Random House LLC
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Manga: The Complete Guide Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
This book does a tremendous job in dispelling the image of Manga that many of us raised on American comics have about the genre. This book explains not only the history of Manga but the various types of Manga to the point where if you can't find something you'd like, you just didn't look hard enough. Plus there are over 900 reviews!
Don't like big-eyed teenage girls running around in skirts? Don't worry! There is a Manga series that caters to both men and women of every age group and interest. Horror, fantasy, occult, mystery, politics, sci-fi, sports, pets, martial arts, military, business people, etc...Whew! Without this book, the hundreds of titles and dozens of genres would be too much to try and piece together.
I'm sure many experienced Manga fans will disagree with some of his reviews but when you've read as many as the reviewer has, cliches are probably very easy to spot and quality easy to discern.
If you feel that your American Comics collection is getting a bit predictable or drab, or you just want to expose yourself to this art form, this book is a must for people absolutely new to the form.
Another thing worth mentioning is that the number of new manga titles having appeared in English translation since this book was published has increased tremendously, to the point where this sort of guide would be better served up as an online wiki or as a hyperlinked CD-ROM (or downloadable equivalent format) that would allow the reader to easily jump to associated spotlight articles, or a list of other titles authored by the same mangaka or within the same subgenre or demographic.
Nevertheless, there is a crying need for a guide of this type, and to my utter amazement, instead of there being a half-dozen similar sort of guides competing with it (just look at the number of ANIME guide books out there to choose from), this is the ONLY book of its kind on manga to have been published in English. THAT, to my mind, is utterly mind-boggling -- given the huge popularity of manga (which only seems to keep growing outside of Japan). That said, until the day comes when a better guide comes along, this one will have to suffice. Much of the same type of information (and reviews) on various titles could be found online, but the searching, sorting and filtering process required for those interested is labor-intensive and off-putting, plus the researcher would miss many titles of specific interest entirely, without knowing of them by name to look for reviews.
I conclusion, I would say it's definitely worth owning (even if now becoming increasingly outdated -- one does still hope for a newly "Revised and Expanded Edition" in some format). Just be aware that it's worth the time spent to follow up by cross-checking the reviews of any of the titles of interest included herein online, to get a little more of an overview of the spectrum of opinions regarding any title.
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