Tony Taka

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An artist whose works exhibit truly striking quality is Tony (also known by the name Taka Tony, his real name 田中貴之 / Takayuki Tanaka, his company RPM KK and his circle T2 Art Works); his works have come to be quite famous, and for good reason, as they are first rate, as you can see below.

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Tony Taka is very much a character designer, and his output reflects that, though it is still commendably broad. His portfolio includes a variety of games, several artbooks based on those and other works (notably the Graph seires), and a variety of excellent dojinshi, though some of these are closer to being artbooks than manga.

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A portion of one of his most impressive, though relatively brief, works to date, the dojinshi ねこみみばとらあ / Nekomimi Battler:

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From his excellent Bamboo Blade dojinshi:

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The games with which he has been involved are varied; on the one hand a variety of successful eroge, several of which have been adapted into anime (Genmukan and Sora no Iro), and on the other, involvement with character design in fairly successful games such as Shining Wind and Shining Force.

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The adult side of things shows definite progress over the decade or more of his career – some of the earlier games he was involved with are quite average in the art department, but with Sora no Iro the quality is the same as his dojinshi and artbooks.

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His profile as more of a character designer is reflected in the kind of works he is most noted for – basically game CG, artbooks and dojinshi. I’ve focused here on the 2D, but there have also been some interesting figures based on his works.

As regards getting his works, this should be none too difficult. Artbooks, figures and the like are easily purchased, as are the games and anime, and the Internet can suffice for anything else (or indeed, for everything).

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In looking over his works, I am struck by just how technically accomplished his art is – his CG illustrations are really at the pinnacle of the art. However, at the same time, and in all fairness, his works are largely devoid of variety and originality; compare him to the likes of Range Murata or Okama and he comes off the worse, I think, though his superb erotic works and prolific dojinshi rather rescue the comparison.

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I can’t help but think he is capable of more than just expert renditions of pre-existing characters and a variety of clichéd fantasy costumes, school uniforms and bikini wearing girls? Not that I object to this kind of output, but it would be nice to see an expansion of his work beyond the rather narrow areas covered so far.

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Whatever my misgivings about the lack of originality or variety in his works, he is absolutely a first rate artist, and it is particularly gratifying to see that he manages to balance mainstream work with work of a more adult nature. Whether as an ordinary illustrator, or an adult one, Tony’s works are likely essential viewing for anyone with the slightest interest in either area.

You may be interested to see more of his works displayed at FerriCorp.

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