Memories Of The Sky – Shinkai Makoto Background Art Book Review

Posted By yonghow on May 9th, 2008

“空の記憶” ( Memories of the sky ) is a mesmerizingly beautiful, richly comprehensive collection of background art from Shinkai Makoto’s animation films, dating back from his earlier works “Voices of a Distance Star” to his latest “5 Centimeters”.

The original background plates are faithfully reproduced on print, colours are vibrant and images crisp and clean. Pictures are accompanied by the occasional production note and each one captioned by cut number.

There’s a short section at the end of the book that covers some of the techniques that the artist employ , though its largely an overview and covers more on image layout rather than actual painting tips. Also included are interviews with Shinkai Makoto and his group of background artists, all in Japanese.

Definitely a great source of reference for working background artists and should most certainly please Shinkai Makoto fans out there.

You can grab a copy of the book here.


21 Responses to “Memories Of The Sky – Shinkai Makoto Background Art Book Review”

tragic comedy

I’ve ordered a copy too…can’t wait for it to get here so i can spend hours staring at the pics…


Apparently, I can’t find this book although I just reached Japan yesterday. All of this is because I CAN’T speak, read or hoot a word in Japanese.

No phone, no alien card and living in a lousy guesthouse in Motosumiyoshi. GOOOOOOOSH Japanese companies work hours are HARDCORE.


ooooh btw … why your name appeared mysteriously in my company staff listing? =D


tragic comedy – No doubt !

fartboy – Yo Willy, how are you enjoying Tokyo so far ? :] The book should be available in most major bookstores, you can definitely find it in any of the 2 Kinokuniya stores in Shinjuku.

I’m joining PP as a lighting & compositing artist come June, so that’s my name in the staff listing alright. Ain’t the world small ? See you real soon !


Terrible experience! The moment I landed in Japan, I wanted to go home.

I guess it will take me a while to settle in. I will start up a rival blog soon! Mwahaha!

Andy H

Great book – ive always drooled over his background art ever since i saw voice of a distant star.
Does this book contain much text or BW pics?

How much would postage to the UK be? Im quite keen on getting a copy if the price is ok. Wont be for a week or so though – im off to Germany next week.

Are you likely to be selling any more? The ebay listing is shown as ended.



Andy – Hey there, I removed the Ebay listing because believe it or not – the book is totally sold out in Japan, barely 2 weeks after its release. I do hope they will do a reprint soon and will let you know once its available again.

Off to Germany for holidays ? :]

Andy H

Blimey – i didnt expect that! Lemme know when you get it back in stock – i belive you have my email?

Yeah – off to berlin and perhaps hamburg or munich for a week. Havent really seen much of europe, and ive always wanted to visit germany for some reason. Strange coincidence with DannyChoo being there recently!

Hope youre ok, and dont work yourself to death!

Adrenaline Brush

I felt a strange urge to respond to the last line – “don’t work yourself to death” ))) Darn true. A couple of months ago I would’ve laughed at such words, but not now. I had to quit my job as storyboard artist because of serious health problems after a particularly tough and demanding project ((( Two months later and I’m still recovering… I seriously have NO IDEA how the anime industry works and manages to preserve the lives of all the poor artists involved)))

Anyway, whining aside – how many pages long is the book? Shinkai-san has always been a source of immense visual inspiration for me and I was thinking of getting this artbook.

sasa t

i feel like want to have one too…
is this book sell in malaysia?

sasa t

except this book , is there any art book from shinkai?


I want… No! I need this book!!
But in the country I live this sirt of things is impossible to find. Sigh
Most likely it doesn’t even exists anywhere here!
It’s very real and beautiful I really love Makoto’s work


why is the cover you got and the one in amazon is different? O:


neshoi – The cover is actually the same – The book comes with a protective paper cover over the actual book cover, and that is what you are seeing on amazon. Its the same book. :]

deni anggara

it’s very very awesome


Is the text in Japanese only? I dont know how to read Japanese but I need to understand what the text says. Useful tips and suggestions! 🙂


I’d say: terrible! Don’t buy this book, I had a terrible experience with it! I absolutely love Makoto’s art, but I had several problems with this book. First The unbearable price of the shipping from japan.. Then the ammount of time waiting for it and finally Finding out that none of that had been rewarded: The binding started coming off after a while, most of the prints looked like they were ‘rubbed off’ I recognize the bad quality of the printing, the printer was obviously running out of ink at some part and thus about 70% of the book has hideous printing quality. What pisses me off most though is the frail quality of the binding… Probably my worst disapointment of an artbook.. ever.


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