“Otomo – The Complete Works” project launches with first “Akira” storyboards book

Japanese manga artist, screenwriter, animator and film director Katsuhiro Otomo has announced the launch of Otomo – The Complete Works, the first books in the new series including Animation AKIRA Storyboards 1.

Otomo - The Complete Works

This is the first release, initially in Japanese, of the Otomo – The Complete Works project by Kodansha. Presumably, there may be releases in other languages, depending on interest.

The new books, available to pre-order now in Japan and on sale from 21st January in bookshops and through online sites, were trailed via the Otomo Zenshu Twitter and Instagram accounts.

The Otomo – The Complete Works web site, also teased the news, but although the site, in Japanese, has its own web shop, it is not yet live, so it’s unclear whether international orders will be fulfilled through that.

Two books will be released every other month, the first printing including a newly designed sticker.

Writing earlier this year, Otomo, best known as the creator of Akira, in terms of both the original 1982 manga series and the 1988 animated film adaptation, explained of the collection plans that “For a long time, previous books have been out of print… [so] I wanted to make a complete collection of my work in the way I wanted, and this project started.”

Otomo was keen that his Complete Works” project cover not only his manga but his broader work, too, feeling to do anything else would be untrue to that description.

“Manga has a very wide range of content,” he explained, “Anime, live-action, novels, games, etc … I have been involved in developing all of these, so I plan to include all of them.”

The project has had a long gestation, due to Otomo’s many other commitments, and because of clearance issues.

“Recently, I’m also working on public art, so my work is becoming more diverse. Because of that, I haven’t been able to draw manga.

“In order to record all the works, there are many things such as animations, original works, scenario-provided works, etc. that have to clear the copyright, and it takes time to edit.”

Born 14th April 1954 in Miyagi, Japan, Katsuhiro Otomo made his debut as a manga artist in 1973 with Jūsei and he has created thousands of manga pages, illustrated essays, and illustrations for over 50 years. He’s also directed worldwide renown animated and live action films

If you’re an Akira and Otomo fan, Kodansha US have previously published, in English, OTOMO: A Global Tribute to the Mind Behind Akira, a tribute to Katsuhiro Otomo featuring art by some of the most admired illustrators and comics artists in the world, who came together to pay tribute to this master, in a beautiful art book.

This 168-page collection began life as a limited-edition tribute to Otomo given only to attendees of the prestigious Angoulême International Comics Festival, where Otomo was recipient of the Grand Prize in 2015. The Kodansha edition features additional content from a list of more than 80 fine artists, illustrators, and comics legends, including Stan Sakai, Jiro Taniguchi, Tomer and Asaf Hanuka, and many others.

The first two books to be published on 21st January 2022 by Kodansha, continuing previous numbering from previous publishers. Otomo, who is overseeing every aspect of the project, has previously indicated that, where possible, his works will be published in chronological order, in the order of production. The project will also include early and unfinished works that have never been published.

Otomo – The Complete Works

Volume 8: DŌMU (童夢)
Publisher: Kodansha (講談社)
Release date: 2022-I-21
Language: Japanese
Number of pages: 252
Size: 248 x 172mm
Retail price: ¥2,970
ISBN-10: 4065262631
ISBN-13: 978-4065262634

This book is available to order from Japanese bookshops – you may want to keep an eye on the London-based Japan Centre store, or enquire about availability direct. It’s also available to pre-order from
Amazon Japan here

Volume 21: Animation AKIRA Storyboards 1
Publisher: Kodansha (講談社)
Release date: 2022-I-21
Language: Japanese
Number of pages: 488
Size: 248 x 172mm
Retail price: ¥4,400
ISBN-10: ‎406526264X
ISBN-13: ‎978-4065262641

This book is available to order from Japanese bookshops – you may want to keep an eye on the London-based Japan Centre store, or enquire about availability direct. It’s also available to pre-order from
Amazon Japan here

Check out the Otomo – The Complete Works web site (in Japanese)

• You may also want to bookmark the Katsuhiro Otomo (大友克洋) tribute page, in English, which highlights his works and publications chronologically

• Kodansha: www.kodansha.com | Kodansha Japan: www.kodansha.co.jp

These web sites also feature Otomo’s work

Otomo Free (in French)

Apple Paradise: Otomo Katsuhiro Data Base (in Japanese, but does not seem to have been updated for some time)

Mashed Room (in Japanese, but information suggest it is not being updated)

With thanks to Wamberto Nicomedes

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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