Gundam Art Books and Series Guides Part 1

Welcome to the first proper entry into our new series of posts here at Retro Anime Realm, where we will be taking a look at some art books and series guides. You can see the introductory post for this series here. To start off with, we shall be looking at some Gundam stuff that I think people shall enjoy. Let’s start with the following Gundam series guide.

(*NOTE* This is a repost from our old defunct site MatureManga.net.)

Gundam Episode Guide vol. 3 – Grips Conflict and Neo Zeon War I, II – UC 0087-0093

Gundam Episode Guide vol. 3 - Grips Conflict and Neo Zeon War I, II - UC 0087-0093

As you can see this one has a particularly wordy title…

I’ve forgotten where exactly where I bought most of my art books and series guides, but the sticker on the front of this one jogged my memory. This particular series guide I picked up from a Book Off in New York City in 2013.

A quick Google search tells me that the store is still there if you’re interested. Book Offs and their sister stores Hard Offs are large chains in Japan but they do have stores in the US and in Paris also.

Basic Information

This series guide was first published in 1999, and as the title suggests covers Zeta Gundam, Gundam ZZ and Char’s Counterattack. The book is very Japanese-heavy, but it does have many images and original art to enjoy.

Essays and Character Biographies

The first number of pages contain what looks like interviews and essays about Gundam, but as I can’t read Japanese unfortunately I’m unable to read these. I’m not sure if it’s already been translated, but I’ll ask Zeonic Scanlations nicely just in case it hasn’t.

We then have some small character biographies, about some of the main cast over the course of the Gundam franchise. This is complete with screenshots from the series. We then get a nice little diagram about how all the characters relate to each other, but again this is unfortunately in Japanese.

Kai Shiden's biography.

Character, Faction and Mobile Suit Summaries

After this we get more into the meat and potatoes of the book. The series guide devotes pages to each of the individual Gundam series. We see sections for each faction, complete with more character information as well as information for each of their mobile suits. There are also individual sections summarising the episodes of each series in batches. Similar to how we do here!

The next sections contain blank, uncoloured character sketches, as well as artwork for anything that appears in each individual episode. So mobile suits, weapons, ships etc. We also get a piloting chart, that shows us every mobile suit that every character piloted during these series. As well as that the book presents us with a table containing the specs for all of these mobile suits.

Qubeley line art.

Extra Bits

The next part I really like, but also feel rather let down about. The series guide shows us all of the covers for the Gundam LaserDisk and video releases, even the soundtracks… but unfortunately not in colour. It’s a shame as the artwork looks really good on these covers. However we only get these thumbnail sized black and white images, and therefore is a bit disappointing.

Zeta Gundam LaserDisk covers.

The last page features another essay, this time seemingly about the production of the Gundam franchise.

Overall Thoughts

As you can see this is an interesting series guide, and one that I feel is well worth picking up if you are a Gundam fan. To be expected with any anime series guide there’s a lot of Japanese text, but it’s definitely still enjoyable even if you don’t know the language.

This art book is currently available to buy on Amazon as I type this. If you’re interested in buying it, here’s your opportunity!

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