Industrial Divinities – Junji Okubo Mecha Art Book Review

Posted By yonghow on October 2nd, 2009

Phew. I can’t believe its been three full weeks since my last post – as of late I’ve been up to my stringy neck sorting out some personal matters and blogging had to take a backseat for a while; my apologies. Things are pretty much settled now and I hope to resume regular posting, ideally at least once a week.

Anyway. Just very recently I received an email from an online friend Ollie Barder, who had the amazing luck of interviewing the author and artist of “Industrial Divinities”, Junji Okubo, and he was kind enough to let me know that the interview is now online. (Read it right here.) I had covered very briefly the contents of Okubo-san’s superb book in an earlier post, but after reading the interview I felt somewhat compelled to share his fantastic artwork and mecha designs with everyone, so here we go :

One of the biggest appeals of Okubo-san’s mecha is undoubtably the high level of realism behind the designs – as a kid he lived near the US Yokota Air Base and had many opportunities to see real fighters and transport vehicles.

Fans of realistic mecha design should definitely check out this previous post on “The Labor Industry”, featuring a fantastic collection of Patlabor mecha illustrations.

(above) Industrial robots from Freedom Project, bearing an uncanny resemblence to Okubo-san’s mecha ( below ). Must have been designed by a fan. :]

(below) Mecha from Capcom’s Tekki Taisen. Although Okubo-san was not directly involved in the project, the robots created were based on Okubo-san’s original designs.

Anyone watched the laudable District 9 a while back ? The mecha that appeared near the end of the film looked suspiciously Okubo inspired. Can’t wait for it to be released on blu-ray. :]

You can get a copy of Industrial Divinities here.


10 Responses to “Industrial Divinities – Junji Okubo Mecha Art Book Review”


“It is Beautiful!!” No there all Beautiful!


Feels like those mechs actually exist with those live action plates xD

Caught district 9 while i was in the US for my overseas attachment. Really impressive for a low budget film + the heavy amount of vfx involved!


I’m not usually into this kind of mecha, but the images where he incorporates them with real life are amazing. Are there a lot like that in the book?

A lot of District 9 made me think Half-Life, they were really influenced by a lot of different sci-fi and I can definitely see the Okubo inspiration.


This is some interesting stuff. Thanks for the insights. Looking forward to reading future posts.


I wanted to mention District 9 as well, but it was already mentioned. Personally I think is the best mecha ever seen in a movie. Probably the movie will be a hit in Japan based on that alone.
Anyway, Okubo drawings are interesting. Was him involved with Gits?


beautiful illustrations


Thanks for posting! I am definitely interested in picking up this book in the future. I have an affinity for small robots, especially in kind of arbitrary environments.

I am kind of inspired to do my own series of robot/city compositing. If people living around different places in the world would be willing to take photographs for this cause let me know. That would make a fantastic side project, I would love to take the photos myself, but it would be so much more interesting to get others around the world to snap some interesting shots.

Anyone partial to small (and maybe large) robots and photography please contact me if interested! Maybe Vong you would be interested in sending me a snapshot of a kind of interesting empty street in Tokyo to get it started? ^_^


The mecha design is something i admire so much, must imagine the close-to-reality the designs might be to feel the animation real.

Now you made me think i have been watching lot of Okubo´s work in appleseed and of course freedom (sure a lot more animes and movies)and never noticed who he really was.

The images up look SO real, and maybe a silly question but… maybe that designs can have real applications?, like rescuing people or building more robots, don´t know. Watch Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 recently, so the question just occured to me.

I waiting disctric 9, not released here yet, but now i have another reason for waiting to it.

like andrew said: thanks for posting, greetings Von!


One word. Wow!

OK so more than one word. The designs and illustrations are more than impressive. Just waiting for the real life applications now.

– J


Beautiful designs. I’ll have to get this book.