"The drama is only the surface of the film, while the background represents the director’s gaze on reality."
About this book
A collection of intricate anime background drawings might only be the by-products of some of the greatest anime in history, but they set the feel and emotional backdrop to the whole story. From an aging and eerie old town to a bustling and modern city, illustrators and animators, before digital production was introduced around 1997, painstaking hand drawings conjured up these detailed worlds. Architecture tells us the social and political status in the anime. It is the buildings in the cities and towns that defines the setting and overall atmosphere. “The drama is only the surface of the film, while the background represents the director’s gaze on reality” Mamoru Oshii, director of Ghost in the Shell (1995) and Patlabor (1989) once said in an interview.
Stefan Riekeles, a curator based in Berlin, started the research on anime architecture back in 2008 and has been presenting the world with original background paintings and other materials of sci-fi anime films like Akira (1988), Ghost in the Shell and Metropolis (2001) in exhibitions. Anime Architecture is the printed collection of the exhibition.