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The Anime Encyclopedia, Revised & Expanded Edition: A Guide to Japanese Animation Since 1917 Paperback – Nov 1 2006


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Paperback, Nov 1 2006
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 867 pages
  • Publisher: Stone Bridge Press; Revised Edition, Expanded Edition edition (Nov. 1 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933330104
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933330105
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #656,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

In this important book, Jonathan Clements and Helen McCarthy present an enormous amount of information about 2,000 series and features, detailing their plots and relationships to other anime properties. In these areas, the book is definitive, and readers can only wish a comparable volume existed for American animation. The authors are less sure about non-Japanese influences (Cowboy Bebop owes more to noir detective films than to Route 66), and they focus more on storylines and the business of anime than on visuals. They don't discuss the influence of American Saturday morning TV on early anime designs (Speed Racer, the component series of Robotech) or the art nouveau styling in Revolutionary Girl Utena. The editorial evaluations are much harsher than McCarthy's The Anime Movie Guide: some of the most popular anime series in America--Tenchi, Evangelion, Ranma 1/2--receive sharp criticism. The result is a book that anime fans will either love or love to argue with. --Charles Solomon --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Library Journal

From the first examples in 1917 to today's feature-length animated masterpieces like Princess Mononoke, Japanese animation (or anime) has drawn a devoted international fan base. For quite some time, these enthusiasts have needed an all-encompassing, detail-oriented reference work. Fortunately, Clements and McCarthy, who coedited The Erotic Anime Movie Guide and have an outstanding history in anime indexing, translation, and criticism, are just the folks to carry it off. Choosing the best examples from a field that was about twice the final number of entries, the authors review and detail more than 2000 anime films and TV series. Each entry includes a short synopsis, commentary, details about key creative personnel, and evaluation of the work's significance. Over 100 illustrations representing major releases are sprinkled throughout. Other notable features include a selective bibliography, a name/studio index, and a title index that makes it easy to go right to the vital information about a particular example. The end product is a huge, exhaustive, timely, and authoritative compendium of information that will be appreciated by anime experts and neophytes alike. Recommended for all libraries and essential for film and media collections. David M. Lisa, Wayne P.L., NJ

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Esteban Hernandez on Dec 29 2003
Format: Paperback
While it may be the best and more thoroughly thought-out book about anime so far, it is not quite as relevant as one first hopes. I bought it to have a reference guide, and for this it has proven useful. It is a great tool for finding various animes by a specific directors, or, on the flip side, finding out who produced which shows. However, this is almost the extent of its usefulness.
If one is searching for a comprehensive guide to themes in anime (say the theme of reaching maturity or of encountering alien life or of the woes of war), one will be completely disappointed. The only way to search for anime is by title or producer. If one seeks factual information about anime, like which Mangas or comic strips the animes are based on, one will be disappointed. Even basic terms, plot tools, cliches, genres, and so on are completely overlooked. Japanese culture and language are apparently never consulted by the authors. All that matters to the writers is what the title of the anime was, usually the basic plot, and who made it (and in some instances influences). And that is greatly disappointing for something called an "Encyclopedia." Also, if you seek any form of information on a spin-off or a sequel series to any anime, you are at a loss-- the only references to such follow-ups (often more important or popular than the antecedent), if at all existent, are to be found only within the entries to the original released series. As if that wasn't enough, one must also sustain insult while the author shows disdain and disregard for certain animes which may happen to be some of the most popular and loved (Evangelion comes to mind).
Of course, it is a first edition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Summer Bradshaw on Feb. 27 2003
Format: Paperback
If you have a fairly bad memory like me, you can't remember all the titles of anime you watched. This book was helpful to me most in that respect. I recall only a few key words of the anime title, look it up and the description is there. The descriptions aren't excellently written but they get the job done. I feel the set up could be better and that it cheated at times by summing everything up similar in title in one one big description (Like Gundam for instance).
The two great things about this book is if you find a title of the anime you must own, in the description of the anime it also has the companies name that owns the title. With a little research you could probably contact them or a distributor and recieve a copy of your show for an agreed upon fee.
The other feature is showing the book to the a friend and haughly pointing to the pages upon pages of anime you own or have seen and feel like a true god (or geek) of otaku.
I gave this book a three because it should be in your collection, even just for reference.
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Format: Paperback
Firstly and most importantly, this book did not have information on many anime that are pretty popular in otaku culture, one of the most prominent examples I can recall offhand being Hellsing. There also could have been more information on the type of art used. On the other hand, the plot descriptions got a lot in little space. The evaluations of works compared to other works by the same director or comic book creator were very interesting. Unfortunately, Spirited Away had an extremely minute mention, as this book came out before it won the Oscar. Still, I feel it should have had a much larger mention, as it was another work by Miyazaki, and therefore an instant classic and record breaker in Japan. Also, this book is very controversial in the anime world, as the authors' opinions bias the reader throughout the entire book. Fortunately, these opinions are kept in separate paragraphs from the plot descriptions. This book, despite all of it's faults, is still a must-have for any otaku, as it is the most complete literary reference material in the anime world as of yet, with over 2000 entries.
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Format: Paperback
It is difficult being an otaku (anime fan) when it comes to finding useful source material. Most of the good information is in Japanese, and only reaches the Western viewer in a trickle-down fashion.
So, on the face of it, this would seem to be a crucial book, telling you what is out there. Alas, while this book does try to be informative and useful, it is filled with so many errors and embittered opinions, that I would not recommend using it as an authorative source. Whether it is a simple error of claiming that the anime classic "Otaku no Video" was created in 1985-- which was two years before the creator of this anime (Gainax) was founded; or the embittered opinions of attacking one series (Fushigi Yugi) merely on the grounds that it wasn't as good as another series (Escaflowne) there are many pieces of unreliable information. Series are given the wrong year, wrong number of episodes and frequently plot descriptions that are so distorted that one wonders how closely the authors followed the series in question.
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Format: Paperback
The first thought that runs through the mind of a potential otaku faced with the wealth of Anime films that are available is, frankly, "Where do I start." It doesn't take a great deal of time to sniff out the Evangelions and Princess Mononokes, but beyond the great successes are many lesser lights that all promise pleasure and entertainment if one only knew which they were. Of course, part of the challenge is that coming to understand anime and manga requires reaching some level of understanding of the Japanese culture that underlies them. However, the simple truth is that, lacking a guide, the effort is always in danger of becoming fruitless.
'The Anime Encyclopedia' is the answer to need. While it really isn't encyclopedic, it provides summaries, data, and even some analysis of over 2,000 anime films. The authors confess that there are probably another 2,000 films that could have been included, and a complete failure to touch on interactive (game) animation. Nevertheless, 2,000 titles covering the period from 1917 to 2001 is a lot. While the writers are rarely excessively judgmental, there is enough information to identify both films of interest and films to be avoided.
Occasionally, the reader finds a lengthy discussion, but most of the descriptions are 100 to 200 words. One will find dates, formats, key translations, creative staff, and length listed. Some indication of the appropriate audience where needed, and indication of whether English productions are available. In short, enough to navigate one's way to the winded path of an otaku's apprenticeship. The writers have a dry, witty style that makes this more than a simple catalog, but far less than a treatise. The book does exactly what it promises to do, competently and clearly. Lacking a command of Japanese, this is the best resource available for US viewers.
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