Shopping around in those places where i find japanese collectibles and stuff, i've gathered a number of books and magazines about japanese robots. Here is a list of them, which i'm planning to enhance some day with cover pics and scans.
A collectible toys index
the title is in japanese, so is the content. The book is a detailled index of hundreds of collectible robot toys from the 80's. Well, scans would be much better than words, i'll try and add a few pictures soon.
Plastic Model Guide For exciting creator brochure
This is not quite a book, really, but i was so happy when i got this very small catalog, that i still see it as one of my most precious item! It was the very first robot-collecting document that came into my hands, that's why... (scans would help figure out too...)
The Super Robots Chronicles The history of japanese super robots animation 1963-1997
This book is amazing; it's a complete encyclopedia of japanese giant robots in animation. Japanese only. Bought it online from Anime nation.
Intron Depot the art of Masamune Shirow
The famous authour of the Appleseed and Ghost in the Shell mangas is a fabulous mecha designer. This book gathers artwork from several projects he worked on. Most of the pictures are finalized color illustrations, but the rough sketches at the end are just as great.
Artmic Design Work (B-Club Special)
This one has long been one of my only robot book. Artmic is a design studio that is responsible for many a 80's mecha design; their mecha look realistic, functionnal, yet beautiful (in a 80's way, that is, but still, i do like the look of them).
Kunio Okawara Real Robot Design Work
Kunion Okawara is the mecha designer of lots of anime that mostly were never released outside Japan. Although i think he also worked for some Gundam series; most of the anime he worked for are barely known outside Japan. I discovered most of them in this book.
Megazone 23 (B-Club Special)
This is a design reference book for the OAV Megazone 23. Mechas were created by the Artmic Studio; and, well, i do think they're really talented people.
I do not really know if this book has to be in the "animation" category, since i don't know what the "Turn-A Gundam" project is about. Anyway, the book is a dream come true to me! I've always wondered what such a great mecha designer as Syd Mead would do is he was asked to design a japanese robot. Here it is, the result is in this book!
Let's face it : i'm definitely not a gundam design fan. Syd Mead working on it do not actually help, i confess. This book is still a very interesting Syd Mead sketchbook, and it is also a great reference for wanabee mecha designers, as the master's work is very detailled and full of handwritten explainations.
The visual Works of Anubis
Zone of the Enders 2 : Anubis is one of the most beautiful mecha game ever. The team that designed the robots is the same team that designed the world's famous Metal Gear Solid 2 characters and mechas. The machines in the book benefit from a very particular illustration style, and the overall atmosphere is excellent. The designs are great, too... I have just one regret : most of the sketches are printed so small that it seems that a lot of thin lines partially disappear, making the sketches look very altered.
Armored Core Official Data Book the playstation guide
Armored Core is a Playstation game i've never played. The book is full of color illustrations and sketches of the various mecha in the games; it's an excellent reference for mecha-design and japanese-style drawing.
Cyber Troopers Virtual-On (Gamest Mook)
Although i'm not that fond of Virtual-On Mecha design, this was the first (and only?) arcade game featuring 3D robots... So well, i like this book as a milestone for the robot gaming history!
I own a few Hobby Japan issues. Although this magazine was a reference for japanese robots models in the 20st century, it is less interesting to me now that mecha disappeared from animation.
It seems that the models market keeps focusing on Gundam or heads back to classic robots. Modern robots (from video games mostly) are declined into toys or action figures, but as Hobby Japan is a model magazines, it doen't cover this kind of production, and doesn't really keep up with modern robots, it seems.