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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for ALL anime fans
I know a lot of anime fans who have avoided this book because of the subject matter, but they are really losing out. This book told me more about anime than any other book on the subject. Sure, there's a lot of stuff in here about erotic anime, but there's even more about the business as a whole. The authors include "cut-scenes" of material that was removed...
Published on September 11, 1999

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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No Sex Please, We're British (Says the BBFC)
Anime fans frequently praise this book as an explanation of the sexuality in anime. This is a COMPLETE AND TOTAL misunderstanding of what this book is. In truth, this book is a work of apologetics against the "sex and tentacles" reputation that anime has in Great Britain-- the residence of the authors.
The key to understanding this book is the chapter on the...
Published on December 30, 2003 by Amazon Customer


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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for ALL anime fans, September 11, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Erotic Anime Movie Guide (Mass Market Paperback)
I know a lot of anime fans who have avoided this book because of the subject matter, but they are really losing out. This book told me more about anime than any other book on the subject. Sure, there's a lot of stuff in here about erotic anime, but there's even more about the business as a whole. The authors include "cut-scenes" of material that was removed both here and in Japan during production of the originals, they go through the material that's been lost in translation (explaining why people often think that anime is trash, when they're just missing out on the background details), and there's an awesome chapter on journalism that every fan of anime should read and memorise. My favorite chapter of all is about archetypes in anime. If an anime has been written in a hurry (too true, too often), the scenarist will follow certain set patterns of "ideal women" to meet the requirements of marketing and authorship. The "inside information" on how anime are written and translated is worth its weight in gold. And there's no denying it, but the best-selling anime are the ones that the fans DON'T buy. They sell to the public at large, and this book tells you what they think. It should be part of every thinking anime fan's collection.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No Sex Please, We're British (Says the BBFC), December 30, 2003
This review is from: The Erotic Anime Movie Guide (Mass Market Paperback)
Anime fans frequently praise this book as an explanation of the sexuality in anime. This is a COMPLETE AND TOTAL misunderstanding of what this book is. In truth, this book is a work of apologetics against the "sex and tentacles" reputation that anime has in Great Britain-- the residence of the authors.
The key to understanding this book is the chapter on the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) which must rate and evaluate every movie that is released in the UK. If the film contains content that is deemed too explicit, the film must either accept cuts or be banned from being shown in the UK. Anime, particularly the adult titles that came out in the early days of the anime explosion, tended to require frequent cuts (Johnathan Clements translated some anime titles for the UK, which the BBFC cut or banned. This may explain his venom in the chapters he wrote).
All the other chapters center around the fact that anime has a bad reputation in the UK. This history (which gets some facts wrong) is meant to say to the British reader: The Japanese are not a nation of sexual perverts. The discussion of certain series (notably Urutsukidoji) are meant to inform the British reader what actually happened in the stories as opposed to the distorted rumors that were going around the country. The movie section gives a selection of titles (which is NOT intended by them to be exhaustive) meant to show the British reader that not all anime is porn.
The book has problems. First, is their ludicrous attempt to explain away the fact that some anime sexualizes minors. They claim that these people wearing school uniforms are actually junior college students and all females that are sexual objects are adults. This is a statement that is irresponsibly false. If they knew it, it is a complete lie. if not, it reflects poorly on their knowledge of Japan. College students don't wear uniforms, and in Japan, up until 1999 (after the time the book was written) the age of consent in Nagoya and Tokyo was 13 and girls could get married at 16. Moreover, the concept of enjo kosai (compensated dating-- a sort of informal prostitution by high school girls) was a factor at the time of their writing, but it goes unmentioned by the authors-- a point that puts a big hole in their argument and hence omitted.
The second major problem is this book was written by some angry people. In fairness, I would not care to live under the BBFC determining what I can watch. However, with anger, clarity and rationality suffers. The book seems vitrolic and frequently fails to come to a point. There are distortions (They imply that two episodes of "Crying Freeman" had so much censored by the BBFC, that the distributor had to put them together on one tape. In actuality, less than one minute was cut from both episodes combined. As a result, their credibility suffers. Also, they seem to operate under a belief that a high quality story that is sexually explicit ought not to be put in the same category as a sleazy porn story. So they classify anime as being mainstream, erotic or porn. The problem is this makes everything relative: Only stuff I *don't* like can be considered porn.
So essentially, the book does not deliver as a rational discussion of erotic anime. It comes off looking more like a 191 page rant against the BBFC.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Read - Informative, even scholarly., August 12, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Erotic Anime Movie Guide (Mass Market Paperback)
If you've tried a couple hentai anime films and liked what you saw, this book is a MUST-HAVE! Gives a great overview of the history of anime, all the different subgenres, and delves into the culture, industry, and marketplace that creates them.
The chapter on the Overfiend series is terrific and provides great insights into the themes behind the series (including plot points that got mangled by western editing).
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Humdrum Guide to XXX Anime, June 9, 2000
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This review is from: The Erotic Anime Movie Guide (Mass Market Paperback)
While this book provides detailed coverage of much of the dark side of anime, it is marred by very lackluster writing and a dearth of illustration. The writers shift back and forth from a dry academic philosophizing which sometimes borders on apologising for Japanese tastes to an equally dry reporting of film contents. This should be a fascinating subject. The Japanese have focused considerable writing, illustrative and musical talent on sexually oriented anime, and this strange little book seems to want to downplay all of that. Hopefully someone else will be inspired to create the book this should have been.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars getting old, but still worthwhile, February 16, 2002
This review is from: The Erotic Anime Movie Guide (Mass Market Paperback)
This one's a bit of a mixed bag. Part of the problem is that the same author's later Anime Encyclopedia makes the latter half of it (a list of Erotic anime), completely redundant. However, the first half, comprising learned essays on anime topics, remain very intriguing. In particular, this book contains a fascinating study of the media's reaction to anime, and the first account of the shonen ai genre to go into any reasonable depth. Very important for anyone who takes anime seriously, but bear in mind that only part of the book is still relevant today.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting look into an interesting world, September 2, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Erotic Anime Movie Guide (Mass Market Paperback)
Covers quite a bit along the lines of erotic anime. The discussion is intelligent, with "inside" information, as the co-author himself translated a title or two. Unfortunately, it isn't very good for determining which are the _best_ titles, only those which are most significant. A slightly slanted view towards the brittish reader, but still a good read if you enjoy this topic, and may even provide good discussion fodder if you aren't a fan.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The History of Anime, October 14, 2000
By 
John Merklinghaus (Santa Cruz, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Erotic Anime Movie Guide (Mass Market Paperback)
This is an extremely in-depth look at the history of anime and the role of eroticism in shaping it. It also covers the views that have shaped how anime is perceived. It has a guide to individual movies which takes up about a third of the book, but only half of those are erotic films. A must for increasing your understanding of anime, but it is not really a film guide.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real history of erotic anime..., September 27, 2002
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This review is from: The Erotic Anime Movie Guide (Mass Market Paperback)
191 pages of a serious study of the anime's history in Japan and impact of ... anime in the western world. The book deals with its roots, how much of it is made in Japan (when compared to other categories), the many types (..., horror, ..., so on), the characters, anime games and even how translations, from Japanese to English, sometimes made a normal anime into a ... version that will increase its selling power in the English and American market BUT destroy the story line. It also deals with the media's reactions to anime and how marketing strategies make a cartoon worse than it started out with. For example, ... boys are more likely to buy a cartoon with a adult rating than one for family viewing. Also the book shows how most ... anime is bought up by mainstream video/DVD viewers NOT anime fans (who are more likely going to want the Japanese, and therefore pre-eroticized, version of the story).
Contains adult material, so only for 18 years or older AND only for the serious reader.
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rant, rant, rant, October 15, 2004
This review is from: The Erotic Anime Movie Guide (Mass Market Paperback)
I agree that this book is only a rant against the BBFC, which the author may have found justified to put in print, but I simply want to correct the correction to what Mr Wenat qualifies as "poor knowledge of Japan" on the part of the author which, again, may be true, but his correction isn't quite accurate either.

