published Oct. 2002
I have always been a fan of the compilation art books for mecha anime. Books like the Mecha Encyclopedia should be on every mecha fan’s shelf. The book of Anime Bikes is not one to miss. It tracks down every motorcycle and hover bike to appear in anime from the beginnings to 2001. I certainly didn’t know that the first motorcycle to appear in anime was 1969’s Judo Boy. It’s a shame that many excellent designs from video games, art books and manga didn’t make it into the book. Well, you can’t have everything.
The book is roughly 8 years old. I saw it a few times years ago but wasn’t able to secure my own copy until I saw it recently on the Web site of a U.S. retailer of anime goods (I wish I could remember which one).
As expected, the best era of anime bikes was the 80’s. Megazone 23 and Mospeada were just the tip of the ice berg. It was in the 80’s that the motorcycles and hover bikes really became part of the action. In the 60’s and 70’s the bikes were mostly a simple mode of transportation for the hero. They didn’t transform or combine or even pack decent weaponry.
Color illustrations and line art are abundant in this book. The images aren’t real large but they’re big enough to do the job nicely. At 114 pages this book has enough content to let me heartily recommend it to all mecha fans. Now, if only someone would translate the interview with Aramaki Shinji and Kakinuma Hideki at the end of the book! Aramaki Shinji is a big motorcycle fan who has contributed greatly to the material covered by this book. It is fitting that he’s honored here.