5 Most Expensive Anime Art Books


There are few words manga and anime fans dread more than “out of print.”

Well, perhaps that’s not true. “Gurren Lagann directed by Michael Bay” would probably be worse, but seeing “out of print” can still be devastating. There are numerous horror stories of once reasonably priced manga like High School of the Dead costing $60 per issue, but fortunately, many popular series see rereleases that drop prices back to reasonable levels. Unfortunately, many collectors edition art books for popular anime wind up having one-off production runs, and as a result, fans face the cruel reality of needing to pay top dollar in order to obtain these books today.

The following are some of the priciest out-of-print art books that are currently available, and it’s possible that the below items could get even more valuable as time goes on.

Groundworks of Ghost in the Shell S.A.C 2nD GIG Art Book

With 223 pages of storyboards, sketches, and concept art, any fan of Ghost in the Shell would enjoy having this Groundworks art book. In fact, when you break down the price as approximately 54 cents a page, perhaps the cost could be justifiable to most.

Yes, this out of print book runs $120 today.


Chiho Saito Illustrations – Art of Utena

Based on the manga and anime series Revolutionary Girl Utena, this Art of Utena art book is jam packed with illustrations by series creator Chiho Saito. That said, while there are current Utena art books in circulation for a reasonable price, this particular copy has become quite the collector’s item.

Chiho Saito Illustrations – Art of Utena can be found for anywhere between $125 and $200 new.


Range Murata FORM CODE Art Book

Fusing eastern and western influences into a warm, nostalgic art style, Range Murata is one artist who has earned many dedicated fans over the years. Though his work on professional projects is relatively limited in number (his resume notably includes Last Exile and The Animatrix), he’s still been able to distinguish himself among the saturated crowd of anime artists.

Of all his available art books, the Range Murata FORM CODE Art Book is his priciest at $185.


Katsuya Kondo Artworks

Even if you don’t know Katsuya Kondo’s name, you’ve likely seen his work. He was a character designer for Studio Ghibli’s Kiki’s Delivery Service and Ocean Waves, and he even worked as a free agent on Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears. Seeing those three titles in the same sentence feels a bit surreal, but we can’t make this stuff up!

Gamers may also know Katsuya Kondo for his character design and animation in the Jade Cocoon series, which just so happens to be the subject of Katsuya Kondo Artworks. To own this obscure slice of history, fans will have to dig up $185 or more.


Il Tapetto Rosso

Based on the popular Trinity Blood light novels (“light novels” being very roughly equivalent to what we in the west call “young adult novels”), Il Tapetto Rosso is one of the most exquisite art books you can find. With illustrations by the novel’s original artist, Thores Shibamoto, this leather bound, hard cover work is packed with 223 pages of original artwork. It even includes a deck of cards featuring full-color images of the Trinity Blood cast!

For these reasons, it should be no surprise that Il Tapetto Rosso is at the top of our list with a value of $250!