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Anime Essentials: Every Thing a Fan Needs to Know Paperback – December 1, 2000
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From the Publisher
Attention all otakus! Check out other great anime books from Stone Bridge Press, including Fred Schodt's classic DREAMLAND JAPAN: WRITINGS ON MODERN MANGA, Helen McCarthy's HAYAO MIYAZAKI: MASTER OF JAPANESE ANIMATION, Ryan Omega's ANIME TRIVIA QUIZBOOKS, EPISODES 1 & 2, and of course, Gilles Poitras's THE ANIME COMPANION: WHAT'S JAPANESE IN JAPANESE ANIMATION.
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In each chapter, when Poitras comes to a term that needs to be defined, or has other notes to include to explain concepts, there is a break in the text. After putting a line of dots in bold print, the term or concept will be listed underneath. The explanation for the term or the concept is in a different font from the rest of the text in the book.
In the book, Poitras explains how anime is released, looks at the eras of anime, explains various anime genres, talks about anime conventions, connections with manga, how to be a fan, controversies in anime, anime merchandise, recommends some anime titles, and also includes a listing of some print and online anime resources. One of the most interesting things Poitras did in the book is to break out the "generations" of American anime fans, as to when they became aware of anime. I had never seen this done before, so I found this section to be of interest. However, I have to question why Sailor Moon was given a generation, but that Dragon Ball Z did not. While Sailor Moon helped bring more awareness to anime to young girls, Dragon Ball Z is also an important milestone. Outside of that, however, I think Poitras did a good job breaking down the generations of American anime fandom.
Anime Essentials is a fairly quick and easy read, and is definitely geared more toward anime newcomers than to seasoned anime fans. However, I still found some sections of the book enjoyable. Not only did I learn something from the American anime fan generations, I also learned a bit about the anime merchandise that is released in Japan. I would definitely recommend Anime Essentials to someone who is just starting to wade into anime fandom, or to those who are still early on in their anime fandom.
As an otaku, I still found plenty of new information in this book, as well as a fresh new perspective on several anime titles. Of the 41 recommended titles, I have seen all but five, which I suppose marks my "status" as an otaku. Poitras' insights into the famous Otaku no video were especially interesting, and can teach even diehard anime otaku more about this great series.
This is a great book for parents, teachers, and anyone else who deals with children who regularly watch CardCaptors, Sailor Moon, Pokémon, and other anime what anime is really about, and this information will be especially useful as these children grow and move on to more "sophisticated" anime. (If only this book had been available when I first discovered anime.....)