What caught my eye about this book is the drawing of Spike on the cover. It looked so much like a live actor, except it's manga.
This 142-page soft cover book is a collection of sketches and commissioned paintings by Toshihiro Kawamoto. The illustrations come from before the TV series were released, all the way up to the movie. Art of computer games, soundtracks and magazines are also included.
The first few pages are devoted to character designs. There are captions for every illustration and they explain the back story. This is essentially the planning stage before the TV series were finalized. I found out that the anime was actually known as "Shooting Star Bebop" during production, which thankfully was changed afterward.
Thereafter the character sketches is where manga mode kicks in. Full colored gorgeous manga art starts filling the pages. The commissioned art are of quality much higher than the anime. There are character portrait drawings in different settings, each trying to convey a different mood, each trying to display the character's unique traits. Each painting is stunning, well composed and executed.
For fans of Cowboy Bebop, this book should be a satisfying collection.
The copy I have has captions in Chinese and English. I've also seen a Japanese hard cover version of the book. This art book was published in 2006.
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