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Samurai from Outer Space: Understanding Japanese Animation Paperback – Dec 30 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Open Court (Dec 30 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812693329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812693324
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 16 x 1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #21,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Generation X calls it anime (pronounced AH-nee-may). Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
I've never liked Japanese animation. I missed out on "Astro Boy" and "Speed Racer" when I was a kid. To me, "Kimba the White Lion" represented Japanese animation. Something about the oddness in the characters voices (they always threw in extra syllables at the end of their sentences, "We have to go save him, huh?") and the gender ambiguity of the lead character (these things are important to uptight pre-pubescent kids) really bothered me.
By the time Japanese animation took hold in the US cartoon market with shows such as "Voltron," or "Robotech," I was done with cartoons. By the time Japanese animation started showing up on the shelves at Blockbuster Video, I learned that one should refer to Japanese animation as "Anime." In the years between, I found that the same kind of geeky know-it-all kids who dominated the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons scene and who lingered too long at comic book stores discussing the outcome of a battle between the "Teen Titans" and "Alpha Flight," were the same folks who loved Anime.
Have you ever disliked a band because of its fans? This was the same kind of thing. I have yet to listen to anything by The Misfits merely because of all the losers in leather jackets who would come to concerts and stand in my way or push people around in the pit. Nine times out of ten they'd have on some sort of Misfits paraphernalia. No one's written a book explaining the music of the Misfits from an outsider's point of view.
Thankfully, Antonia Levy's book Samurai from Outer Space is the perfect guide for jerks like me who've dismissed an entire animation style out of dislike for its diehard fans. Subtitled "Understanding Japanese Animation," Levy takes the reader through the history of Anime and Manga (Japanese comic books).
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Format: Paperback
for anime and manga. Over 160 pages full of information on Shinto, Buddhism, Samurai legends, Japanese art and history and how Japanese animation uses it. Chapters also on the women of anime, death and the afterlife in animation and a glossary of anime terms. Add 20 full color pictures and lots of humor, and you have a not-so-serious study about the subject. Only problem is that the book was first published in 1996 and, while the newest printing was 2001, has not been updated and therefore still outdated.
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By A Customer on Dec 3 2001
Format: Paperback
Back when I first did not know much of anime, I saw this book and thought, wow! What a great book. And I was v. right. Not only is it very interresting, but it is teaches you about anime by understanding their culture and history. I would personally recomend this book to anyone!
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By Daitokuji31 on Oct. 28 2001
Format: Paperback
This book was originaly written back in the year 1996 before the anime boom had hit America. I know anime is still not a word known in every household, but it is more popular now than what it was five years ago. I found this book to be quite an interesting read although most of the information seems to be for those who are only interested in Japan because of anime, which is not a rare thing to say the least so things such as literature and religion get pushed to the side because of a superior interest in Animation. I'm not saying that this is a bad thing, but fo those who have a deeply rooted interest in Japan in other things besides anime might find the book to be lacking in new information, but overall the book is quite enjoyable and might help make sense of some of the "strange" stuff that some viewers might see in anime. such as what figures of folklore the Urusei Yatsura characters Benten and Oyuki were derived from. I found a couplke of errors in the book as well in anime refernces. The first is obviously a mistype on page 51 Dr. Levi calls the manager of Maison Ikkoku Ryoko. The character's name is Kyoko. Maybe she was thinking about Tenchi Muyo! at the time. the second on page 131, Dr. Levi says that Akane cut her long hair of intentionately. This is not so her hair was accidentally cut off by Ryoga. She had her sister Kasumi even it out for her, but besides these little errors the book is an enjoyable read, but only scratches th e surface of the deeper meanings within anime. A better book to read would be Anime: from Akiira to Princes Mononoke by Susan J. Napier.
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By A Customer on July 17 2001
Format: Paperback
This was well written, a lot of fun & educational as well. A lot of in depth info but still manages to be a great introduction to anime for folks like me who really don't know very much about it. Answers some of those nagging questions about content & why it looks the way it does. Author has a great sense of humor - you'll enjoy it.
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Format: Paperback
If you are just now learning the world of anime and want to expand your knowledge this is a great book for you. It is extremely informative for a beginner and contains many details on the mythologies and customs of the Japanese which appear numerous times in anime and manga. You'll learn a few new Japanese words, and you can impress your friends, "I know why this happens, what that means" etc. Unfortunately it doesn't cover the reasons why anime made such a big boom in the States, only speculations. The author also makes false or unfounded claims of the origion of American morals.
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By ChrisV82 on April 4 2001
Format: Paperback
When I picked up this book, I was looking fora history of anime. You know, facts about how it started, viewer statistics, time slots and channels it aired on, when it was first imported outside of Japan, how the styles have changed, etc. I didn't find very much of that in this book, but what I did find was a fascinating look at how Japanese traditions have influenced manga and anime (specifically anime). It is very interesting indeed. It is the best anime book I've read, but I haven't read much because there isn't much available. It doesn't have a directory of anime movies made, thankfully - those things are best left for websites.
It definately needs an update, though. With the popularity of shows like Digimon, Pokemon, Card Captors (C.C. Sakura in Japan), etc., not to mention the massive success of Cartoon Network's line up, as well as Sci Fi's and Action Channel's occasional anime showings, anime in the States is more popular than ever. it'd be nice to see what her take is on that, and to stop referring to Generation X. I'm old enough to have grown up on 80's dubbed anime on TV, but people my age are not Generation Xers....and today's Pokefans are younger than us.
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