Mateki: The Magic Flute by Yoshitaka Amano and Stuff

I’ve had a long time love affair with the art of Yoshitaka Amano. I can’t remember when exactly it was that I first discovered him, but I’ve been a fan of his artwork since that first day and he’s been one of my favorite living artists for awhile. Needless to say, I was super excited to hear that he had a new book out, Mateki, The Magic Flute.

Mateki is a book of very few words, but no words are really needed. Just the basics to give an outline of the story while the art tells the story in full. The few words that are shared are beautiful indeed, but the art is simply stunning and I expect nothing less from Mr. Amano. Mateki begins with a creation story, of a dark lord named Yasha who breathes life into the world and then closes his eyes to rest, until he is awakened one day by Kouran’s flute and it’s beautiful sound. Yasha instanly wants the flute for his own when he hears it and is envious of Kouran for possessing it. Meanwhile, Kouran has fallen in love at first sight with a beautiful woman named Shaana and with her, Yasha finds his bartering tool for the flute.

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this graphic novel. It’s equally an art book and has in fact been referred to as an art book on many sites. Amano’s watercolors are filled with emotion and his pencils have this amazing quality of looking like a rough sketch yet completely finished at the same time. If you’re a lover of art, a lover of graphic novels, or a lover of a good story, I’d consider this a must have.

Aside from reading Mateki, I’ve been slowly working on The Secret History of Moscow and am almost finished it. I’m sort of in the middle when it comes to my current read. I’m really enjoying the story, but at the same time it’s not a book that I’ve been able to sit down with and get lost in. It also reminds me so much of a mix between Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere and American Gods that it’s hard for me not to compare it to the two which isn’t a good thing for the book since those are two of my favorite books and it would be hard indeed to live up to that expectation.

Speaking of Neil, 4 more days until The Graveyard Book comes out! I know what the entire blogosphere will be reading on September 30th 😉 I also just found out about a new ghost story compilation that is out with a short story by Orson Scott Card in it! It’s called Ghost Quartet and I think I’ll pick it up when I pick up The Graveyard Book…they’d make great RIP reads.

Oh, and one last thing….I got an iPhone today! I’m just a tad bit obsessed with it, but I’m sure that will die down in time. Needless to say, I’ve already run down the entire battery, so now it’s charging. Off to enjoy this beautiful Fall weather now…hope you are too!

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13 Responses

  1. The Graveyard Book hasn’t been released, yet? I just read a review. Oh, where was that . . . Kailana’s blog. After reading her review, I find myself dying to read the book, even though I’m nowhere near the Neil Gaiman enthusiast that you are.

    Have fun with the phone (but not *too* much). My kiddo managed to lock himself out of his own phone, today. Hahaha. I love it. I have the funniest kids!

  2. It sounds so cool!

    I can’t wait for The Graveyard to be released. 😀 Enjoy your iPhone-I’m not a gadgets person, so there’s no way I’d appreciate an iPhone, lol.

  3. looks like Kailana beat everyone on the review for the Graveyard book lol.. and you are right, most RIP folks will be reading it too!

    Not sure when I can mail it but I already packaged up Madapple to send to you. I don’t know when it will get mailed I’ll email you when it’s on it’s way.

  4. How come I didn’t know this book existed? I must get it. It really sounds like a must have.

    I know just what you mean about The Secret History of Moscow. I enjoyed it, but at the same time I couldn’t get completely lost in the story either. I think that for me it was the characters…I never grew to truly care about them.

    When you go to the bookstore on the 30th you should also pick up Nation 😛

    Enjoy your iPhone! Like Eva I’m not into gadgets much, but everyone who has one seems to be really happy with it.

