It's great that publisher Udon has translated the original Japanese artbook ベヨネッタ設定資料集 (The Eyes of Bayonetta). The Japanese edition went out of stock pretty quickly and the DVD was region coded to Japan.
So what's the difference between the Japanese and English edition?
The English edition is a hardcover book and comes with a DVD that's not region coded. Cover art is different. What's missing are the slipcase and the two posters featuring the bosses. The two posters are quite good so it's too bad they weren't included here.
Since the book is just a translated edition, the review that follows is largely adapted from the review of the Japanese edition artbook.
The Eyes of Bayonetta is the official artbook for Bayonetta, one of the crazier Japanese games I've played. It features concept art for the characters, Angels, Infernal Demons, weapons, accessories and environment.
This is mainly a character design book with designs. You'll see Bayonetta, Jeanne, Enzo, Rodin, Luka, Cereza, Balder and other characters. There are lots of coloured sketches as well as high resolution character graphics, featuring plenty of poses and costumes including many discarded ideas. Costume design is definitely one of the highlights. Notes and artists' scribbles are all translated.
This game has some really unique and exquisite enemy designs. The concepts are out of the world, mixing angels and demons with extra shiny metal. The designs are intricate and requires some time to explore, although sometimes there can be too much things going on, which can get confusing visually.
If you like weapon designs, there's a whole chapter on it. There are guns, blades, claws and torture weapons. I love the weapons in this game. They look stylish and incredibly powerful.
The chapter on environment art is a bit limited considering there are more sets featured in the game. However, the art is beautiful and detailed. There are buildings, architecture, vehicles, statues and all those design elements on walls and pillars.
The DVD has 73 minutes on the making of Bayonetta. This is one of the rare video game artbooks that come with a making-of DVD so it's a fantastic bonus.
Highly recommended to fans of the game and those who like the art style.
(See more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)