Western SF and Animu’d Covers

It’s surprisingly fun to image-surf on Amazon.co.jp, hopping from cover to cover with the “Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed…” I especially enjoy seeing the covers for Western SF novels. I might nerd-rage over manga/light novels getting more “US marketable” covers, but the same thing happens in reverse. I don’t reflexively prefer the original cover, though, but the one that best hits my aesthetic tastes. And these hit them pretty well.

They even go so far as to add the maid outfit.

The Hunger Games, soon to be a movie. And quite conceivably, a manga from Yen Press?

Even the Western SF blogosphere took the original “Zoe’s Tale” cover to task. It’s a story with a lot of appeal to younger readers, being all about a feisty teenage girl, but the musty old “obligatory spaceship” runs it. Though really, both the “obligatory spaceship” and “obligatory cute girl” schools of cover design are pretty lazy. The hardcover Subterranean Press printing of the book gets extra bonus points for best capturing the book’s theme: a young girl thrust into an unwanted role of galactic importance:

This is a very non-random sample, of course. The majority of Japanese SF editions have much more conservative covers. And the lurid pieces like this Perry Rhodan cover shows that the Japanese can drop the ball just as hard. But still, I love the anime-ish covers. They might only be marketable in Japan, but I’d love to see something like them on US shelves. Maybe some small press publisher will have the guts to try it out.

Leave a comment


  1. Mmm, must say I’m quite smitten with the Japanese artwork for Valor’s Choice. Something about the Defiant JP cover catches my eye as well.

  2. Otend

     /  March 4, 2012

    A lot of these are actually really pleasant to look at; a very nice change from the relatively-dull covers. I’m now tempted to go into my ebook collection and start substituting covers…

  1. SF Tidbits for 3/5/12 - SF Signal – A Speculative Fiction Blog

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