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Anime Explosion! The What? Why? & Wow! of Japanese Animation Paperback – October 1, 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
Patrick Drazen's 'Anime Explosion' is the perfect book to begin a deep dive into anime. It begins with history and then follows key themes and genre. This discussion alone is well worth the price of admission because it reveals where American and Japanese viewpoints diverge. This helps the viewer to 'get' many things that used to leave one vaguely confused and dissatisfied. He also dispels a few urban legends about anime in the process. If you are like me, you got focused on the Christian imagery in Evangelion, but completely failed to realize that the real legendary context is from Japanese myths like Kojiki. It is all a bit like getting a viewpoint adjustment.
The second major part of the book discusses, particular films, directors, composers. Drazen does not make the mistake of trying to cover everything. He makes the right decision - that the reader will benefit more from Evangelion, Escaflowne, Ghibli and Shirow in some depth than from a lot of little tidbits that are more appropriately to attempts at encyclopedic coverage. These are like practice sessions that gradually hone the reader's ability to see the how and why of what is Japanese in anime. And this helps us vastly increase our ability to enjoy Japanese animation. Which has come a very long way from its origins.Read more ›
1. Much of the information on individual series seems to be incorrect. Perhaps Drazen is offering his interpretation of the events in those series, but overall, it seems that he watched some of them from the corner of his eye while writing the book.
2. There are some major grammatical errors in this book. While not everyone's perfect, it is a seemingly professional publication, and these errors lead me to believe that the author didn't have anyone read over his material to check for errors or inconsistencies, at least not anyone who cared about his book being accurate in any respect.
3. Drazen offers a lot of material, but very rigidly from his own point of view. The book is obviously from a male perspective (which may attribute to his inconsistencies in the descriptions of some of the more girly shoujo titles of anime, but still doesn't account for his errors in the rest); Drazen also sticks to what he likes, giving a sort of authorial sneer to any series mentioned that wasn't in his immediate favorites.
Overall this book is very poor for accurate, unbiased information on the subject of anime. I hate to say so because I don't know of any book that isn't. I think Drazen would have done much better to have collaborated, and certainly to have passed the manuscript around to some of his informed buddies. Did no one catch on to the outstanding errors before this was published?
Better luck next time, authors on anime.
SOME of the things that the author presents as facts are wrong. For example, on page 122, says "Long ago, two members of the interplantary noble house of Jurai traveled to Earth: Tenchi Masaki's mother...and grandfather Yosho-" which is wrong. Achika, Tenchi's mother was born on Earth. Yosho had been on Earth for over 700 years guarding the Masaki Shrine. As he was chasing the dangerous pirate-demon, Ryoko, I DOUBT he brought a baby along for the ride.
Also, at the end, the author tells you the book is based on his own favorites. What happened to list of resources, the titles of anime and manga and history books we should read? If you want to be told what to watch and read DON'T buy this book. This author wants you to think. How un-American.
Oh, the afterword is also kind of weak.
I would suggest this book for a person who just entered the world of anime. It is newer than most and VERY detailed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I could not stop reading this! It was so much fun and so interesting. I hope to read more of Patrick Drazen's works and learn even more about anime.Published 5 months ago by Michi Vallieres
Which I guess can be said about many of the general works available on anime, most of which seem to date from more or
less the year 2000, back when the medium was still a... Read more
This book contains two sections. The first section is labeled as, "Interpreting Anime," and this includes sixteen chapters. Read morePublished on November 10, 2009 by Lesley Aeschliman
This is the most comprehensive and insightful book on anime that I have thus far come across. Drazen's understanding and explanation of the japanese cultural background, the... Read morePublished on April 21, 2008 by A. Ohlson
Drazen has written a good, introductory book on anime. As such, it doesn't do a spectacular job on anything, but it covers most of the bases well. Read morePublished on December 1, 2005 by pdchapin
Anime has gone mainstream. Or, rather, it has gone everywhere. Ten years ago or so the number of people outside of Japan who even knew what anime was was limited to a small but... Read morePublished on April 11, 2005 by R. Brown
The book is fair quality. Drazen has a point of view and follows it to the end. Two problems are noted, 1) his history references need to be more varied (keeps quoting one source),... Read morePublished on March 7, 2005 by zDrx