Genma Wars – Otomo Katsuhiro Art Book Review

Posted By yonghow on December 13th, 2012

Ok this is a pretty rare one – the art book for the sci-fi anime film Genma Taisen ( Harmagedon: The Great Battle with Genma ), directed by Rintaro and with character design by Otomo Katsuhiro. This book was published close to a whopping 30 years ago in 1983, the same year the anime was released.

I had no knowledge of the existence of this book until my friend Roy passed it to me for review when we met in Tokyo, when I was visiting Otomo’s Genga Exhibition, so thanks again, Roy.

Otomo-san’s unique visual style is easily recognizable and you can see ideas here that are just waiting to explode in his masterpiece Akira.

(above) No prizes for guessing where Otomo got his ideas and influence for the costume design – Moebius is a true legend.

(above and below) Some of these colors works have recently been reproduced in the ginormous and fantastic catalogue for Otomo’s Genga Exhibition held in Tokyo earlier this year.

Availability : This book is no longer in print – for those who are keen to purchase one you can find used copies on Amazon Japan.

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11 Responses to “Genma Wars – Otomo Katsuhiro Art Book Review”

Robert Trujillo

Beautiful book! Always loved Otomo’s style and the sheer volume of work is ridiculous! Thx for posting.


yep. Otomo is never not awesome. i’m almost tired of talking about how great he is, but holy shit, he is always great.


Wow, amazing.
Im saving up for genga and found a not so ”expensive” Kaba that I might buy soon.
this one is absolutely stunning, specially cause it has stuff I havent seen.

Btw, I’ve always wonder, what medium is the one he uses to paint most of his things….I havent figure it out yet 😛


i believe he uses acrylics, primarily, sometimes combined with color tone, depending on when it was done.


laocontico – Zack’s correct, I believe many of his pieces were done with acrylic. Even his latest pieces like the cover illustration for Kaba 2 was done using traditional media; I’m not sure Otomo-san has ever used digital paint.


Thanks for the anwers guys 🙂

Captain Kerosene

Hello folks,

Last week, I introduced Mœbius’ Arzak to Japanese fans with a lecture and a projection of “Arzak Rhapsody”. We invited Rintaro who knew and was a friend of Mœbius. He told us some personnal anecdotes about Mœbius he used to meet at La Coupole restaurant every time he went to Paris (La Coupole is not far from Stardom gallery around Montparnasse, the same place where David Lynch had is workshop… where he met Mœbius).
Rintaro told me he is now working with French (what he already did with his 3D anime Yona). He said he could make this new anime only in France, since it’s his autobiography. According to him, no Japanese producers would accept to produce such a project. Rintaro is now looking for producers.
About Otomo, I could at last see the video capture of the lecture Mœbius gave at Meiji University in 2009. This dvd can be seen only in the librairy of the university with special permission.
In this lecture, Mœbius said: “when I saw Otomo’s work (it was before Akira, the manga), I was petrified! It was great! I studied Otomo’s work as I would come back to school (…) I looked carefully how he drew. I tried to understand, tried to copy Otomo’s work (remember my mail where I wrote that Otomo’s influence was evident in Edena’s World?), but I failed, I just managed to copy some details.” And Mœbius conclued: “Otomo is Otomo!”
By the way, my book explaining the art of Mœbius will be published around May 2013 on Earth. Content: inking, anatomy, work after photos, composition, lettering, graphic exploration, etc. Only 800 copies for this world. 🙂


that sounds pretty intense, i would love to read that book!


Captain Kerosene – Why limit it to only 800 books ? Just curious. :]

Captain Kerosene

It’s a small publisher. If it’s a succes, more copies will be printed.


I got one of this book to a Japanese Shop ( that have and old copy in good condition, and got it today… My mind blow with this book, the quality of the illustrations but I must admit I’m a big fan and collector of otomo works.

Captain Kerosene I would love to get one of this copies ( -_- )