Book Review – TV Animation Inazuma Eleven Memories

Title: TV Animation Inazuma Eleven Memories
TV ANIMATION イナズマイレブン MEMORIES 2008>2011
Release Date: April 20, 2011
Publisher: Shogakukan
ISBN: 9784091990273
Size: A4
Pages: 128
Color: Full color (some black/white pages)
Binding: Hardcover with softgloss coversheet
Price: ¥2,000 (before tax if applicable)
Where to purchase:

An extravagant collection of over 100 colored illustrations for Inazuma Eleven! A hardcover Memorial book crafted with care.
Also contains the register of all the teams and all the player names that appeared in the anime episodes 1-127.
A must-have book for any Inazuma Eleven character fan.

From the publishers:
This is a book to coincide with the airing of the TV anime’s “Graduation Special” on April 20 and 27th. With this graduation album format book in hand, enjoy the show!

Personal ratings:
Physical Book/Paper quality: 10/10. The hardcover binding in the larger A4 size is lovely. I have quite a few artbooks from Japan and this hits about the same paper quality as the rest. If you were really crazy enough to use it as a real yearbook (and have people sign it), the front and back covers are both covered with an extra blank orange sheet without gloss.
Art Content: 10/10. Majority is color, with black/white pages for “school rosters”. Every color page chock full of large, clear illustrations not seen in the anime. There’s a good index of where each piece was featured in the back.
Text Content: N/A. This is where the book got the harshest reviews on Japanese sites like AmazonJP. Although the book is in school yearbook format, there’s pretty much nothing except ART in this book and name listings with the school rosters. It seems a lot of people were expecting texts of reflections or whatnot like some yearbooks have. Never once in the description did it mention it’d have any of this, so I think those people’s disappointment is unwarranted. I believe that all the text reflections were put into the Animage May 2011 issue special instead.
Overall: 9.5/10. For a hardcover, A4 size artbook, this did not disappoint me at all personally. As someone who’s already collected a lot of Inazuma Eleven merchandise, it is a bit less inticing to see many of the images I already have. But as a personal artbook lover, this is still a lovely keeper. It basically filled in a huge gap of my collection at a much more affordable price. Unfortunately, it also does a “nice” job of not filling in any of those gaps 100% by leaving out a few exclusives in each of the features presented in this book, thus still providing a collector the incentive to buy those exclusive collections (except for that Big Card Collection 1 spread, which I think has all of the exclusives, just in smaller print). But I’m not a perfectionist anyway, so I was definitely happy to get what was new for me.

Even among the repeats of images I already had in my own collection, I appreciated finally seeing the full body images for some of them. For example, the Kidou from Character Pos Collection 3 here in full glorious cape:

One of my favorite pages (The first Big Card Collection):

One of the beautiful 2-page spreads:

Includes some pictures from past calendars and DVD covers:

School Rosters (black and white pages):

Some of the back index:

All in all, this book is very ideal in both price and content for any Inazuma Eleven fan who appreciates the artwork. While it doesn’t gain any points in text content, on another end that means it also benefits those who can’t read the Japanese anyway.

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