The name of the magazine comes from the "Newtypes" in the Universal Century timeline of the Gundam series, specifically Mobile Suit Gundam (1979) and its sequel Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (1985). Newtype magazine launched a week after Zeta Gundam began airing on March 2, 1985.
The North American counterpart of the magazine ceased publication after their February 2008 volume release.
Newtype runs several columns per month, typically written by creators within the anime and manga industries. Past and current contributors include Satsuki Igarashi (of Clamp), Mahiro Maeda, and Gilles Poitras. Newtype USA included columns from more history-minded writers (such as Jonathan Clements).
Newtype usually contains a center insert with regularly serialized manga (often to be later published in tankobon form by Kadokawa). The magazine is perhaps best known in Japan for serializing Mamoru Nagano's The Five Star Stories.
Manga that had been serialized in Newtype USA varied due to licensing reasons. They had included Full Metal Panic!, Angel/Dust, Chrono Crusade, Lagoon Engine Einsatz, Neon Genesis Evangelion: Angelic Days, the Aoi House 4-koma, and Angel/Dust Neo, only several of which actually appeared in the Japanese Newtype.
Currently the ongoing manga which is serializing in Newtype Japan is Kobato, a manga created by Clamp.
Light novels have also been serialized within the Japanese version of the magazine in the past: these have included "For the Barrel" (an abstract adaptation of the Mobile Suit Gundam novel trilogy); a novelization of Overman King Gainer (accompanied by illustrations from the show's character designer, Kinu Nishimura); and the Yoshiyuki Tomino story "Gaia Gear", set in the far future of Gundam 's Universal Century timeline.
A large insert within the magazine usually contains a television schedule for anime and tokusatsu programs set to run on various Japanese networks throughout the coming month, accompanied by synopses for each aired episode and network ratings for each show from the previous month.
Newtype contains a tip column for working with computer graphics in manga-style illustration, written by a different guest illustrator (or group of illustrators, in some cases) each month. The column generally centers around working with Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter.
In the Japanese version (and in the early months of the American version), the last page of Newtype is usually reserved for one of a series of art pieces or illustrations (accompanied by comment or short column) from a known anime illustrator. Perhaps the best known of these is the "GUNDAM FIX" illustration series by Hajime Katoki, which placed mecha from the Gundam franchise within real-world photographic contexts. Other illustrators who have contributed to this back page in the past include Yoshikazu Yasuhiko (who ran a series of illustrations devoted to Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin) and Hisashi Hirai (who ran a series devoted to his designs for Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, titled "Gundam SEED RGB").
Newtype USA included both translated Japanese content and original U.S. material. Content included anime, manga, music, game, toy and model reviews, director interviews, artist profiles, and regular columns by industry experts, tastemakers and deep-cover insiders. Newtype USA also included bonus content, such as posters, postcards, a centerfold spread, serialized manga, and a DVD insert. Newtype USA was published by A.D. Vision, parent company of the anime distributor ADV Films and manga publisher ADV Manga, but the magazine still featured content and promotional material from properties distributed by competing publishers. The first Newtype USA issue was published in November, 2002.
Newtype USA ended publication in 2008 after the February 2008 issue was published - it was soon replaced with another magazine, PiQ; however, that magazine ceased after three issues.
Newtype Korea is published by Daiwon C.I., and its first issue was released in July, 1999. It includes translated Japanese content, with added emphasis on domestic Korean animation projects. Daiwon C.I. also uses the Newtype branding for a line of imported Japanese animation DVDs and light novels, called Newtype DVD and Newtype Light Novel, respectively.
Both the original Japanese and English editions used the "right-to-left" format. The Korean edition is reversed.