25 Best Anime Art Books of All Time

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The following list is carefully selected and researched. I included many of the anime art books I personally own. Books that have truly some of the most beautiful art ever created.

PERSONA 5 – The Animation

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PERSONA 5 the Animation Material Book
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 272 Pages - 01/07/2020 (Publication...

The author bases this book on the video game Persona 5, which has over 2 million sales under its title. Persona 5 – The animation is a tv series produced by a famous Japanese studio – CloverWorks. There is always something enticing in this book.

Within this book is a complete top-rated anime art (by Shigenori Soejima) with terrific eye-catching artwork ranging from character profiles to visual illustrations and background designs. This book also offers you two intriguing special episodes – the ‘Dark Sun’ and ‘Star and Ours.’

Anime art book that I personally have in my collection and one that I enjoy reading over and over again.

Dragon Ball: A Visual History

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Dragon Ball: A Visual History
  • Hardcover Book
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages - 11/12/2019 (Publication...

An influential and inspiring Japanese manga artist, Akira Toriyama, is the author behind the best-selling manga series – Dragon Ball. This amazingly designed animation book features comprehensive full-color visual artwork ranging from manga art to beautiful sketches and posters.

The Art of Spirited Away

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The Art of Spirited Away
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  • Mint Condition
  • Dispatch same day for order received...
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The Art of Spirited Away is an animation book written by Hayao Miyazaki, translated by Yuji Oniki, and edited by Alvin Lu. This book goes through the creation process of the critically acclaimed movie Spirited Away by Studio Ghibli (one of the best anime studios in the world). This book has breathtaking background art, detailed cel shading drawings, and sketches from Miyazaki himself.

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Drawing from The Art Of Spirited Away art book.

I personally own this book and come back to it now and then, as it has so many superbly colored animation cels and drawings. This book ignites the inspiration to draw toned-down colors and create something Ghibli-styled drawings.

Hiroyuki Imaishi Anime Artworks

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Hiroyuki Imaishi Anime Artworks...
  • Hiroyuki Imaishi (Author)
  • Japanese (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages - 05/20/2020 (Publication...

Whether you are a fan or want to try to draw anime art, this art book should be pleasing. This book is the first official one of Hiroyuki Imaishi, best known for his outstanding animation and illustrations.

This book showcases art illustrations and other artistic settings of the author’s animation works, such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, Kill la Kill, Promare, Gurren Lagan, etc.

Yet again, a book I have in my collection and one that I enjoy reading through. I especially like the Gurren Lagan artwork and the Promare poster image. Super good stuff.

Ghost in the Shell – Original Collection – Archives

Ghost in the Shell Original Collection...
  • GHOST IN THE SHELL (Author)
  • Japanese (Publication Language)
  • 02/25/2024 (Publication Date) -...

This top-rated anime art book is a complete inspiration with 288 anime pages and over 1000 diagrams and illustrations.

The author places all the diagrams and illustrative art chronologically to redesign the film’s episodes. If you are looking to upgrade your anime art book collection or have just started to own one, then this one is a must-have.

I personally have this art book, and what I like about the drawings is the conceptuality of the drawings. They are not fully drawn pieces used in the actual anime movie, but rather the whole storyboard. 

While they are “sketch” -like drawings, they still have enough details for you to dive in and start drawing Masamune Shirow-styled (one of the best manga artists of all time) drawings.

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Sketches from the book Ghost In The Shell Archives.

Akira Club

Akira Club
  • Hardcover Book
  • Otomo, Katsuhiro (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages - 09/04/2007 (Publication...

AKIRA Club is a special one. I have read the AKIRA manga and watched the movie, and to complete the experience, I had to buy the AKIRA Club art book. This is a special one because it has one of the best ink drawings from one of the masters of manga art, Katsuhiro Otomo.

What I also liked about the book is that there are these small quotes from Katsuhiro, talking about his day and feeling while he was creating AKIRA manga. Small details, but adds a lot of feeling to the book.

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A drawing from the Akira Club art book.

Shinkai Makoto Work – “Kimi no Na wa. (Your Name.)” Art Book

YOUR NAME ARTBOOK (VO JAPONAIS)
  • Shinkai, Makoto (Author)
  • Japanese (Publication Language)
  • 208 Pages - 08/04/2017 (Publication...

This anime art book has some of the most beautiful works of Makoto Shinkai. This book includes a collection of art drawings that will blow your mind right from the beginning to the last page.

I watched the movie, and not long after that, I bought the art book. Makoto Shinkai is one of the most detail-oriented anime artists, and you can see that when you read this art book.

I usually stop at a drawing and just take it all in for about 15 minutes. The details are just outstanding, and there’s a lot to admire in this art book.

Evangelion Illustration 2007-2017 (Neon Genesis Evangelion)

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Evangelion Illustrations 2007-2017 (The...
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 176 Pages - 06/11/2019 (Publication...

This art book does not hesitate to bring its full-color artwork collections. The illustrations in this book showcase the series’ art that redefined the genre of mecha.

