REVIEW: Shin Ueda Character Mechanic Sunrise-hen

Title: Shin Ueda Character Mechanic Sunrise-hen / Shin Ueda Mecha-hen
Author: Shin Ueda
Year Released: 2016
Publisher: Dai Nihon Kaiga

Shin Ueda who is known for his military illustrations, has worked a number of color illustrations of anime mecha and robots. This book focuses on his illustrations for Gundam, Dougram, Votoms, and others. Contents are as follows:
>  Interview
>  Section 1 – 1981 ~ 1986: Gundam
>  Section 2 – 1983 ~ 1993: Dougram, Votoms, Aura Battler Dunbine, Choriki Robo Galatt, Galian, SPT Layzner
>  Section 3 – Rough sketches, unseen works, etc
>  Section 4 – Wataru (Machine Hero Wataru)
>  Section 5 – Current works

This is mostly a collection of box art for various kits. Fans of goufs, zakus, and votoms will be happy to see art for these mechas. Each art will have information such as which kit it was for, the year, the medium and tools (board/paper, watercolor etc). There is even the size of the original art (though I don’t know if it’s in cm or inches). What I like the most is that some of the finished art have the original sketches, and you can compare them side by side. And I am amazed at the colors that he achieves with traditional media. I mean, these are 80s and 90s stuff, well before digital drawing was commonplace. When I first saw the art the style was obviously dated, but as I studied them more carefully they were inspiring nonetheless.

One drawback to this book was the strong crayon-like smell. It must be because of the ink, as all pages are colored including the borders. Only a handful of the pages have real white and it is part of the art. Anyway after a while the smell weakens.

This artbook is great for fans of goufs and zakus. If you want to be inspired by mecha artwork in traditional media and don’t mind the dated art style, this is a good book to get.

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