the anime.

    >> phossil
    Thanks XD

    >> Wolfheinrich
    Ahh that’s one of the figures on my list. That’s one of the Volks X-brand or A-brand or whatever-brand figures, isn’t it? I think I’ve seen that and the Ai Kagano figure up on YJA once or twice in the last year. Man I need a good, high-quality tentacle figure … maybe I can hope that Native makes another one …

  14. Katsura-chan says:

    I’m not very into tentacles lol But Ai is a great looking character and i remember saw her in the anime. I just got used to skip some sequences :D
    Don’t know that much about it though but those books looks really great ;-)

  15. Tier says:

    Hehe, there’s not much more to it other than cute angry little girl goes around getting molested before powering up and beating down a bunch of monsters with huge libidos. I’m often hesitant to buy artbooks since a lot of them feature a lot of text that I can’t read with pictures that I’ve already seen, so I’m glad that this one turned out really nicely.

  16. Shashin says:

    I like tentacles, and I love Ai. I’ve loved her since I first laid eyes on random 30 second clips found on the internet 5-6 years ago. The series is great, too. And while body distortion really isn’t my thing either, the two scenes in episodes 3/4 are my favorite, as the action otherwise is nearly perfect. Nothing but sweet, delicious tentacle rape, at perfect angles, all with the beautiful Ai.

    I am a fan of smaller breasts, however. Not necessarily loli level, but if I had to choose, I’d definitely be on the smaller end. And I’ve never understood the appeal of watermelon (or even bigger) sizes breasts that are exaggerated beyond all belief.

    It’s a shame the fifth episode was never uncensored, though off the top of my head it lacked any scenes that I truly enjoyed and had way too much of the guro element. The newer series was definitely a bit of a let down, but mainly because there wasn’t enough Ai for me.

    I own two art books myself, and overall I don’t know what to say about them. I love one of them, it’s a Sashiro Illustrations book, which lots of Sheliss (another character I’m quite fond of)/tentacle action.

    I don’t even know what the series the second is connected to, or if it would classify as an art book. The better phrasing would be “I purchased it thinking it was an artbook”. It was cheap, around 130 pages, and the cover had some hot yuri action, so instead of researching it, as I should have, I decided to buy it. I was disappointed to find 90% of the pages had text, with a black an white picture printed on the opposite page every now and then, and two front and back color pages. It’s actually not all that bad, but far from what I was expecting.

    I pulled out the book, and it’s from その花びらにくちづけを.

  17. Tier says:

    That’s pretty much how I got into hentai and that’s pretty much how I feel about Mahou Shoujo Ai. I showed a clip from those scenes to my friends and “anal drill” became something of a catchphrase.

    I don’t really like massively huge breasts but besides that I don’t mind anything from a flat chest to large. The main female character in Shion was alright but I would’ve liked some of the other character designs more if they weren’t quite so over the top.

    That would be Sono Hanabira ni Kuchizuke wo, I guess … it’s unfortunate that that book is mostly text, that series has some of the nicest yuri art around. I was actually disappointed in the same sense recently, in that I bought a few books from Amazon JP only to find out they were novels, with a format similar to what you describe. On the plus side, the black and white artwork was by Satoshi Kirishima, who’s rapidly becoming one of my favorite Japanese artists.

  18. Shashin says:

    I only just recently came into ordering doujinshi and other hentai related goods, though I’ve been a fan of hentai since stumbling upon DOA shrines back in the 01-02 days (<3 Ayane). For whatever reason, I could never really stand behind doujinshi viewed on a computer; even if the art was really good, I just didn't care for it all that much.

    Of course there were exceptions, Ishikei's work, and several doujinshi for whatever I happened to be occupied with at the time (it's odd how the first thing I do when I start watching/playing a series I enjoy is to search for hentai). I had about $20 to burn on eBay and couldn't think of anything I wanted or needed, so I looked for hentai. I decided on a sealed copy of Okaz, and since then I've been hooked, amassing my now intimidating collection.

    Whatever digital couldn't do for me, the physical copy did.

  19. Tier says:

    I don’t have a very large (physical) doujinshi collection, due to the expense of buying the books. I’m thinking I might start collecting the books my favorite artists put out though; I used to buy comic books but I’ve lost a lot of interest in them recently and I need something else to collect, and if I can get them in bulk, I’m hoping the shipping cost won’t be too unpleasant.

  20. Shashin says:

    I do most of my ordering through Mandarake, and have been quite pleased. There’s no doubt that shipping is expensive, but if you order enough, you can get the average to below $10 a book.

    The price jumps a bit twice, and then seems to steady out. The first big jump is at 7-10 books, when they have to upgrade you to a small box, and then once again when you’re in a bigger box. The most I’ve paid for shipping was 12,900 yen. Granted that’s very high, but it came in a massive box, holding a BRS figure, 4-5 thick doujinshi (Ishikei collections), an artbook, a few of the smaller (but thicker) format books, and ~20 normal doujinshi.

  21. Tier says:

    I might start doing that … though I kinda wonder how they calculate shipping. I put in an order for several books and a figure, but the figure was actually out of stock. When I got the shipping quote, it was something like 4500 yen to ship a couple of books and doujinshi, which seems a bit high to me (the books were a softcover art book and the Mahou Shoujo Ai artbook, so they weren’t very heavy). I wonder if they calculated the shipping with the figure, and when they revised my order forgot to alter the shipping cost.

  22. Shashin says:

    Their shipping is definitely high if you only order a few items, not really taking advantage of bulk ordering. That seems about in line with what I’ve paid for several items. On the plus side, I’ve had them eat the high cost of shipping a few times. They’ve asked me for a few hundred yen once, when their underestimated costs, but when I got my 12900 yen order, I saw that they postage paid was around 14000.

  23. Tier says:

    >> Shashin
    Ah, okay, I suppose I’ll just wait until I can get a ton of stuff all at once. The dollar seems to be creeping up a bit too, which should help.

  24. Shashin says:

    Yeah, it was rather painful paying with Paypal (2-3 yen less than the real rate) when the dollar was valued at 88 yen. Wish I had been into this hobby years ago when the dollar was actually quite a bit ahead.

  25. Shashin says:

    Also, my love of “grab bags” is going to cause me quite a bit of pain in shipping. I won a YHJ auction for 50 adult books, randomly taken from a shelf. The urge to resist was just too great. I’m going to laugh if shipping ends up being triple that of the actual auction cost.

  26. Tier says:

    That sounds like a good haul! Assuming the shipping cost isn’t exorbitant like you suggest.

  27. Shashin says:

    They just received it in Japan, and are deciding to store it there, so I’m assuming shipping is going to be a pain. :P

    I’m needlessly impatient, so I’ll probably request EMS. They haven’t billed me for the initial costs yet though, so we’ll see.

    Even so, the auction was 5000 yen, so if shipping/fees run $150 that’s only about $4 a book, which can’t be beat. Just have to hope I get some good ones to make it worth it, but surprises and opening everything is always a lot of fun. It’s easily the most enjoyable part whenever I get a package from Mandarake, and now that there’s the element of surprise, should I get even one gem…

  28. Tier says:

    True indeed. There’s some doujin I’m thinking about picking up from eBay and they’re like at least $10 each. That’s kinda steep, but then again, a lot of Marvel comic books have a $4 cover price and you can’t get tentacles in Marvel comics like you can in doujinshi. Well, other than on the cover of that one Heroes For Hire issue.

  29. dupaszi says:

    its not part 5 naaaab
    eeeh!!!

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