  5. Beautiful!

  6. You got darn lucky today… I actually got Madapple mailed out today!! (media mail, so it won’t be there tomorrow lol)

  7. I can see by the cover why you like that artist so much! I’ll definitely be on the lookout for that one. I’m looking forward to The Graveyard Book too – we’ll be doing a huge group read, won’t we? 😀

  8. Bookfool, I don’t know how Kailana managed to get an early copy of The Graveyard book, but I’m EXTREMELY jealous!! I wish I had one. I am loving my new iPhone 🙂 I haven’t managed to lock myself out of it….yet :p

    Eva, It’s an incredible book…you should check it out! I’m a complete gadgets person :p I have to own every new gadget that’s out there…I guess it’s a guy thing, lol.

    Deslily, I want to know how Kailana got that early!! You are so incredibly sweet! Thank you so much for sending the book to me. I can’t wait to read it!! You’re a good mama 😉 You save me money, lol.

    Nymeth, I didn’t know this one existed either for the longest time! They didn’t really market it at all. People just started leaving comments about it on an old Amano post that I did…one on his artwork and one on The Dream Hunters. It’s a bummer that I can’t get into SHOM. Oh well, I really think it is an issue with the characters. I totally forgot about Nation already!! I’m definitely picking that one up too! I’m very much enjoying my iPhone 😀 I’m a huge gadget fan!

    Mariel, It’s completely beautiful! Get it 😉

    Darla, The art inside is even better than the cover! Hope you can find it in the library! And yeah, we’ll definitely be doing a group read with the Graveyard book!

  9. Ohh I want an iPhone so badly! I just got an XBox 360 Elite yesterday and instead of going to the cinema and tidying the flat I have been playing it most of the day.

    Sounds like a beautiful graphic novel. I love his FInal Fantasy artwork.

  10. Neil Gaiman is coming to a town near where I live on October 2 to sign his new book, give a little talk, and then they’re showing the film Stardust. It’s being held at an old, darling theater. I so wish you and Carl could go; I though of you the instant I read the notice.

    Better you than I with the iPhone. I’d be like, “Hey! Is this thing on?!”

    I’m sorry not to know this, but what is the origin of the fabulous artist? Is it Asian as I suspect? The book sounds, and looks, wonderful!

  11. Hey, congrats on getting the I-Phone. I am way behind on the latest technology and probably always will be.

    I really enjoy Amano’s work as well and can completely understand why few words would be needed, his images are quite lush and tell an amazing story all on their own.

    I felt similar about Secret History though I have enjoyed the half that I’ve read. I needed to return it to the library so it will probably be awhile before I get back to it. I did like her writing and am much more excited about her latest book, The Alchemy of Stone, which is a steampunk tale and sounds fantastic.

    Bellezza: I wish we could go too!!! 🙂

  12. Rhinoa, The iPhone is beyond fun! I’ve found so many incredibly cool applications on it including an eReader and a program that identifies any song you hear just by holding it up to the speaker! Congrats on the 360! They’re tons of fun.

    Bellezza, I wish I could go too! That sounds incredible. Are you going? You really should 😉 The iPhone is surprisingly easy…it’s probably the most user friendly phone I’ve ever had and it’s an MP3 player too! Yoshitaka Amano is Japanese. By far my favorite Japanese artist, though I love Yoshitomo Nara as well. I’d recommend checking both of them out.

    Carl, Thanks! I love my iPhone. One thing I always stay on top of is technology…at least I try too :p I’m such a gadget nerd that it’s not funny. Everytime something new comes out, my mom declares “that will be the next thing Chris comes home with”. You should pick up the Amano book if you get a chance. It’s beautiful. With your love for artbooks and graphic novels, I have no doubt that you’d fall in love with this one. I’m still struggling through Secret History of Moscow. Personally I think the first half was better than the latter. I’m sort of tired of it which I hate saying because I love the idea of the book but just can’t get into it. I hope Alchemy of Stone is better!

  13. […] Mateki: The Magic Flute by Yoshitaka Amano 2. Bonk by Mary Roach 3. When Twilight Burns by Colleen Gleason 4. The […]

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