• anime, mecha 12.04.2009

    published Oct. 2002
    ISBN 4-89048-660-7

    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.

    Posted by Tachyon @ 8:00 am

  • 6 Responses

    • Does it have large exposes on various bikes or is it a “single line art shot fits all” sort? Any exploded views or is it more of an overview? I assume Kaneda’s powerbike is in there? What about Venus Wars?

      I must say it really is tragic how difficult it is to get art books over here. While I understand the artists are somewhat reticent to spread their designs, I think it hurts the spread of anime more than it helps. Heck, I grew up to be a mechanical engineer and still point to a number of anime mechanical designs that inspired me to become one.

    • The book tries to be an overview so there are a number of bikes that get only one or two images. However, many bikes get nice treatment with multiple images, both color and black and white.

      Venus Wars anime gets half a page. The motorcycles of the movie Akira get 4 pages. There’s an extra page with photos of a life-size replica of Kaneda’s bike.

      I don’t see any exploded views or diagram views of inner parts. Kind of a shame but the book is trying to be an overview. I’m happy with it. I like being able to see bike designs that are just about impossible to find anywhere else.

    • Very cool. I will have to check out finding a copy. I am amazed there is enough interest in anime bikes – I thought I was the only one!

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