This terrific anime art book gathers illustrations worth a decade showcased in the Neon Genesis Evangelion anime series.

Yutaka Nakamura Animation Key Frame Vol. 1 (Japanese Edition)

Yutaka Nakamura Animation Key Frame...
  • アニメスタイル編集部 (Author)
  • Japanese (Publication Language)
  • 01/01/2019 (Publication Date) -...

There are undoubtedly more than 600 pages of animations in the form of keyframes featured in this treasure of an animation book. The Flipbook frame and the Booklet frame include gorgeous animations such as The Vision of Escaflowne.

The author of this animation book is Yutaka Nakamura, one of the worlds best anime artists ever, and this book features most of his best animations. If you want to learn about crucial animation or simply admire beautiful animation, the continuous action pack, and lasting effects in this book will surely grab your attention.

The book has 96 pages, 300 pages of Gaiking flipbook, and another 300 pages of Escaflowne flipbook printed and published in Japan.

The Art of Fire Emblem: Awakening

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The Art of Fire Emblem: Awakening
  • Hardcover Book
  • Various (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages - 10/18/2016 (Publication...

This book is a best-seller, bringing you an in-depth artistic look with many illustrations, including character blueprints, concept sketches, and weapon designs. This animation book is very engaging; you can imagine what would have happened if you had made poor decisions in the actual game.

Furthermore, this epic book shows you the behind-the-scenes at the ‘smash-hit’ 3D game with your possibly favorite characters. If you love the Fire Emblem character designs or are a fan of the Fire Emblem, this is a book worth checking out.

Pokemon Adventures 20th Anniversary Illustration Book

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Pokémon Adventures 20th Anniversary...
  • Kusaka, Hidenori (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 168 Pages - 08/08/2017 (Publication...

The famous best-selling Pokemon video games inspire the author of this full-color illustration anime book. With great artwork, beautiful sketches, and an ultimately brand-new manga story, you cannot go wrong with this art book.

There is a collection of different colorful illustrations and exclusive sketches from the Pokemon Adventures novel series. Initially, this book was published in Japanese, but it can now be found in English.

Der Mond: The Art of Neon Genesis Evangelion

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Der Mond: The Art of Neon Genesis...
  • Hardcover Book
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 120 Pages - 10/10/2006 (Publication...

This is a phenomenon part of the Neon Genesis Evangelion anime book. This book has a new look with a hardcover. It is one of a kind and very stylish in its appearance: the author, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, is one of the all-time famous anime artists.

It comes with 724 pages of different paintings and designs dedicated to the Neon Genesis Evangelion. Another 50 pages borrowed from The Wings of Honneamise, Nadia: The Secret Blue Water, Blu Uru, and more from other works, like Eric Clapton’s 1998 album – Pilgrim.

The Art of Princess Mononoke

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The Art of Princess Mononoke
  • Hardcover Book
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages - 08/26/2014 (Publication...

This book is one of the best in the long line of art books from Studio Ghibli. This book captures the journey from the beginning of the idea to the point where it makes it to the big screens, all in terrific sketches and pure animation.

The Art of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

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The Art of Nausicaä of the Valley of...
  • Hardcover Book
  • Miyazaki, Hayao (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 192 Pages - 04/16/2019 (Publication...

Hayao Miyazaki brings to life another epic fantasy anime book – The Art of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. The author bases this book on his own manga that was released in 1984.

This anime art book explains how humankind set off a catastrophe in an old war. Furthermore, the author narrates through artistic illustrations, sketches, and watercolors how the earth slowly submerges under the big deadly forest – the Sea of Decay, which produces distorted insects and lethal dormant bacterium.

Studio Ghibli has produced some of the best Japanese animations today, and the art books celebrate the art found in the films. This book is no exception.

Weathering With You

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Weathering With You
  • Hardcover Book
  • Shinkai, Makoto (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 192 Pages - 12/17/2019 (Publication...

Weathering With You is written and directed by Makoto Shinkai and produced by ComixWave Films. This anime art book illustrates how the character Hodaka escapes from high school to find a better life in Tokyo through endless artistic designs.

The author illustrates how Hina can part the clouds and bring the sun with just a single prayer. The art found in the movie is as beautiful in the book as in the movie. If you a fan of anime art books, you should definitely consider adding this to your art book collection.

Blanc et noir: Takeshi Obata Illustrations

blanc et noir: Takeshi Obata...
  • Hardcover Book
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 132 Pages - 05/03/2016 (Publication...

This best-selling anime art book written by Takeshi Obata gathers art from the popular series Death Note and Hikaru No Go. All of the illustrations in this anime art book are definitive, and that’s why it makes the list of the best anime art books.

With 132 pages of full-colored art, this anime art book has a sweet 12 paged artist commentary, including a ‘how to draw’ segment. This incredible anime art book comes in a limited edition with 10K copies printed.

