Book collection: Japanese artists

As the years rolled by and I moved into progressively larger home offices, my goal was to create a space that inspires me every time I walk into it. Few things make me happier than walking into an anime/book/hobby store in Japan, so that gave me a level to shoot for. It’s coming along nicely.

These days, whenever I post a photo of my home office on social media, I always get a comment or two about what’s on the shelves. This section of ArtValt will be periodically used to respond.

Here’s the wall we’ll start with…

And here’s the shelf we’ll look at.

This shelf is devoted to amazing Japanese artists whose work reached out and grabbed me from print media, model boxes, and TV screens. Below is information about each book on this shelf (and others that fit the category) to help anyone who may be filling a shelf of their own. ‘Cause you can’t hit a target if you don’t know it’s there.

Most of these are now out of print, but if they’re currently available I’ve added an link. Japanese title text is provided for hunting purposes. Good luck!

BTW, those of you who know me personally may wonder why there are no Leiji Matsumoto books in this collection. The simple answer is that he has his own shelf, to be examined in a future article.

Ippei Kuri Works

205 pages, color and b&w
Kyuryudo Co., 2012

Compendium of paintings and illustrations spanning Tatsunoko anime from 1965-1984 including Mach GoGoGo, Gatchaman, Casshan, Tekkaman, and many others including original and manga works

Kazuo Komatsubara, Animator the Great

hardcover, 160 pages, color and b&w
Tokyu Agency Publishing, 2002

Compendium of production art and illustrations from 70s and early 80s anime including Devil Man, Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express, Nausicaa, and others

Best Coupling Collection: the World of Hayao Miyazaki and Yasuo Otsuka

hardcover, 320 pages, color and b&w
Office Action, 1982

A compendium of their anime works before the founding of Studio Ghibli

Yoshinori Kanada Special

金田伊功 スペシャル
111 pages, color and b&w
Tokuma Shoten, 1982

Art from several anime productions and illustrations from various projects

To You, the World of Yuki Hijiri

超人ロック ★ 聖悠紀の世界
Hardcover, 176 pages, color and b&w
Shonen Ehosha, 1983

Compendium of illustrations, manga and photos, mainly from Locke the Superman manga

Toyoo Ashida Illustrations

芦田豊雄 イラストレーションズ
106 pages, color and b&w
Minori Shobo, 1985

Illustrations from Vifam, Galatt and other anime productions

Akira Toriyama, The World

100 pages, color
Shueisha, 1990

Compendium of illustrations from Dragon Ball, Dr. Slump, and others

Mecaman Art Works, The World of Mitsuki Nakamura

メカマン・アートワークス 中村光毅の世界
112 pages, color and b&w
Mediaworks, 2001

Paintings and mecha design from Gundam, Crusher Joe, 60s Tatsunoko productions, and more

Shin Ueda Art Collection, Character Mechanic Sunrise Edition

上田信画集 キャラクターメカニック・サンライズ編
144 pages, color and b&w
Dainippon Kaiga, 2016

Box art and package art for 1980s Sunrise mecha products including Gundam and Votoms (order here)

Kenichi Sonoda Art Works 1983-1997

園田健一 ARTWORKS 1983‐1997
144 pages, color and b&w
Mediaworks, 1999

Collection of character art from Bubblegum Crisis, Gal Force, Riding Bean and others

Hokuto no Ken Illustration ULTIMATE

Hardcover, 174 pages, color
Shogakukan, 2008

Deluxe, large-format collection of color paintings and illustrations from the Fist of the North Star manga, includes 32-page bonus magazine (manga retrospective)

Haruhiko Mikimoto Illustrations

美樹本晴彦 イラストレーションズ
96 pages, color and b&w
Movic, 1992

English edition; paintings and illustrations from Macross, Orguss, Gunbuster, Gundam, and others

Intron Depot 1 by Masamune Shirow

147 pages, color and b&w
Seishinsha, 1992

Paintings and illustrations with English text from Appleseed, Black Magic, Ghost in the Shell, Dominion, and others (order here)

