June 2012 issue of Ultra Jump magazine carries an “Ultra Graphic” of Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica’s busty yellow character, Mami – a stunning artwork to be sure, and one seemingly worthy of the “ultra” to its name.
It takes no more than a mere glance upon this piece for one to realize they’ve encountered the transcendental – this illustration has a strong and distinct arete eminence. The artist, Asako Nishida, went for quite a combination – an abstract style with hues of beaming vivacity, depth, and a pose which seemingly implies floating in space, a surprisingly splendid fit.
Mami in fact appears to be drifting atop a creamy platform, or bed, in what is a star ocean – the celestial bodies can be spotted in the background to the top, and the rest of space is filtered with a reddish grey and strobe lights. Her arms are lifted back, and slightly elevated, in such a manner that it seems she’s in zero gravity. And her legs, to which foreshortening has been applied, are similarly under the same 0-G effect – which the artist has tastefully used to their advantage in order to provide a bit of skirt and leg fanfare.
Further examining the positioning, Mami overall is visibly tilted – which makes it seem as if she’s only weightlessly lying there. However the artist also placed her signature musket atop her, which simply levitates across her – and that serves the purpose of offering a relative reference of comparison to Mami, yet it also acts to balance the illustration informally, and finally, steal attention.
The focal point here is debatable, as depending on the angle or lighting in which this piece is viewed, it may be the rifle to strike the sight first – or it could be Mami’s visage. Yet in any case, Mami’s gun is above all visually – and one will certainly find their eyes locked upon it at some point as it waddles in space, interestingly appearing to have been hovering, and got caught by Mami’s delectable legs.
Now while the musket is informally balanced, Mami’s placement in the artwork is much the same – however with the rule of thirds partially active as well. Her physique all mainly sits to the side – yet her body is sprawled across the composition entirely. Regardless however, the central areas which catch the eye take up only an approximate third of the canvas – such as the legs, or the upper body. One could even say that the head appears to be an extra element taking up space to imperfect this, literally, as it sits in center of the image.
Moving along however, that technique easily generates visual attraction alone – yet the artist still went for more. Her skirt is cut off from the composition only a bit – and this is one of the most simple yet potent artistic tricks in existence as it leaves the mind riveted by what it cannot see.
Overlooking the rifle, Mami’s guns appear to be quite healthy – also noticeably under the impact of zero g-force.
As they coruscate off the canvas, the colors seem electrifying almost – embedded with life on their own. The yellow seen throughout the image is consistent and harmonic – however it does remain subjected to shadow as appropriate. Red is also a significant hue here as well – placed on both sides of the artwork for balance. Overall, it seems there’s no specific color scheme in play aside from, perhaps, analogous – a stream of neighboring colors on the color wheel.
There is however an occasional green complementing the reds – spotted as the dark leafy bits of the strawberries, as well as a brighter tint of the color as a circle in the strobes. And on that note, orange and pink also make themselves seen – both in the background, as well as on Mami’s corset, and Kyubey respectively.
Looking at Mami, her expression is gentle – and likewise, her body language is as well. She seems to be in a state of euphoria as she gradually glides in a sea of sweets and the vast unknown. Her visage is blissful – yet it also is clear that her mind is in an entire realm of its own, longing for something. This is possibly the artist’s attempt at taking Mami away from the hard reality she experiences – an illusory dream, a reward which simply cannot be.
Whatever the implications, it’s purely resplendent to see Mami portrayed for her beauty, rather than her breasts – and see that her emotions are being conveyed to make up for the lost opportunity in the series.