James Boren (jboren@earthlink.net)
Mon, 26 Feb 2001 03:13:55 -0800

It seems you can go two weeks without another big Gundam book going
on sale. This time it's "Edge of Gundam", an art book featuring the
work of Hirotoshi Sano.

Hirotoshi Sano Illustrations
Pub. Hobby Japan
3800 yen (I paid $52.45 at Kinokuniya)
136 pages
softbound with a clear plastic slipcase (like "Gundam Fix")

You may not recognize the name, but you've most likely seen his stuff.
Sano has done the covers of the "Gundam the Movies" film comic
series, paintings for the Gundam RPG, covers of some of the recent
DVD releases of 0083 and 0080, and all the LD covers of G-Gundam. He
has a wide range of styles. He can do watercolors that look just like
"Yas" to slick cell paintings. Sano is really good at replicating the
style of the series so his first gundam stuff looks like it was done
in the early 80's and his 0083 work looks like Kawamoto did it. I
would say his most personal style would be the brush and ink drawings
for the film comics. Great stuff there, in fact, great stuff all
around. This guy is good.

He is equally well at characters and mecha, but mecha seem to
dominate this collection. The book concentrates on first Gundam, but
0080, 0083, 08th and G-gundam all get good coverage. No series got
ignored but Wing, X and Turn-A only got 2 pics each.

The price is expensive, esp. when compared to the superb "Yas" book
which was only 2800 yen and had better quality pages. Still, these
are some of the best Gundam illustrations out there, just look at the
new DVD covers, plus I am real excited at the G-Gundam LD paintings.
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention a cool cell painting from "Blue

Well, I am definitely pleased with the book, and I hope I gave you
enough info to know whether you will like the book as well.


Here's a bonus review of a non-gundam book that some may be tempted by--

Front Mission 3
Perfect Works
Pub. DigiCube
3500 yen
231 pages

This is not a strategy guide, rather it contains exhaustive
background material from the game, much like an RPG sourcebook. These
"Perfect Works" are a series covering RPGs from SquareSoft. They are
all large format, thick books with a lot of Japanese text, and
pre-production artwork from the game. I have the Xenogears book, and
it has a lot of cool line art from all the mecha. I was hoping for
more of the same from the Front Mission 3 book but no such luck. Very
disappointing. It's very weak on the art side, leaving only pages of
text that no doubt would be very interesting if I could only read
Japanese. Stay away from this only unless you are a Front Mission
freak who owns all color variations of all the action figures.

BTW, I am in the midst of watching the Votoms series and just
realized that Front Mission is just like Votoms without space travel.
Themes, tactics, mecha concepts-- even the imaginary numbers are like
the Perfect soldiers in Votoms. So, I guess Heavy Gear is not the
only game to rip off (Oh sorry-- be inspired) by Votoms.

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