Toshihiro Kawamoto Artworks The Illusives 1985-2005

296 pages, color and b&w
Softbank Creative, 2006

Enormous 2-volume set with character art from several Gundam series, The Cockpit, Golden Boy, Cowboy Bebop and more

Kimitoshi Yamana Mecha Picture Book

山根公利 メカ図鑑
208 pages, color and b&w
MdN Corporation, 2008

Mecha design from Cowboy Bebop, Escaflowne, Infinite Ryvius, several Gundam series, and others

Prismtone, Range Murata Anime Works 1998-2006

344 pages, color and b&w
Wani Magazine Co., 2010

Compendium of character design from Blue Sub No. 6, Last Exile, and others

Seraphic Feather Illustrations, Hiroyuki Utatane

セラフィック・フェザー イラストレーションズ
Separate color and b&w volumes, total 159 pages
Kodansha, 1998

Illustrations from the Seraphic Feather manga

Hydrogen, Kenji Tsuruta

水素 鶴田謙二
254 pages, color and b&w
Kodansha, 1997

Hardcover compendium of manga art across several titles including Spirit of Wonder

Super Mecha Illustration by Kazuaki Koizumi

125 pages, color and b&w
Graphic Ltd., 2000

Extensive paintings (with English text) of real-world and anime mecha including Gundam, Leiji Matsumoto concepts, and others

Katsura Masakazu Illustrations 4C

桂正和 イラスト集 4C
236 pages, color and b&w
Shueisha, 1998

3-volume hardcover compendium of art from manga titles Video Girl Ai, I’’s, Wingman, Shadow Lady, and others

Noriyoshi Ohrai, Green Universe

生頼範義 緑色の宇宙
162 pages, color and b&w
Genkosha, 2014

Collection of paintings and illustrations from movies, books, magazines etc. Includes Star Wars, Godzilla, and more.

The Complete Works of Yoshiyuki Tomino, 1964-1999

富野由悠季 全仕事
438 pages, mostly b&w
Kinejun Mook Special, 1999

An encyclopedia of all of Tomino’s anime works up to its publishing date (order here)

Steel Man, Naochika Morishita Artworks

129 pages, color and b&w
Futabasha, 2007

Box art and package art for 2000s Sunrise mecha products including Gundam and Votoms

Yuji Kaida Gundam Artworks

127 pages, color
Dai Nippon Painting, 2015

Model kit box art from multiple Gundam series (order here)

Edge of Gundam, Hirotoshi Sano Gundam Art Collection

136 pages, color and b&w
Hobby Japan, 2001

Paintings and illustrations from multiple Gundam series

Kenichi Ishibashi Illust Collection 1: Metal Heart

79 pages, color
Bandai, 1988

Color paintings from 1980s Sunrise anime model kit box art, Gundam and others

Norio Shioyama Art Collection

96 pages, color and b&w
Movic, 1996

Paintings and illustrations for Votoms, Samurai Troopers, Galient and others

Permanent Collection: Masterpieces of Norio Shioyama Artwork

永久保存版 塩山紀生アートワーク傑作選
111 pages, color and b&w
Village Center Publications, 2002

Expanded collection of paintings and illustrations for Votoms and others

Tomonori Kogawa Sunrise Animation Artworks

湖川友謙 サンライズ作品画集
Hardcover, 143 pages
Ichijinsha, 2017

Extensive collection of paintings and illustrations from Ideon, Xabungle, and Dunbine

Tomonori Kogawa Illustration Collections, With a Friend

湖川友謙 イラスト集 友ありて
32 pages each, color
Self-published, 2017

Doujinshi-format collections of color illustrations of anime characters across Kogawa’s career including Sunrise works, Leiji Matsumoto works, and others; published to benefit charitable causes

Cosmos, Katsumi Itabashi’s Works

210 pages, color and b&w
MEF, 2006

Huge compendium of original SF mecha design; combined reprint of previously-published 2-volume set

Katsumi Itabashi’s Mechanical World, Meccanista

Self-published magazines for art exhibitions, 2009 and 2011

Mecha designer for Space Battleship Yamato, several Leiji Matsumoto anime productions and various manga (visit his website here)

