One year ago Syd Mead passed away. He left behind a legacy that shall continue to be remembered. A visual futurist and industrial designer, he contributed much to film, anime, and other media. He was the primary mechanical designer for Turn A Gundam. Director Yoshiyuki Tomino had immense respect for Mead’s craft and sought his services in order to bridge gaps between cultures and mediums.
So naturally that brings us to “Mead Gundam”: a 321-page book featuring design drawings, concept sketches, and notes & annotations by the late Syd Mead pertaining to his work on Turn A Gundam. The book also contains an introduction (TL), a forward by Yoshiyuki Tomino (TL), and closing comments by Syd Mead himself (TL).
Where to obtain? The book was originally published in 2000 and later received a reprint in 2013, so it is admittedly difficult to order online at a reasonable price. Your best bets for buying the book are Amazon listings (U.S., JP), eBay listings, or other such stores or auctions.
Download link to scans? Lucky for you, I recently scanned my copy of the book. It is one of the few Turn A artbooks that hasn’t been scanned over the years, so I figured I’d do it myself. This was a long and arduous process of unbinding my book, scanning each individual page, and then cleaning and editing for presentation. I have newfound respect for people who generously provide anime artbook scans. MEGA
Below is a link to a Twitter thread in which I briefly examined the book and provided commentary based on my knowledge and research. Please have a look if you’re interested in learning more.
On December 30, 2019 Syd Mead passed away at his home in Pasadena, CA at 86 years of age. He was an industrial designer and visual futurist famous for his contributions to films such as Alien, Tron, and Blade Runner. Relevant to this blog, however, is his involvement in Turn A Gundam. He was its primary mechanical designer.
This serves as a consolidation of materials and resources for English-speaking audiences. Contains links to manga and novel translation projects, notable interviews, audio commentary translations, selected blog posts and articles, and a MEGA folder with many goodies.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions on things to add to this post please contact me. You can reach me in the comments below or via Twitter @feezy_feez.
CHANGE LOG: April 9, 2019v.4.0 – massive re-haul and reorganization of content May 24, 2017v.3.0 – pastebin relocated to WordPress and re-organized, many new sections added
This is the third in my series of staff highlight posts. My sources include various written and video interviews, audio commentaries, and individual research.
Syd Mead is an industrial designer and visual futurist famous for his designs for science-fiction films such as Blade Runner, Aliens, and Tron. He’s an internationally-recognized talent who has won many awards. Mead provided Turn A Gundam‘s mechanical designs.
Below is a highlight of info pertaining to his time on Turn A Gundam.
Turn A Gundam celebrated its 19th anniversary this year on April 9th. Woo-hoo! Now here’s a little treat.
Turn A is unique in that it is the last TV Gundam to be mostly animated through physical cels, a process which began to decline in the anime industry by the late 1990s. In 2015 I made a sakuga MAD commemorating its animation. To celebrate Turn A Gundam‘s 19th anniversary I’ve re-created the video in HD, now with added clips and with fixed errors. Please enjoy.
Turn A Gundam features many animators. Below I’d like to highlight two of its prominent key animators: Atsushi Shigeta and Masami Goto.
This is a transcription of an interview with mechanical designer Syd Mead by Robert Napton originally shot for Bandai Entertainment’s canceled release of Turn A Gundam, which was announced in 2010. This has often been referred to as the “lost” Syd Mead interview, until it finally resurfaced with Right Stuf’s North American release of the Turn A Gundam DVDs in June of 2015.
The transcription follows below and has been edited for readability.