Storm Over Aoi Nishimata’s Selection for Star Wars Book

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Artist Aoi Nishimata, renowned as the artist behind Shuffle and a variety of adult games and visual novels, has been at the centre of a storm of controversy as it became known that she was selected as a “representative” artist for Japan, to contribute an illustration to a Lucas endorsed commemorative art book. Non-fans fulminate that the opportunity should have gone to someone else…

For her part, she describes how excited she was to have no less than George Lucas himself look over her contribution, and apparently like it.

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Along with one other Japanese artist (apparently working in conventional western style), she joins over a hundred illustrators contributing to the book, set to be released as an anniversary celebration for Star Wars. She will get an entire page to showcase her portfolio.

The release date for the book is not yet confirmed, but it should be due this year.

However, not all are happy for her triumph. Many voices have been raised around the Internet demanding to know why an illustrator of erotic games was selected as Japan’s representative in place of “worthier” and bigger name artists, some suggesting Dragonball creator and known Star Wars fan Akira Toriyama instead.

Complaints range from “What? A hentai representative?” and “This means a Star Wars eroge…” to “At least get a world-famous artist like Toriyama in” and “Can she even draw mecha?”

You can read Nishimata’s blog entry here. A sample of the criticism can be seen here.

Looking over the responses, it seems this generally comes down to a variety of fans upset that their favourite “major” is not the choice, and going on to make the rather exaggerated complaint that this will tarnish Japan’s image overseas.

Aoi Nishimata’s style may be idiosyncratic (you can see more on the Channel), but would a dated artist like Akira Toriyama really be a better choice?

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