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Anime and Philosophy: Wide Eyed Wonder [Paperback]

Josef Steiff , Tristan D. Tamplin
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

March 30 2010 Popular Culture and Philosophy (Book 47)
Anime and Philosophy focuses on some of the most-loved, most-intriguing anime films and series, as well as lesser-known works, to find what lies at their core. Astro Boy, Dragon Ball Z, Ghost in the Shell, and Spirited Away are just a few of the films analyzed in this book. In these stories about monsters, robots, children, and spirits who grapple with the important questions in life we find insight crucial to our times: lessons on morality, justice, and heroism, as well as meditations on identity, the soul, and the meaning - or meaninglessness - of life. Anime has become a worldwide phenomenon, reaching across genres, mediums, and cultures. For those wondering why so many people love anime or for die-hard fans who want to know more, Anime and Philosophy provides a deeper appreciation of the art and storytelling of this distinctive Japanese culture.

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About the Author

Josef Steiff is the Associate Chair, Film & Video Department, Columbia College, where he teaches courses in science fiction and anime among other topics. He is the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Filmmaking, Tristan Tamplin has a Ph.D. in philosophy and is the principal designer at Verso Design Corporation.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, not Great June 18 2010
As an anime fan, I figured this would be a fairly insightful book, and give me some new insight into some of my favorite series'. Unfortunately, it only accomplished that about half the time.

This wasnt my first book in the pop culture and philosophy series, so i knew somewhat what to expect. the book takes different anime series and holds some of the recurring themes that come up, alongside the theories of noted philosophers. Unfortunately some of these dissection, utilize too much jargon for the layman to completely understand.

But my chief complaint, is that sometimes a number of animes get too much exposure, while others get very little. I know, there is only so much room, and there is also "Manga and Philosophy". But I just think there is room for improvement, is all.

For all of you who want to know if they paid attention to your personal faves, here is a short list of the ones they included: Chapter 1: My Neighbour Totoro(primarily),Chapter 2: Gunslinger Girls, Chapter 3: Ghost in the Shell, Chapter 4: Akira, Chapter 5: Armitage, Chapter 6: Magnetic Rose, Chapter 7: Spirited Away, Chapter 8: Several, mostly Chrono Crusade and Neon Genesis Evangelion, Chapter 9: Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Chapter 10: Mobile Suit Gundam, Chapter 11: Highlander: The Search for Vengeance, Chapter 12: One Piece, Dragon Ball, Yu Yu Hakusho, Naruto, Dragon Ball Z, Bleach, Chapter 13: Fullmetal Alchemist, Chapter 14: Astro Boy, Chapter 15: Grave of the Fireflies, Chapter 16: Fullmetal Alchemist, Chapter 17: Night Shift Nurses, Cream Lemon, Chapter 18: Gunslinger Girls, Chapter 19: Ghost in the Shell, Chapter 20: Ghost in the Shell, Chapter 21: Neon Genesis Evangelion, Akira,

There were also passing references to other animes, but like I said a short list.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended to anime enthusiasts and philosophers alike May 14 2010
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Anime and Philosophy: Wide Eyed Wonder is an anthology of essays by learned philosophers discussing the philosophical implications of the animated movies and television shows of Japanese popular culture. From "'Astro Boy' and the Atomic Age" to "Did Santa Die on the Cross?" to "Everything You Never Wanted to Know about Sex and Were Afraid to Watch", these writings explore meanings beneath the surface of this widely beloved art form, which speaks to people so strongly that it has generated a solid international audience. Anime and Philosophy is a long overdue and enthusiastically welcome contribution to philosophy collections, highly recommended to anime enthusiasts and philosophers alike.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Actual Philosophy included May 29 2013
By MJS - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've read quite a few books that combine some sort of idea with philosophy and most of them fall short on actual philosophy. This book delivers and in a good way. I ran into it in my professor's office (anime professor, not my philosophy professor) and immediately started reading it, which ended up with me purchasing the book on Kindle when I returned to my room.

This is not a book for an anime lover who doesn't want to have some deep reading about a series. It tackles quite a few genre of anime and what said anime conveys to the public. I do recommend watching at least a few episodes of the anime discussed in the book just so a person's own philosophy can be molded.

The Kindle version is great and adds to my collection nicely. Highly recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scratches the Itch March 14 2013
By David - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Natural-born philosophers can't seem to enjoy something unless they can really tear it apart for analysis afterwards. This book allows one to do just that with regards to Anime. The essays within hit on many pertinent genres of anime and start posing the questions, and proffering the answers. From a myriad of subjects such as posthumanism, child soldiers, sexuality, evolution, self-improvement and classic good/evil, this book provides easy and entertaining reading for those even mildly familiar with the realms of anime or philosophy.

Now on the anime in question.... I felt it could have been better. There were maybe one too many essays on Ghost in the Shell and posthumanism. As an anime fan I know there's so much more material out there that could be covered, yet I get to the next chapter... and it's posthumanism again. I would also have liked to see a bit more reflections on anime itself as a medium; why draw it that way? Why is it different from other types of cartoons? What makes anime appealing to some, while repulsive to others? What is "bishounen"? Things like that... Oh, well. Maybe it's not too late to start hoping for Vol. 2?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I loved it April 17 2012
By Meagan Hightower - Published on
I have to admit that I never knew anime could be analyzed like a book before I read this book. I'm used to seeing anime and Japanese guides, but I have never seen a book pick apart the philosophy of popular and infamous shows. I've only seen philosophy books analyzing popular culture literature, like Harry Potter, Twilight and Hunger Games. Every article was also very well written and well explained.

I would recommend this to almost anyone, especially to people who think that anime is just for children. Personally I liked how this book covered the over-sexualized animated porn and hentai aspects that most people are uneducated about. I also liked that it also covered a lot of deep technological and body aspects as well. This book also helped me discover some animes I have never heard about and would seriously go watch them.
4.0 out of 5 stars DBAV Feb. 25 2014
By discmythnut - Published on
This book provides a lot of really interesting theories of anime and storytelling. Really useful when discussing narrative and character psychology, including the sub-chapter the title of this review provides.
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