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


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 867 pages
  • Publisher: Stone Bridge Press; Revised and Expanded edition (November 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933330104
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933330105
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 7.2 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #847,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

There are a pretty good amount of factual errors scattered throughout the book.
Shawn Fumo
Anyone who truly loves anime needs this book--as a reference to familiar shows, as a way of exploring new anime, as a way of testing your anime trivia knowledge.
"princessotaku18"
They tend to lambast any Japanese work which does not conform to Western tastes, politics and morals.
Somewhere in Lotus Land

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 9, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Esteban Hernandez on December 29, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 30, 2003
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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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Carlos Ross on February 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
When I first got this book, I thought I'd stumbled upon a wealth of information. As an amateur anime reviewer, I had wanted a more comprehensive guide to anime than the books that had been previously released, and I was convinced this should be it.
"Should" be.
For a first-time anime fan, this seems like the way to go. But for the experienced fan who has seen even a tenth of the anime listed here, the luster fades rather quickly.
Unfortunately, the Anime Encyclopedia is plagued with factual errors, occasional Anglocentric comments, and an often acerbic tone hardly befitting the word "encyclopedia". Review guide, perhaps. But impassive reference material? Hardly.
Often, the authors come up with completely new (and erroneous) title translations such as "Chancer Princess" and "Heart Mark" for anime not released in the West, whereas some shows within the time period stated (Risky Safety) are omitted outright, or hidden under discussion of nominally related titles (Gensoumaden Saiyuuki). Japanese names are misspelled or mistranslated with abandon, whether it be anime titles or creators, like Yoshizumi Wataru, here transliterated incorrectly as Yoshizumi Ayumi, and not even listed as the creator of her major anime work!
The worst part is that, as in Helen McCarthy's previous works, the authors here attempt to review and cast judgment on titles they obviously have not seen, which is reprehensible for anyone who claims to be a serious reviewer of any genre of art. The informal (and obviously British) tone of the book meshes poorly with the fact that this was released for a primarily American audience, with the authors poking fun at American distributors where there ought not to be any poking of fun at all.
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