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  • MSRP: 29.95
  • Pages: 880
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Anime Encyclopedia Revised & Expanded Vol. #1 - 2006 Edition

By Paul Jacques     December 25, 2006
Release Date: December 31, 2006


Anime Encyclopedia Revised & Expanded Vol.#1 - 2006 Edition
© Other


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Jonathan Clements & Helen McCarthy
Translated by:
Adapted by:

What They Say
This long-awaited, fully detailed guide to Japanese animation is required reading for every fan, collector, and moviegoer. Covering more than 80 years of anime history and over 2,000 titles with a critical finesse that pulls no punches and takes no prisoners, the authors show how the anime universe is lively and diverse "as sophisticated as cinema and influencing creative cultures far beyond its native Japanese shores.

The Review
After the 2001 release of Anime Encyclopedia many of us wondered if we'd ever see an updated version. The word on the street was that the original book had been a work of passion, but that passion was now spent. Time went by...... Out of the blue and much to our surprise Jonathan Clements & Helen McCarthy rekindled their enthusiasm, girded their loins and hit the Japanese anime production houses once more. Was it worth the wait? Did they add enough new material to make the cover charge worth paying? Unequivocally yes ^_^

Let's get the technical bit out the way; it's a whopping 752 pages (excluding index) long, covering over 3000 titles and weighing in at just over 3lbs! Gargantuan - very rarely do I get to use that word outside of a Tarantino film " and informative are the two words I'd use to describe the book. Nicely laid out in an alphabetical order (A15 on page 1 to Zorro on page 751), with enough pictures for you play "guess that anime" for several hours.

Which of us is ever going to have time to watch 3000 titles (OK Chris, put your hand down)? Exactly, so the next best thing is to read up on those titles we've heard about, but can't get hold of. All of a sudden, the thought of a long drive to visit relatives over Christmas, doesn't seem so odious with this book to fill in the null time.

Where this book stands tall is in the twenty-eight Thematic Entries which are scattered throughout the book. These cover every aspect of anime: history, jargon, marketing, religion, character stereotypes, voice acting etc. Not to mention the mini bios of anime creators and contributors. This is where someone like JC & HM brought their experience and knowledge to the fore, for our edification and pleasure.

Did they cover every anime every released- heck no! That would be impossible. No, really, you couldn't get every title ever created for legal and physical reasons: a book with every title in it would have to be sold with a small trolley, on which to carry it. Does it matter that some titles are missing? No, because your average anime fan will only have heard 10% of the titles reviewed anyway. The other 90% will be a fantastic read of discovery to while away the hours. As such there is plenty to be going on with.

Did I agree with everything they wrote? Actually, on the whole, yes. Just because they wrote a disparaging word about something I rate highly doesn't make them idiots- it's a subjective occupation after all, so let's respect it as such. And I would council against making any personal remarks if you do disagree on some point (read the Introduction for why).

Comments
When it comes to a personal reference library on anime releases, there is no better book that covers the genre down to such fanatical detail. If I only had space on my overcrowded shelf for one book on anime, this would be it. If I had no space on my shelf I'd select two books at random and drop them into the bin, just to make room- it's that indispensable. No self respecting fan should be without this essential tome as it's a godsend for the enquiring mind.

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