Legacy Years Bibliography, Part 5

Leiji Matsumoto Books

With over 60 years of print publishing to his name, there are literally hundreds of books to choose from if one wants to follow the career of Leiji Matsumoto. The publications in this record were chosen specifically for their relevance to Space Battleship Yamato.

Great Yamato manga

Shogakukan publishing, 2000-2002

With Yoshinobu Nishizaki out of the picture for a while (due to legal troubles), Leiji Matsumoto stepped up to take Yamato in the direction he thought best, a far-future sequel titled New Space Battleship Yamato, which went by the English title Great Yamato. Chapter 1 appeared in the February 2000 issue of Shogakukan’s Gotta comics magazine. A special issue of Gotta followed with a partial compilation in January 2001 (above left), then two paperbacks arrived that summer. (Later reissued in 2010 and 2013.)

The story came with its own mini-merchandising campaign and was headed for anime when Bandai put the brakes on it – forcing it to go in another direction. Read about the whole Great Yamato experience – and see what else it lead to – here

The Far Place Where the Ring of Time is Linked

192 pages, Tokyo Shoseki, Aug. 2002

This was Leiji Matsumoto’s autobiography, which covered his entire career in colorful detail. Read the Yamato chapter here.

Outer Space of Leiji Matsumoto
(Conte de liens d’eternitie)

406 pages, Yahata Shoten, Nov. 2003

This thick hardcover covered Matsumoto’s entire manga career with analysis of key titles and a complete publishing record from 1947 to 2003.

Leiji Matsumoto
Great Space Fantasy

Treasure Island Mook #982
160 pages, Takarazuka Co., March 2004

The ongoing Treasure Island Mook series covers all aspects of world culture. This volume provided a detailed overview of Matsumoto’s SF and fantasy works in both manga and anime.

Leiji Matsumoto
a collection of pictures

50th Anniversary of a Debut
100 pages, Aiikusha Co., Oct. 2004

Leiji Matsumoto reached an amazing landmark in 2004, his 50th year as an animation/manga artist. This book commemorated that achievement with an all-color collection of his many best-known and most recent paintings. The worlds of Galaxy Express and Captain Harlock (with all their various spinoffs) filled most of the 100 pages. Comparatively, Yamato got only a glance with 4 paintings, and the rest of the book was peppered with lesser-known images that graced mangas, CD or record jackets, video sleeves, and other products. Read an interview excerpt here.

World of Leiji Matsumoto

Tatsumi Mook
240 pages, Tatsumi Publishing Co., Aug. 2005

This volume was another excellent retrospective of Matsumoto’s most popular manga titles with a generous amount of artwork from SF and “real world” stories alike. Read an excerpt here.

Future Creation/Dream Concepts

199 pages, Kadodawa Publishing, Sept. 2010

With the live-action movie on the horizon, Matsumoto began a personal campaign to remind the world of his critical role in the making of the original. This paperback was the first step, part biography and part creative thesis about his approach to storytelling and design for all manner of projects.

Proverbs That Fly to the Future: Quotations from Yamato and Galaxy Express

195 pages, Bamboo Books, November 2010

November 26
Bamboo Books published this substantial compendium of memorable (and quotable) scenes from Leiji Matsumoto’s vault of manga titles. Yamato and Galaxy Express are just the beginning; Captain Harlock, Queen Millennia, Gun Frontier, and many more are included. While there is black and white manga art, there isn’t much context; casual fans are better off going for the originals.

Leiji Matsumoto Seminal SF Anthology

From Lightning Ozma to Space Battleship Yamato

Box set, Shogakukan Creative, December 2010

This unique collection documents Matsumoto’s early career in SF manga. In keeping with other 2010 publications, its purpose was to examine the precise nature of his role in the development of Yamato. To that end, all his most influential manga was gathered and reprinted here.

The contents are (1) a 2-volume reprint of Lightning Ozma from 1961-63 in which Matsumoto first revived Yamato as a space battleship, (2) Yamato Creation Note, a 32-page reproduction of his story notes for the anime, (3) A commentary pamphlet containing short interviews with Matsumoto, Aritsune Toyota, and Yasuhiko Yoshikazu, and (4) Seminal SF Anthology, a 160-page compilation of manga titles in which a key Yamato design or concept originated. Also included is a reprint of Matsumoto’s seldom-seen “picture story” for Series 1.

Owing to the eclectic nature of this package and the difficulty of tracking down each individual title, fans who are driven to have the roots of Yamato at their fingertips should make an effort to acquire this keepsake.

