Mikimoto Haruhiko

April 17, 2008

I have been a big fan of Mikimoto Haruhiko since early in my anime watching career. As if his designs didn’t shine enough in animation, he also does beautiful watercolor and pencil drawings of his characters. The few I’ve been able to find scans of online have always been favorite desktop backgrounds of mine. I have always wanted a nice collection of his work, so digging into eBay I found exactly what I was looking for.

Mikimoto Haruhiko Illustrations: Toki no Shiori is a collection of Mikimoto-sensei’s illustrations released in 1984. It covers his work on the original Macross TV series, Macross: Ai, Oboete Imasu ka?, and Orguss. Also mixed in are a number of original (non-anime related) pieces.

The first section of the book is an assortment of illustrations from the various sources all mixed together. Mikimoto seems to love his leading ladies, so most of the book is Minmay, Misa, Mimsy and Muum (lots of M’s in those names…). There are some that include Hikaru or Kei as well though. There are several really gorgeous original pieces in this section as well.

A section dedicated to Macross comes next. Minmay and Misa each get a couple of really nice spreads, and even Hikaru gets his own two pages. There’s a really nice group shot of the main cast (except where’s Max and Miria?), followed by playing cards arranged on the table with Macross characters on them. Overall a very nice section.

Orguss’s section follows, but is only 4 pages long. There’s some really nice stuff here, I just wish this section was longer. Mimsy steals the show here, but there’s a good portrait of Athena as well.

We’re given a section of sketches next. It’s pretty neat to see some of his rough, quicker sketches and comps I’ve never been able to sketch with paint, so this is a skill I envy. The sketchbook leads right into a cool setion of anime art. This is mostly storyboards and some anime cell sketches compared to their finished cell. Very interesting to see. The book closes out with an interview with the man himself.

For anyone interested in the art of anime, this book is certainly worth owning. I would have paid twice what I did on eBay for it. If you’re a fan of Macross, you only have all the more reason. There’s another book of Mikimoto’s illustrations which also covers Macross II, Gundam 0080 and Top wo Nerae. I’d like to get ahold of that, as well as something which would cover his work on Macross 7.

Selected scans:

Misa, looking very 80’s stylish
A nice one of Minmay’s face
Good full body drawing of Mimsy
One of the original pieces from the book, very nice

I apologize about the distortion in the scans, but as you can imagine I did not want to split the book’s spine trying to scan it.