I was browsing Akari Funato's Twitter account, and I ran across a promotion of a re-release of Vheen Hikuusen on the DMM digital platform. It seems a straight export of the Birz reprint that accompanied Harmony of Silver Star's release. The art's as crisp as day and as beautiful as you'll ever see it, and the DMM reader has a much better zoom-and-enhance functionality than Amazon Japan's in-browser Kindle app - I'm seriously tempted to get it just in case I need to snip any panels. The thing is, while DMM does have its tentacles into selling all sorts of media, it's by far most renowned as a clearinghouse for every kind of Japanese porn video humanity could want. I dunno, man - I'm not an artist, and Funato's gotta do what she's gotta do, but for selling her stuff privately, God bless her, she seems to have a knack for teaming up with the most questionable companies.
Anyhow, the real reason I'm posting: I checked out the comments to see if there were any hot author convos about my most favorite game-related thing ever - and there was a hot author convo, but not about Hikuusen specifically. Someone mentioned adoring Vheen Hikuseen but never having played Lunar, and Funato let slip that she hadn't gotten the chance to play the PSP version of Silver Star yet - even though she drew the portraits for the game:
Oh, man. I always thought that Ghaleon (in his Premier outfit) looked like a cocker spaniel in Harmony, and I took the off-model art as proof that Kubooka just couldn't do his old style well enough to draw Lunar anymore. It wasn't Kubooka. It was Funato. I can't wholly blame her, as, despite drawing key frames for Mia's intro in SSS, cel stuff was never her milieu. I tried going back to Ghaleon's PSP portraits to try to find some Funato touches I missed earlier while ignorant of her involvement, but (save for him showing a little mazoku fang in that Four Heroes portrait where he's gritting his teeth) no, no - he just looks bad.
(ETA on this a month later: I took another look at the portraits, and I see that a lot of the offness comes from Funato heavily outlining the tops and sides of Ghaleon's eyes - to make him look more evil, I suppose. The most natural Ghaleon looks is in his collapsed portrait in his final boss outfit, which completely lacks those heavy lines. As Funato's intuition usually isn't off when it comes to Ghaleon, I wonder if the lines were a studio-mandated revision to make Ghaleon appear more overtly villainous.)
At least we know how they managed to get Dyne's nose right in the game.
I also found the Skeb Ghaleon pic without the "SAMPLE" watermark, though with a different watermark, in a less-obnoxious location but now opaque, appended:
Smaller res, though, even if you do the small -> orig trick on Twitter.