Shoji Kawamori Macross Design Works

159 pages, color and b&w
Movic, 2001

Mecha design from multiple Macross anime and games

Shoji Kawamori Design Works

208 pages, b&w with minimal color
MdN Corporation, 2006

Huge compendium of mecha design from several Macross series, Cyber Formula, Armored Core, Patlabor, Gundam 0083 and others

Tsukasa Hojo Special Illustrations

北条司 スペシャル・イラストレーションズ
108 pages, color and b&w
Shueisha, 1991

Illustrations, paintings and manga art for Cat’s Eye, City Hunter, and others

Tsukasa Hojo 20th Anniversary Illustrations

Hardcover, 108 pages, color
Shueisha, 2000

Paintings and manga art for Cat’s Eye, City Hunter, and others

Yutaka Izubuchi Mechanical Design Works 1

出渕裕メカニカルデザインワークス (1)
103 pages, b&w
Movic, 2000

Collection of mecha designs from Gundam, Votoms, Xabungle, Gasaraki and others (no second volume was published)

Yutaka Izubuchi 30th Anniversary Art Collection IIIX

出渕裕画業30周年記念画集 IIIX
232 pages, color and b&w
Tokuma Shoten, 2008

2-volume hardcover set (with bonus DVD) covering numerous anime, tokusatsu, illustration and manga projects

Katsuhiro Otomo Artwork KABA

大友克洋アートワーク KABA
Hardcover, 178 pages, color and b&w
Kodansha, 1989

Compendium of manga and illustration projects up to publishing date, English text

Genga: Katsuhiro Otomo Original Pictures

256 pages, color and b&w
Pie International, 2012

Massive, large-format collection that accompanied a 2012 art exhibition in Tokyo; includes extensive works from Akira

Yoshiyuki Takani Anime Illustration Collection

高荷義之 アニメ・イラスト集
106 pages, color and b&w
Tokuma Shoten, 1983

Compendium of paintings and illustrations for Macross, Dunbine, Gundam, Xabungle, and others

Wonder Art Takani Style

ワンダーアート タカニスタイル
144 pages, color and b&w
Oakla Publishing, 2002

Extensive collection of paintings and illustrations for anime mecha, games, box art, magazines, book covers, historical subjects and more

Yoshiyuki Takani: The Transcendent Technique of Steel

高荷義之: 鋼の超絶技巧画報
159 pages, color and b&w
Kawade Shobo Shinsha, 2014

Career retrospective with illustrations and paintings including anime model kit box art

The World of Shigeru Komatsuzaki

Color and b&w
Gakken Graphic Books, Vol. 7 (122 pages, 1995) and 13 (146 pages, 1997)

Collection of illustrations and paintings from his entire career; magazines, box art, etc.

Pandora’s Box – Shigeru Komatsuzaki Phantom Emblem Matsumoto Collection

パンドラの匣―小松崎茂 幻の松本徽章コレクション
hardcover, 143 pages, color and b&w
Human Culture Company, 1999

Collection of rare historical and scientific paintings and illustrations from various books and magazines

Shigeru Komatsuzaki, Bandai Box Art Collection

小松崎茂 バンダイボックスアートコレクション
120 pages, color and b&w
Toysworks, 2008

Extensive compendium of model kit box art paintings from the late 60s through the 70s, including many anime and tokusatsu subjects

Hidetaka Tenjin Art Works of Macross: VALKYRIES

バルキリーズ 天神英貴マクロス画集

First volume: 136 pages, color
Kobunsha, 2005

Second Sortie: 111 pages, color
Kobunsha, 2011

Collections of box art, package art, and painted works for Macross mecha across multiple series

Third Sortie was published in 2016 (order here)

The Art of Hidetaka Tenjin

天神英貴 WORKS
103 pages, color
Ascii Mediaworks, 2010

Box art, game art, package art and more for Gundam, Macross, Votoms, Patlabor and others

Hidetaka Tenjin 20th Anniversary Art Collection

199 pages, color
Hobby Japan, 2018

Greatly expanded version of 2010 book with many added subjects

Naoyuki Katoh SF Illustrations [Art Book]

