The 2004 edition of the Super Robot Encyclopedia is the 3rd edition and continues improving an excellent product. This is one book every mecha fan should have on his shelf. The book is 296 pages and covers mecha in Japanese anime – television, movies and OAVs – from the beginning to 2004. Although 5 years out of date you can’t afford to pass up this book.
This tome is chock-full of color illustrations and line art of every kind of mecha animated in Japan. Starting with Iron Man 28 in 1963 it covers the sweep of years through, well, Iron Man 28 (2004 remake)! This book serves as an excellent encyclopedia for looking up obscure mecha shows that you’ve heard about. Even if you can’t read Japanese (as I can’t) you get images from the show, the proper title, year it started, etc.
This book is great because it gives the reader perspective on the anime mecha scene. You can see how designs developed over the decades from stove pipe arms and legs to garrish samurai armor imitations to simple angles to complex curves, etc. It’s all here and all readily accessible.
On page 278 they begin a 9 page section on giant robots in Japanese live-action shows. They don’t miss a single detail with this book!
If you can find a copy, don’t pass it up. ISBN 4-8402-2861-2