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500 Essential Anime Movies: The Ultimate Guide Paperback – January 6, 2009
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About the Author
More About the Author
In 2010 she won a Harvey Award - the Oscars of the comics world - for her tenth book, 'The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga'. The book was also nominated for an Eisner Award. Helen's other awards include a Japan Foundation Award for furthering understanding of Japanese culture in the United Kingdom, and a Society of Authors/Sasakawa Foundation award.
She designs needlework, which led to the creation of "Manga Cross-Stitch", a book for those who want to use the energy of Japanese popular culture in their own embroidery. Combining a basic cross stitch course and a potted history of manga with a toolkit for designers and a wealth of fresh, enjoyable, easy-to-stitch charts, it has been welcomed by a host of stitchers.
She also writes poetry and tweets haiku and random nonsense daily. In her spare time, she studies and re-creates historic clothing and costume. She lives in London with an artist and a universe of toys.
Top Customer Reviews
It's organized by sub-genre, such as SciFi, Fantasy, "History, Politics and Life", and "Action"; Perhaps the oddest is "Love and Death" (which includes both "Grave of the Fireflies" and "Orange Road".) Within each of these categories, there are 10 "best" titles (listed alphabetically), each of which get two facing pages of text and pictures. This is followed by the "best of the rest" within that genre, which are given less space (a page, or even half a page.) There are color-coded marks at the page edge letting you know which section you're in. The break between the top ten and the rest isn't obviously marked, other than the alphabet recycles. (Sometimes the categories seem coin tosses, e.g. placing "Voices of a Distant Star" under "Robots and Mecha" instead of "SciFi" or "Love and Death")
Each title has a few bright pictures from the anime, a few basic creator credits (director, writer, music, animation and designers) and a few paragraphs text of varying length and depth (what's it about, and sometimes a brief critical assessment.) Each also has a rating, 1-5 stars.
There's an index by anime title near the back (though a more general index by director or writer isn't available.) It's a little confusing that the table of content at the front lists genre sections by page number, but the index at the back references titles by the anime anumber (1-500.Read more ›
The book is a collection of opinions and recommendations. The value of this sort of thing depends on the author, and as it happens Helen MacCarthy is very knowledgeable and just basically has good taste. Of course there's room to quibble about specific judgments (I was a bit sad there was no room in the book for the original six-part "Magic Users' Club" - aww), but any author who says "Kiki's Delivery Service" is greater than "Spirited Away" and that "Gunbuster" is more essential than "FLCL" is (in my opinion) making some classy calls.^^
One little fault I find with this book - the author gives "star ratings" to each entry as well as a little write-up. It's often not clear from the text why the film under consideration has received one star (say) rather than five.
Beautifully illustrated, this book is sure to give ideas to the casual anime viewer and to anyone who wants to expand their knowledge of anime classics and recent anime history.
To some point, yes, this is a matter of taste. But any author undertaking such a book has to step back a little from personal taste and idiosyncrasy and use a finer critical eye. Also, applying a little practical thought to the choices/ratings would, in some cases, have been more useful. What good is featuring as "best" something like "Samurai X: Reflection (Director's Cut)" when it's very likely to be a frustrating watch for someone who hasn't seen the whole Rurouni Kenshin series and read the manga?
Also, her ratings in some cases seem less well-considered or classy than an intentional attempt to buck the norm. Rating "Spirited Away" lower than "Pom Poko"?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beatifully illustrated, this book will guide through the most important anime movies ever. The selection is fair and appears what has to.Published on February 3, 2012 by Luis Bugarini
The book had some good recommendations as far as animes I had yet to see that were worth watching HOWEVER... Read morePublished on December 25, 2010 by guilty