abec: Sword Art Online Vol. 5 (Phantom Bullet)

Translation of abec’s personal blog posts.
Mostly comments on the illustrations, since abec’s the illustrator for the series and all.

abec’s blog. (mature content warning)
Sword Art Online 5 Phantom Bullet.

It’s obviously advised to have read through the novels, or seen its illustrations first.
Spoilers are slight if there are even any.


*-s are links to notes. Click on them.
I’m not reproducing any images, so their positions will be marked within {description}s.
Might be a good idea to open a copy of the original post to see the images.

10th August 2010

Sword Art Online 5 Phantom Bullet

{SAO Vol. 5 cover}
I made it in time for the release date somehow! It already started selling long ago, though!
I’ve been busy with my main occupation at a certain school. It’s true. Club activities. I’ve been busy with my club activities.
It’s true. It’s true, you know? Really now, really.
And so, have you bought it yet, everybody?
Sinon-san, who I unhesitatingly declared to be my bride last time, appears here.
Hmm-mmm! Ah! But I like the other heroines (including Klein) too! Hmm-mmm!

Also, in Dengeki Bunko Vol. 15 which was released on the same date,
I tried to do an illustration course, along with an interview.
The illustration was of the Aincrad arc, where everyone went hunting… or at least, that’s how I tried to draw it.
Also, I praised for being exceptionally on the ball when talking despite being a female high school student. Tehe-★

Oh, and while I was taking my beloved dog, an Irish wolfhound, on a walk on a certain morning, I couldn’t restrain it as it started running and pulled me along before getting helped out by a middle-aged guy, BUNBUN-sensei, who just happened to be there retrieving the morning newspaper, and so as thanks, I provided 2 pages worth of roughs for his doujinshi. If you’re ever so kind, please take a look → BUN+BUN

For the time being, in regards to the illustrations, they would be in the read more. There are spoilers, so do so after reading.


» Read More

・Character Design
I worked really hard on both Kirito and Sinon.
After getting an OK in terms of their outfits, I re-did them and stuff on my own.
I went through various things, the initial rough was atrocious, though.
I do think I managed to reach a good point in the end, didn’t I?

Regarding Shino, what I did was to sneakily conceal a version with glasses within the roughs for the normal version,
finishing it off by leaving behind a “there aren’t any girls with glasses around, so I wondered how she would be with glasses on”, and it ended up a complete success (´ー`*)
As expected of my bride, Shinonon. Her guard is flawless even when offline.
Even if it angers the fans of the original, I have no regrets (glasses-love)

An astonishing solo front cover. Even in this world of light novel packaging images with a preference for females, Kirito can go at it solo. Bring it on, beauties. Just as expected. Kirito-san’s unbelievable!
But sure enough, I really was doubtful whether I managed to draw him to look enough like a girl, it was tough.
Of course, perhaps due to how I knew what he used to look like as well, but I just couldn’t draw it well while thinking of him as a male and so, the laborious idea,
“I’ll draw breasts on first to destroy the preconception of him being male, then flatten them back later on,”
came to me. In other words, the Kirito-san on the cover had breasts until it was accepted. (haha)
It’s an imagine breaker with the name of boobs. First is to destroy that illusion of being male!

I drew the opening frontispiece I always wanted!
I drew it with barely any thought to the consequences. Sinon was calling out to me!

I worked pretty hard. Page 90 and such are some of my favourites. The shading doesn’t turn out too pretty on the paperback’s paper, though.
There were quite a lot of battle scenes.
Of course, I wanted to draw that seductive nurse, Aki-san,
but it’s not quite something I could approach this time, so I gave up.
I wanna draw illustrations of the lords, I wanna draw them! It’s fine even if it gets too much!
And I insisted on that and ended up doing 11 pages.
Just as I thought, I had to send them off after six in the morning. Thank you so much, editor. ><;

Anyway, they were terrible. In the first place, there was no data for Hecate II itself, none. There weren’t model guns either.
There were quite a lot of customisation too, I was told that it was to be in an old style with wood used in the stock and such, so there weren’t many photos and there were supposed to be minor customisations, making it really difficult to be subtly different from the photos.
As for Kirito-san’s FN Five-seven, I just bought the model gun myself. (haha)