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Some of the coolest things I picked up in Tokyo were a trio of Katsuhiro Otomo art books – although sadly they weren’t for me, intended instead for my favourite Otomo-san obsessive Al T. Shame, as I would have liked to have spent some quality time with these beauties. Luckily though, I was able to grab a few shots before I let him get his grubby paws all over them.

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First off is the hard to find Akira Animation Archive – tricky to get hold of in the UK, and pretty elusive in Tokyo too, it turns out. But on the big man’s request I hunted high and low from Shinjuku to Akihabara, finally bagging a second hand copy in Mandarake Shibuya.

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It’s a nice looking book, packed with lots of images, storyboards, sketches and concept designs from the classic film.

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Next up is a hefty tone – one I had to think twice before buying just as the weight of the thing threatened to crush my luggage restrictions. Steamboy – The Storyboard Book does exactly what it says on the cover, presenting the films entire board set in a stylish hardcover volume.

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As you can see, the hand drawn storyboards – all by Otomo himself, apparently – look great in this format, and the book looks like one you’d want to spend hours with.

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Finally I also grabbed him this Robot Carnival art book. I have never seen the movie, sadly, but seeing as it’s an anthology of different directors’ works, there’s obviously a lot of stuff in here that isn’t Otomo produced. From the quick flick I had, there’s a lot of interesting stuff, especially if you’re into that slightly retro looking ‘80s anime vibe.

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Anyway, I won’t say anymore, I’ll just wait for the man himself to let you know what he thinks…

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