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The Anime Companion: What's Japanese in Japanese Animation Paperback – September 1, 1999
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Top Customer Reviews
While the organization (alphabetical) is a poor choice, since many will not know the Japanese vocabulary for looking up a reference. Despite this, the book is a good value. It's best used by a simple flip-through, reading entries at random.
Purists may find the book mildly offensive as it does deal with the blatant sexism often presented in mainstream anime. This is not to say it does anime a disservice, however - it places the animation squarely in the context of the society that has created it. Americans and Japanese people have a very different concept of what crosses the line from stereotype into outright sexism, and I feel this book has done a fairly good job in illustrating some of the commonly seen genres and images within anime exported to the United States.
This book does Japanese animation a great service, as well, by making sure that a new anime fan does not think that all anime is so violent/sexual in nature - it allows the reader to see anime for what it is: a type of film genre with tons of variety, and stories for people of every taste.
This book is not for a "veteran" anime fan, not by any means. There are many interesting tidbits of info, but it all comes in the form of a dictionary, and unless you like to sit down with your Webster's and have a good read, I suggest you pass on this book and look elsewhere for your info. All the entries are alphabetical in Japanese, which means you are going to have a hard time finding the info you want if you are indeed looking up something, unless you are pretty fluent in the language. The organization is bad and the sidebar "rants" the author has are annoying. He claims in the first "rant" that he has a right to whine all he wants in his book, but to that I say "No you don't, not when you are attempting to be professional." I'm all for fun in books, but there is a thin line between fun and immaturity, and I'm sure you can guess where this guy is. Some of the things this guy rants about are boobies, guns, boobies, guns, boobies, boobies, boobies. You get my drift? It's VERY insulting to female readers. He even talks about his ex-Asian girlfriend's breasts. Like we care!
Other problems include the author's sources...While he claimed he was limited because of the only 100 or so titles he had available to him at the time, he pretty much refered to the same 6 anime titles when he did his entries, and 90% of those references were Rumiko Takahashi references.Read more ›
In fact, I would also suggest 'The Erotic Anime Movie Guide' by Helen McCarthy and Jonathan Clements.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Definitely a great reference book! It helped a lot with Japanese pop culture and learning more about the culture in general.Published 17 months ago by Adrianna
This book is an encyclopedia to some of the Japanese references that appear in anime that non-Japanese audiences may not understand or be familiar with. Read morePublished on February 3, 2009 by Lesley Aeschliman
This is a really great book, lots of fun to read. You'll learn a lot of interesting things about Japanese culture, but it doesn't feel like a text book or a learning book. Read morePublished on April 27, 2007 by Michael Casey
The fannish attitude expressed in the book's introduction ("go read a bestseller," you inferior being you) almost made me stop reading, as did the lame illos, "rants" about topics... Read morePublished on December 26, 2005 by Laurel Jenkins-Crowe
It's not bad for what it is, which is a concise and playful alphabetical listing of Japanese terms and customs that one might come across in Anime. Read morePublished on June 21, 2005 by theskeptic
My kids were adolescents back in the `80s, when Japanese animation began to be seen on American TV, and for a long time -- even though I'd been interested in modern Japanese... Read morePublished on March 24, 2005 by Michael K. Smith
An excellent book, even if the anime refrences used are getting a bit dated now that more is avalible to us in the west. Read morePublished on September 23, 2002 by Amazon Customer
This is a really wonderful book. Before i read it, i was completely oblivious to the japanese culture, but after, i was a walking, talking otaku(well i WAS before the book, but now... Read morePublished on September 13, 2002 by Tristan