Artist: Abo

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I can define most of my favourite artists by their brilliance at drawing one specific character. Abo is an artist who pulls this off to such an extent that, despite not being my absolute favourite artist, makes him probably the most common in my Touhou folders.

In case the slideshow above didn’t give it away, the character he is best with by a mile is Aya – and he does her tengu rivals Hatate and Momiji well too. But Aya is the central one above all and Abo does her fucking brilliantly. It’s not the sharpest style in the world but god it looks good. Aya is a very simple character who can’t really be done up that much, so realistically she’s not that hard to do well. But she’s also someone who is really hard to do absolutely perfectly. And when she is done so perfectly, the result is often quite fantastic. Gloss over how much of a genuine prick she is in canon, she packs a lot of beauty for such a simple looker. It’s why she’s a top 10 character for me – and in my rankings, that is no small feat. Because everybody in my top 10 is pretty fantastic in some way.

The thing with Abo is that he just manages to get Aya so right. Everything is just perfectly balanced out when he draws her – it’s just what I think of when it comes to Aya. Given how good a character Aya is, that makes Abo pretty special.

But it’s not all about Aya here, as his common drawings of Hatate and Momiji will attest to. For a whole doujin of the three, try Natsuiro Shangri-La!. Both of them are done very well often, even though I don’t like Momiji that much. Abo is a good artist to have around if you’re a fan of either, but ultimately they do both still play second fiddle to Aya.

Abo does other Touhou characters in places as well. He does them pretty well also, and I like, for instance, his Sanae. He does a sweet Maribel as well, Maribel being perhaps the most commonly drawn after the tengus.

Sadly, Abo does Touhou rather less these days. You still see it come up in bits and pieces, but mostly he’s now consumed doing Granblue Fantasy, which is like a football player that promises much but doesn’t really work out in the end. The Danny Welbeck of the anime world, if you’d like. But most of all, of all the artists I love that got sucked into the great hole of Kantai Collection, Abo has been sucked in probably most of all. That is a great shame. Still, he has an absolute abundance of Touhou that you can enjoy all the time, whenever. I know I have. That’s why he’s got the most images in my Touhou folder.

Circle, Pixiv, Twitter

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