Since the release of Akira in 1988, the popular idea of anime in the western public imagination is one of shimmering future cities, all neon and tech, usually only a flicker away from an act of gratuitous destruction.

It is the glitter and sheen of those urban visions that catches the eye and has helped shape our idea of far eastern cityscapes. These imaginary cities may be the backdrop to the story, but they are often the thing that animates our interest. "The drama is just the surface of the film," director Mamoru Oshii once noted. "Over the years, I've come to realise that the silent world behind the characters is where the director has to communicate his core vision."

Those core visions, as seen here in Hiromasa Ogura's final production background view of the Sumida River under attack for the film Patlabor 2, are at the heart of Stefan Riekeles's book Anime Architecture.

But Riekeles also includes the sketches, posters and artwork that fed into those visions. A reminder that even the most futuristic city started as a line on a page.

Anime Architecture: Imagine Worlds and Endless Megacities, by Stefan Riekeles, Thames & Hudson, £35. Image © 1993 Headgear