As the Japanese school system is divided into primary school, junior high school, high school, and university levels and that, in fact, primary, junior high, and high school students DO ABSOLUTELY have to wear a uniform. I do not exactly recall if McCarthy used "junior college" or not in the text, but in some parts of the English-speaking world, as far as I remember, it refers to high school students. Japanese students enter high school at age 16 and graduate at 18. Whether the age of consent is 13 in Nagoya and Tokyo is irrelevent, because the universal age of majority in Japan is 20. Thus anything below that is underage sex.

As for enjo kosai, this is not usually somehting present in anime (although I've seen some), but that is not a phenomenon only present amongst high school girl, but also amongst housewives, office ladies, university students and freeters, thus can be considered prostitution with all it implies. However, its ommission from the McCarthy text does put somewhat of a hole in their argumentation about school uniforms, but is not entirely relevent from the discussion either.

As for all anime not being ero-anime cannot be effectively shown or understood through this guide, since the flow of nonero-anime to the west is still at a trickle. The number of OVA is decreasing because of late-night TV airings, and a simple search on Amazon.co.jp through DVD and video demonstrates this fairly quickly.

The fact remains that the erotic undertones of anime are strong, but when one thinks about who they REALLY aim, which is mostly pre-teens, teens, and young adults (sex notwithstanding), anime simply attempts to capitalise on what boys want (big breasted characters and mecha) and the girls with idealised love stories, beautiful men and women characters, and cute stuff, something they yearn for and try to achieve themselves. But then, if anyone has recently seen a film from the United States without any erotic undertones, you are welcome to drop me a line.

Besides, this book was written in 1999... This is getting aged.
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The Erotic Anime Movie Guide
The Erotic Anime Movie Guide by Helen McCarthy (Mass Market Paperback - July 1, 1999)
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