Hardcover, 98 pages, color and b&w
Asahi Sonorama, 1981

Collection of fantasy and SF paintings with English-language foreword (two more volumes released in 1983 and 1987)

SF Painter Naoyuki Katoh – Beauty, Mecha, Powered Suits

198 pages, color
Laputa, 2006

Collection of SF paintings with documentation of research and preparation

Armored Angel Gabriel

208 pages, color and b&w
Laputa, 2008

Original SF mecha design collaborations between Naoyuki Katoh and Kazutaka Miyatake

Kazutaka Miyatake Macross & Orguss Design Works

宮武一貴 マクロス&オーガスデザインワークス
113 pages, b&w
Movic, 2005

Extensive collection of mecha design from Orguss and multiple Macross series

Kazutaka Miyatake Design Works

127 pages, color and b&w
Gentosha Comics, 2007

Paintings and design for anime and film; Starship Troopers, Sayonara Jupiter and others

Kazutaka Miyatake, Mega Designer Created Mega Structure

113 pages, color and b&w
Hobby Japan, 2017

Comprehensive career retrospective, paintings and mecha design spanning 1972-2016 (order here)

Maschinen Krieger in Action: Bande Dessinee

Hardcover, 110 pages, color
Dainippon Kaiga, 2005

Painted picture stories of SF3D mecha in action by Kow Yokoyama

Kow Yokoyama Ma.K. sketchbook Vol. 1

横山宏 Ma.K.スケッチブック
High page count, mostly b&w
Dainippon Kaiga, 2006

Huge collection of sketches and illustrations, original mecha and characters

SF3D Chronicles

SF3D クロニクルズ
468 pages, color
Hobby Japan, 2010

2-volume set of enlarged reprints from Hobby Japan, all SF3D articles published from 1982-1985

Maschinen Krieger Graphix

マシーネンクリーガー グラフィックス

Complete reprints of Maschinen Krieger articles from Model Graphix magazine, 1999 and forward

Volume 1: 253 pages, color and b&w – Dainippon Kaiga, 2011 (order here)

Volume 2: 252 pages, color and b&w – Dainippon Kaiga, 2011 (order here)

Volume 3 (not shown): 243 pages, color and b&w – Dainippon Kaiga, 2012 (order here)

Yasuhiko Yoshikazu Artworks

127 pages, color and b&w
Kodansha, 1981

Paintings and illustrations from books and anime productions, including early manga

Yasuhiko Yoshikazu Illustrations, Roman Album Special

安彦良和 イラストレーションズ
large page count, color
Tokuma Shoten, 1985

Compendium of paintings, illustrations, and manga; Arion, Giant Gorg, Crusher Joe, Gundam and others

The Complete Works of Yasuhiko Yoshikazu

large page count, color
Media Factory, 2000

Compendium of paintings and illustrations from anime and manga projects; Gundam, Arion, Dirty Pair and others

Yasuhiko Yoshikazu Original Artworks 2006-2007 catalog

安彦良和原画展 2006~2007 図録
236 pages, color and b&w
Unbranded, 2006

Large compendium that accompanied a traveling art exhibition of paintings and manga art

Yasuhiko Yoshikazu Animation Art Collection, Mobile Suit Gundam

271 pages,
Kadokawa Shoten, 2013

Huge collection of animation production layouts for original Gundam series and movies (order here)

Kunio Okawara Iron Works

112 pages, color and b&w
Bandai, 1989

Paintings and mecha designs from 1980s Sunrise productions; Gundam, Votoms, and others

Kunio Okawara Gundam Art Works

Large page count, color
Movic, 1998

Paintings from several Gundam series from the first through the 90s

Kunio Okawara Real Robot Design Works

97 pages, color and b&w
Movic, 2000

Compendium of mecha design from Vifam, SPT Layzner, and Dragonar

Mecha Designer Kunio Okawara, Mecha Design for 1/1

メカニックデザイナー大河原邦男 メカデザイン FOR 1/1
139 pages, color and b&w
Unbranded, 2009

Extensive overview of paintings and mecha design up to time of publication

Kunio Okawara, Legend of Mechanical Design

大河原邦男展 レジェンド・オブ・メカデザイン
352 pages, color and b&w

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art exhibition catalog with English text, 2013