Words of Life Taught by Leiji Matsumoto

by Soichiro Miyakawa
174 pages, Quen Publications, June 2011

This book examines scenes from Matsumoto’s most popular manga for the wisdom of their philosophy. Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express, Oidon Man, and The Cockpit are included. The scene chosen from Yamato is from the opening chapter, Okita’s battleship at Pluto.

The Universe of Leiji Matsumoto

312 pages, Shogakukan Publishing, August 2013

A flurry of Leiji Matsumoto books appeared just ahead of the Captain Harlock feature film premiere. This one cherry-picked some of his most memorable manga stories from all genres including Harlock, Galaxy Express, Sexaroid, Oidon Man, Gun Frontier and many more. The Yamato chapter was a new reprint of Eternal Story of Jura, which can be read here.

If you’re a casual fan hoping for a grab-bag manga sampler of the Leijiverse, this book is a treasure trove. Order it from Amazon.co.jp here.

Leiji Matsumoto Pia

98 pages, Pia Publishing, September 2013

If you’re looking for a quick-and-easy compendium of Matsumoto’s works past and present, Pia is an excellent choice. Full color from cover to cover, it weighs in favor of the 2013 Harlock movie and carries everything else along for the ride, including an overview of his other manga and anime works. Most noteworthy is the rare opportunity to see design art for the as-yet-unproduced Cosmo Super Dreadnought Mahoroba anime.

Order it from Amazon.co.jp here.

Space Pirate Captain Harlock
Dimension Voyage

Manga series, Akita Shoten, August 2014-present

Champion Red, a monthly manga anthology published by Akita Shoten, caught the eye of Leiji Matsumoto fans with the October 2014 issue (published August), which featured the first chapter in a brand new Captain Harlock series that stands out from its predecessors in several ways.

Most significantly, it isn’t drawn by Leiji Matsumoto. Instead, the artist’s name is Kouichi Shimahochi, with Matsumoto credited as the supervisor. The story is titled Dimension Voyage, and though it begins as a remake of the original Space Pirate, it seems positioned to accomplish a goal Matsumoto has flirted with for many years: to bring all the Harlock mythos together in one story.

Read more about it here.

60th Anniversary Creative Works

136 pages, Gakken, February 2014

This book accompanied a lecture tour Matsumoto conducted in 2013 to celebrate his 60th anniversary as a professional artist. A mix of color and black and white, it contains two classic manga chapters from Captain Harlock and Queen Emeraldas along with an extensive career retrospective with samples of his work from all media.

Order it from Amazon.co.jp here.

Zero Dimensional Machine Travelogue

272 pages, Shogakukan, June 2015

This stunning collection is a compendium of collaborative works between Matsumoto and mecha designer Katsumi Itabashi. In it, Itabashi assembles his best and most elaborate works from Galaxy Express, Captain Harlock, Great Yamato and many other titles to present them in their original form and spruced up with modern digital color techniques. There is also a smattering of Itabashi’s designs from Yamato 2 and Final Yamato.

Order it from Amazon.co.jp here.

Leiji Matsumoto Big Analysis

128 pages, March 2016, Sanei

All the major titles are covered in this deluxe magazine (Harlock, Galaxy Express, Yamato, etc.) with loads of art both new and old and lots of data on spinoff projects, merchandising, publishing history, etc. Many such books have been published, but every new one has its own treasures and perspectives.

Professional Manga Techniques: The Manga of Leiji Matsumoto

142 pages, July 2017, Genkosha

This is an excellent resource for classic Matsumoto art from the 60s and 70s, collecting many color paintings done for posters, manga, and other special projects. Yamato is represented alongside his other major titles, and dozens of pieces are analyzed for their technique. Also included is a rare episode of his Sexaroid manga and a reprint of a booklet on manga techniques by Matsumoto himself.

Order it from Amazon Japan here.

How to Draw SF Mecha starting from Leiji Meters

168 pages, August 2017, Genkosha

As a companion to the book described above, this full color volume is by Leiji Matsumoto’s longtime mecha design collaborator Katsumi Itabashi. It provides step-by-step instruction of his process for creating elaborate mecha at all scales from control panels to gigantic space stations. Most of the subjects are original Itabashi creations, but Matsumoto’s Galaxy Express is included. The name of the book derives from the famous “Leiji Meters,” those impossibly complex gauges that populate his SF manga. If you ever wanted to draw one yourself, this is the book you’ve been waiting for.

Order it from Amazon Japan here.

Continue to Bibliography Part 6: General interest books

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