JoJo 6251: Araki Hirohiko’s World (Araki Hirohiko no Sekai – Japanese)

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JOJO 6251 ARAKI HIROHIKO'S WORLD...
  • HIROHIKO ARAKI (Author)
  • Japanese (Publication Language)
  • 177 Pages - 12/15/1993 (Publication...

Hirohiko Araki illustrates this anime art book in conjunction with Lucky Land Communications. The first part of this anime art book has the artist’s interpretations of characters from Araki’s previous works.

Sword Art Online ABEC Art Works

Sword Art Online abec Art Works
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Yen Press (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 162 Pages - 11/14/2017 (Publication...

This 160 paged complete work of animation comes from the illustrator of the Sword Art Online novel series, which features illustrations from previous volumes and previous character designs, and more like posters and magazines. Sword Art Online Art Works is under the genre Art Manga Sequential Art.

Steins: Gate Art Works Imaginations of Huke

Steins: Gate Art Works Imaginations of...
  • Kadokawa Shoten (Author)
  • Japanese (Publication Language)
  • 121 Pages - 02/25/2024 (Publication...

The “author” of this anime art book is Kadokawa (a Japanese media conglomerate). This anime art book covers the series Steins: Gate, and it comes with a magnificent collection of art illustrations that are in complete full color.

Attack on Titan -Shingeki no Kyojin- Art Book 3

Attack on Titan "Shingeki no Kyojin" Art...
  • Kyouzi Asano (Author)
  • Japanese (Publication Language)
  • 152 Pages - 01/01/2014 (Publication...

Written by Kyouzi Asano and edited by Kodansha Comics, this anime art book is pretty popular and made up of original illustrated colored drawings. If you appreciate the intricate sketches before they are transformed into colored anime frames, this book is for you. The book has some of the best art from one of the best anime series ever.

Persona 4 Arena: Official Design Works

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Persona 4 Arena: Official Design Works
  • Trade paperback
  • 176 pages
  • Brand new Fight and survive towards the...
  • Atlus (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

This art book collects the visuals, sketches, and cut scene illustrations shown in the video game Persona 4 Arena. This breathtaking anime art book is an instant masterpiece that demonstrates character profiles, rough sketches and storyboards through illustrations that can’t be denied a 5-star rating.

Shigenori Soejima’s art style is precise and elegant, and he uses cel shading to color his drawings. I bought this book for those exact reasons. Especially the first 37 or so pages showcase some brilliant artwork from Shigenori.

What I genuinely like about this book, though, is the character’s profile illustrations.

Shigenori Soejima P-STUDIO Art Unit ARTWORKS 2010-2017 2nd Persona Game

Shigenori Soejima P-STUDIO Art Unit ART...
  • KADOKAWA (Author)
  • Japanese (Publication Language)
  • 02/25/2024 (Publication Date) - KADOKAWA...

This stylish anime art book comes in the form of an album and is written by Shigenori Soejima in conjunction with P-STUDIO. The author introduces this awesome anime artbook after the massively admired “Shigenori Soejima Art Works 2004-2010”. Not only does the author include artworks from 2010-2017, but he also showcases more than 135 art designs that were illustrated for magazines by the industry’s top talent.

Eternal: Ilya Kuvshinov Illustration Works

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ETERNAL: ILya Kuvshinov Illustration...
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages - 11/19/2019 (Publication...

This anime art book, written by Ilya Kuvshinov, comprises more than 300 brand-new social media artworks posted by the artist. This book is the second one after Momentary and includes commercial works from Ilya, which add extra flavor to this book.

The author has gained massive popularity online, has performed artwork at exhibitions, and created more visual designs for anime series and films like ‘The Wonderland.’ Ilya Kuvshinov has established a base of a million followers on Instagram and influences other illustrators worldwide.

The Art of The Wonderland (Japanese Edition)

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The Art of the Wonderland
  • Japanese (Publication Language)
  • 220 Pages - 01/01/2020 (Publication...

This anime art book turns out to be filled with concept art, significant development of characters, and mind-blowing backgrounds.

There are a lot of illustrations from Ilya Kuvshinov in this book, and it is a foundation of a movie concept, and it is a pure inspiration for anyone – artist or not. If you are looking for inspiration, be sure to check this one out.

The Art of Howl’s Moving Castle

The Art of Howl's Moving Castle
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The Art of Howl's Moving Castle
  • New
  • Mint Condition
  • Dispatch same day for order received...
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A short time after Hayao Miyazaki won an Academy Award for his movie Spirited Away, he came up with this masterpiece – The Art of Howl’s Moving Castle. The story allowed Hayao to create a fantasy work just when science and magic were popular in the 19th century.

Inside this anime art book, you can experience the brilliant designs of Howl (the wizard), Sophie (the girl who carries an extraordinary curse), and of course, the castle (owned by Howl himself).

This anime art book is overflowing with a collection of sketches, background drawings/paintings, and images.

If you are a fan of animated artwork, you will admire the classic works of Hayao Miyazaki (the most famous anime artist) in this anime art book.

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