Mechanic Designer Kunio Okawara Exhibition

メカニックデザイナー 大河原邦男展
346 pages, color and b&w
Sankei Shimbun, 2015

Art museum exhibition catalog with English text, 2015

Kunio Okawara Walker

122 pages, color
Kadokawa, 2015

Career retrospective with extensive art and product photos (order here)

Hyper Weapon and Hyper Weapon 2


Hyperweapon is a semi-annual archive of designs, paintings, illustrations, manga, and models created by Makoto Kobayashi. These early volumes were published by Model Art Co. in 1984 (98 pages each) and present a future-war world through art and model photography

Hyperweapon 2005

ハイパーウェポン 2005
Model Art Co., 2005

Covers Dragon’s Heaven, Gundam (various), Last Exile, Samurai 7, and others.

Hyperweapon 2007

ハイパーウェポン 2007
Model Art Co., 2007

Large format volume, covers ICE, Dragon’s Heaven, Yamato and others

Hyperweapon 2008

Model Art Co., 2008

Covers many original and print media works

Hyperweapon 2009

Model Art Co., 2009

Covers Yamato Resurrection and Battlestar Galactica (reboot)

Hyperweapon 2011

ハイパーウェポン 2011
Model Art Co., 2011

Covers Yamato Resurrection Director’s Cut, Last Exile, and others

Hyperweapon 2013S Reason to Fly

Dainippon Kaiga, 2014

Covers Yamato 2199, Yamato Resurrection, Last Exile, and original subjects (order here)

Hypeweapon 2014 The Way to Varellous

126 pages, color
Dainippon Kaiga, 2014

Covers Yamato 2199 and earlier works (order here)

Hyperweapon 2014 + Future Weapon AS

127 pages, color
Dainippon Kaiga, 2014

Collection of Future Weapon AS [Advanced Shape] series from Hobby Japan magazine (order here)

Hyperweapon 2016 Paradise Logic

126 pages, color
Dainippon Kaiga, 2016

Covers Yamato 2199 and original works (order here)


Additional Finds

Kazuhisa Kondo 2D & 3D Works
Go Ahead

230 pages, color and b&w
Hobby Japan, 1993

Kondo first came to prominence in the pages of Hobby Japan as an illustrator, modeler, and manga artist with a huge Gundam fixation. He expanded his range throughout the 80s to cover other subjects, but always came back to Gundam. This book is a substantial collection of his works (both in art and modeling) with Gundam getting the lion’s share of the pages.

Hideaki Anno Exhibition

496 pages, color
Museum book, 2021

This massive volume accompanied a traveling exhibition devoted to the life work of animator/designer/filmmaker Hideaki Anno, best known as the creator of Evangelion and one of the most prominent examples of a fan who lived his dreams by becoming a professional. Unfortunately, the book is only sold at art museums that host the exhibit, so you’ll have to dig deep to find it.

See the official website here


Junichi Hayama Live Drawing

176 pages, color and b&w
Genkosha, 2014

Order it here

Junichi Hayama Brush Work

羽山淳一 ブラッシュワーク
128 pages, color
Genkosha, 2015

Order it here

Junichi Hayama is a character designer by trade, and a fantastic illustrator with an energetic brush style that breathes life into every image. These two books showcase his talents brilliantly; the first in a “how-to” format and the second as an art collection that spans many vintage anime and live-action subjects with a focus on the 80s.


Junichi Hayama Illustration Collections

Self-published, 2013-2017

Four of these incredible volumes exist (that I know of), averaging 140 pages with high-voltage color illustrations from front to back. If you like 80s anime or tokusatsu shows, each of these books will have something for you.

Mechanism Trajectory

Yuji Kaida Illustration Collection

開田裕治画集 メカニズムの軌跡
192 pages, color
Ikeda Shoten, 2022

Yuji Kaida is one of the top mecha painters in the world with a career spanning at least 40 years. This book collects his best mecha paintings from box art to posters and everything in between, with a focus on 80s and 90s anime.

Order it here


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