Hyperdimension Neptunia + Mk 2 Artworks

Artbook Review


First released within the Japanese gaming market during 2010, Hyperdimension Neptunia sought to bring the (still) ongoing “console wars” to a video game setting. For the first time, characters based on the PlayStation (LaStation), Xbox (Leanbox), Wii (Lowee) and Sega (Planeptune) brands in the same game, alongside similar representations for a number of developers also active in the Japanese market were able to meet, mingle and battle in one world. Since then the series has boomed, with many good-quality sequels, a lacklustre idol-raising sim, a tactical RPG spin-off and several upcoming games being added to its library.

Given the anime/visual novel style aesthetics that Compile Heart have become known for over the years, there was a lot of potential artwork that could be compiled into one book for the series. While based on only the first two games in the series, both of which have been superseded by enhanced PlayStation Vita ports, Udon Entertainment have localized and published a new artbook this month titled Hyperdimension Neptunia + Mk 2 Artworks. While ignoring the third PS3 title Hyperdimension Neptunia: Victory, the book provides insight into the first two games as a short but detailed design compendium.


Despite being fairly small at just 152 pages in length, Hyperdimension Neptunia + Mk 2 Artworks packs a tonne of content into its limited space. The book is split into four separate sections which are further broken down into subsections for Hyperdimension Neptunia and Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 categories, meaning that while both games share some assets, you aren’t going to be conflicted about what piece of artwork goes where.

The first of these categories focuses on approximately 30-pages of professionally produced illustrations, used to promote the game in various means from the package illustrations to those used to feature the game in magazines. While there are a couple of exceptions, most art is afforded with a full page without a coloured border surrounding it and overall is visually pleasing. The minor downside for some might be that rather than include an artwork index at the back of the book, small descriptions are overlayed in a corner of the imagery instead.


The bulk of this design compendium comes from the “Hyperdimension Characters” section of the book, featuring double-page spreads for each Goddess, CPU Form and company representation. The first page in each duo provides a look into the characters biography, portrait artwork and facial expressions as exampled above. In all honesty there would be little that anyone who has played the game wouldn’t have already seen. More interesting however is the second page which is dedicated exclusively to the concept designs – both designs that ultimately made it into the final release and occasionally a few forms that never made it into the end-product. While for many of the characters I would have loved a double-page spread dedicated to the concept work alone, they are all annotated and provide some insight into the design process for each character and their attire. Occasionally in some design compendiums you will find that as the characters importance to the storyline decreases, the attention given to them in the book decreases (Example: Persona 3: Official Design Works). Every character from CPU Goddess to Oracle receives a double-page spread, while Compile, Deco and Dangly who have an incredibly minor role the game also receive their own dedicated page and concept artwork.

Like many other Compile Heart video games even today, they make considerable use of CG artwork throughout both titles covered in this book. While you could simply turn on the game and go through the in-game gallery to look at them for yourself at no additional cost, most of the CG art from both Hyperdimension Neptunia and Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2 make are included in the book. Something that I welcomed, despite there being black borders as you’ll see below, was that they decided to give each image its own page AND decided to display them all in landscape rather than portrait (Which often meant a lot more wasted space despite being able to cram two or more images to a page). Those who have played the games already will have your own opinion of what Tsunako’s artwork is like, but personally I think it was all of a high standard – with an increase in diversity and quality in Mk2 compared to the original.


The final section of Hyperdimension Neptunia + Mk 2 Artworks is much like the second, with a greater focus on the development process rather than the end product. Accurately titled as the “Rough Sketches” section, it contains a mixed bag of goodies including sketches of the characters that were not included in the actual characters section, sketches of character motion that assumably would have been used by the animation / design teams and an interview with Tsunako herself. If anything, I personally would have loved a greater chunk of the book dedicated to this section alone, even if it were to mean a slightly higher price tag.

With Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth, an enhanced PlayStation Vita port of Hyperdimension Neptunia set to hit stores later this month and Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2: SISTERS GENERATION already available for purchase in Japan, how much relevance Hyperdimension Neptunia + Mk 2 Artworks will have to the new releases is questionable. But irrespective, this is a high quality artbook filled with plenty of concept and finalized artwork that should please any Hyperdimension Neptunia fan.

Founder of The Otaku's Study. I have been exploring this labyrinth of fandom these last fifteen years, and still nowhere close to the exit yet. Probably searching for a long time to come.


  1. Great review! Especially when the RE:Birth game is coming out soon I think this week! I love the series since it does the spoofs of the Console Wars from certain names that rings a bell when you hear it, it has great characters, gameplay and easy to dive into, even though there a 77% chance or so who doesn’t like the series, there are a small percentage that we enjoy the series! I have the Hyperdimension Neptunia games (1, mK2, and Victory and Producing Perfection), so I hope they release more merchandise such as the HDN: Victory artbook in the future!


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