Kaba 2 – Otomo Katsuhiro Artwork Book Review Part II

Posted By blauereiter der on February 19th, 2012

Part II of the book review for Otomo Katsuhiro’s latest art book Kaba 2. You can read part I here.

(above)  Panels from Batman – The Third Mask. These are the only few pages in the art book that has English content – many readers here have expressed disappointment that there are no English translations for the captions in the book, unlike the first Kaba. Why this is so is anyone’s guess – thankfully illustrations still make up the bulk of the content.

(above) Mecha designs for the animated film Roujin Z. I saw this a very long time ago and can hardly remember anything from it- this is probably one of Otomo’s less memorable works for me. ( below ) Some amazing character design sheets from his Memories film, which I love to bits. There is another art book “Memory of Memories” that is dedicated to the making of the film. ( read the review here )

(above and below) Character and mecha designs from Nissin’s Freedom Project, which I was more than thrilled to work on from about 2006-2008 at Sunrise Studios. Otomo was only involved in the main character designs so he seldom came into the studio, working mostly at home. He did turn up for this year-end party though. You can read more about my work at the studio and Freedom Project here.

(Below) The last ten pages or so Otomo-san talks about several topics, including the numerous projects he handled since the first Kaba art book, his love for bicycles, thoughts on traditional animation and technology’s influence on the art form, etc. Nothing incredibly important that his fans are missing out on, I think.

Anyone who recognizes the incredibly value of Otomo-san’s beautiful body of work will know this book is well worth the rather hefty price it commands – I think the images speak for themselves. My highest, highest recommendations.

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6 Responses to “Kaba 2 – Otomo Katsuhiro Artwork Book Review Part II”


This collection looks absolutely amazing, I only wish it was available more domestically. Shipping fees and I have some catching up to do…

Thanks so much for this review!

Liam. A

can you recommend any Otomo Katsuhiro artbooks published in english? well, any amazing eastern art books in english would be swell. I guess, if there is going to be writing, id love to be able to read it.


elise – Well worth your hard earned money, I promise ! :]

Liam.A – You can check out his Memories – a collection of short stories – https://www.amazon.com/dp/0749396873/ref=as_li_ss_til?tag=halcreal-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as4&creativeASIN=0749396873&adid=0X3GH8R0A5ZXJ1QG41PG&

I had no idea the book is that hard to come by these days, maybe your local comic/bookstore might carry it too ?

Cobalt 60

Well, I’m sorry, but for me this book doesn’t worth its price!
I’m living in Japan and hesitated to buy it even without the postage. As it is in a box, the staff of the bookstore didn’t accept to open it. Too bad, when I came back home I realized the book was not so interesting.
Illustrations for covers of Akira black and white books, covers for the two books of his shorts stories, pictures and screen captures from the films Memories and Steamboy all this material has already been published. As usual, the character design model sheets are not graphically interesting, that’s only tools, no need to spend to much time on it!
For me, only a third of the book is never seen before art, especially if you already have Kaba and some of other Otomo’s books (i.e. Akira Club). In this 30%, not so many works are really interesting and suprising.
Kaba 2 is big and expensive disappointment. Reserved for hardcore fans of Otomo only. If you can read Japanese, see the comment of one of the Japanese buyer on the Japanes Amazon page.
I will sell my copy of Kaba 2 in a couple of years. :-)


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