Shipped overseas and repackaged in the ’70s and ’80s, the Japanese concept of “giant robots” has become a global phenomenon, the stuff of Hollywood films, video games, TV shows, and more. But back then, as much now, the art of big robots has bore witness to a range of global contributions, influences, and shared inspiration.
The gunpla boom of the early ’80s saw an explosion of interest in mecha modeling and provided unprecedented opportunities for a group of model enthusiasts that dubbed themselves “Stream•Base.”
A brief look at some of the early design work created by ARTMIC artists for Omega City 23 while it was still planned as a television series.
At the end of the gunpla boom, Hobby Japan and Nitto teamed up to release a direct-to-video short film based on Kow Yokoyama’s model kit and photonovel series, S.F.3.d.
In 1988, Kow Yokoyama and Makoto Kobayashi stood atop the artist and model making scene. Their illustrations and model work appeared in anime, magazines, video games, and a collaborative artbook called Two Factory.
Metal Skin Panic MADOX-01 was one of the unsung heroes of the OVA boom. Presented here for the first time is an early design document outlining the OVA’s plot and designs, in both Japanese and English.
Originally conceptualized at the height of the real robot boom as a 26-episode TV series called Omega City 23, Megazone 23 went through numerous changes and iterations before it became a cutting edge OVA. For the first time, the original pitch document of Omega Zone 23 is available to read in Japanese and English.
Distributed exclusively to the model kit shops and retailers, the Hyper Dorvack Document helped sell Dorvack model kits using the design sensibilities of Makoto Kobayashi.
Tom digs up the history of a long-forgotten mobile suit with an incredible pedigree; designed by Yoshiyuki Tomino, appearing in the original pitch for Mobile Suit Gundam, and piloted by Char Aznable.
Tom shares his primary resources for researching the failed 1983 adaption of Mobile Suit Gundam, including links to complete PDFs of the original script by Chip Proser and storyboards.