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Anime from Akira to Howl's Moving Castle: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation
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Anime from Akira to Howl's Moving Castle: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  395 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Updated and expanded edition of Susan Napier's cult classic, in-depth, sophisticated look at Japanese animation
Hardcover, 355 pages
Published December 11th 2005 by Palgrave MacMillan (first published April 21st 2001)
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Jun 24, 2010 Monika rated it it was ok
I give it one star because it's a book about anime. I gave it another star because it attempts to "complicate' the reader's understanding of hentai. Noble effort, my friend!

That being said, it was like someone JUST finished a Critical Theory class in the Literature/Women's Studies/Pop Culture Studies track at a small private college in the Northeast and then wrote a book about anime. Every essay is so mired in critic-quoting and SO completely devoid of the glee I was expecting from a book about
Miquel Codony
Aug 27, 2016 Miquel Codony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: none

Para mi cumple con creces el que me parece que es su objetivo: mostrar que el anime es un medio narrativamente sofisticado que a menudo se presta a diversas (y legítimas) interpretaciones más allá del escapismo.

Es un texto académico pero accesible. Aunque se centra en un repertorio limitado de obras no me parece que eso sea una debilidad del libro. En cambio, sí que podría serlo el centrarse casi por completo en el contenido “textual” y pecar (aunque sin dogmatismo aparente) de sobreinte
Jul 14, 2007 leighcia rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book offers critical analysis of various mainstream anime films and books, such as Spirited Away, Ramna , Akira, Ghost in the Shell. It focuses mainly on the mode of different animes (carnival, elegiac, and apocalyptic) and analyzes them in light of identity theory and contemporary Japanese society. It’s enjoyable to skim through and to reflect upon, but like much criticism out there, this book is full of “interesting insight”, but leaves the big questions unanswered. There is no response t ...more
Apr 06, 2008 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting book that touches on some of the most well-known anime titles. This is probably not the best read for those who have not seen the titles discussed. Think of this book as a series off critical essays analyzing the importance of various themes across the works. That being said, I am familiar with a fair number of the titles & really enjoyed reading. I'm especially fascinated with the exploration of contemporary Japanese identity.
Dec 20, 2010 Erendira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great read for any anime lover. The woman who wrote it teaches Japanese language and culture so she provides historical and cultural context to a few chosen movies. And she talks about themes that apply to anime in general as well as talk about its influence on Western culture. I've seen most of the movies she talked about which made the book a better reading. But I also learned about others I am now curious to see!
While I had a passing interest in anime in the past, this book more than anything broadened my exposure and my interest in anime. First, anime is not a genre but a medium. And like any other medium, art can be organized into any number of genres.

Napier does an excellent job at analyzing the major categories of anime primarily in terms of Japanese culture rather than in terms of animation; that is, she focuses more on the cultural factors that influence the form of anime in a manner similar to a
Jun 04, 2015 Ben rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful work of art fit for only the finest and royal eyes. In other words, it's for anime geeks. I read it for the sole reason of it having the word anime on the cover. This is probably the only book which not only talks about anime, but teaches you new words. One paragraph (on page 22?), had so many words I didn't understand. I understand them now. Learning! Anyway, if you're interested in anime you should read it. Two of my favorite anime were mentioned, and after I read those se ...more
Sep 06, 2014 Benjamin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting critical analysis of Japanese anime from the 1980s through 2005. Because of space limitations, the author had to be highly selective of which films/series she examines. The reader is not required to have extensive knowledge of anime, but it certainly couldn't hurt. Keep in mind that the book explores certain major themes of anime but is not meant to be exhaustive.
Jan 01, 2012 Jessica rated it really liked it
Caveat: I haven't actually read the whole book, but I've read enough of it to write the kind of review I typically type up about books like this.

I'm going to be using this book as a text in a freshmen writing class I'm teaching. The class will use "cartoons as a reflection of society" as its focus, and for that purpose (a month on Japanese animation) this book is perfect. It's more accessible than other similar books I've read, but still challenging enough for college freshmen. I don't always ag
Jared Colley
May 15, 2007 Jared Colley rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those interested in "serious" scholarship on Anime
One of the few decent books on Anime that I've managed to find. There's alot of crap out there on the subject (mostly coffee table books and such). This is serious scholarship, and it's also fun to read (for the most part).

Napier does a good job of engaging history and critical theory - thus demonstrating that Anime is far from "low-brow" pop culture. There is much to gain from engaging this interesting subject matter as Napier demonstrates.

If anyone has any suggestions on other good literature
Apr 21, 2015 Wyntrnoire rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
Very dry reading--for such a fascinating and imaginative art form. I've read other books on anime and enjoyed them immensely--as I enjoy some, not all, anime.
Nicole Woolaston
I really enjoyed reading this. I gained some insight on anime titles I was already familiar with, as well as titles I had never heard of before. I especially enjoyed the analysis of "Ranma 1/2". It was interesting to learn about how anime represents so many elements of Japanese culture.
Feb 23, 2012 Kiley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anime fans, people who are studying film, anime, or Japanese pop culture
Such an informative book! And even though it's not exactly up to date with the latest shows out there, the author gives good analyses of the different and various genres that anime provides. After reading this, I feel like I can have a better grasp on what the themes and meanings may be for such controversial shows like Akira or Neon Genesis Evangelion. This is a worthy read for those who want to really study the deeper meanings some anime give.
Dec 27, 2007 Jesselyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A good read, though I don't think a good overview of anime in general. I think this is a good read of intellectual essays if you already know the basics about anime. Fairly good history, but I found the coverage of what was popular hit and miss.
Nov 09, 2010 J-Lynn rated it liked it
This is a strong resource for teachers and librarians to get to know Anime series. It discusses the most popular series and the plots. Also, there is info on the art and how to read Anime. A good starting point.
Rylan Perrott
Feb 03, 2014 Rylan Perrott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-favourites
Was a very enjoyable read,Some may find it dry but I found it very engaging!

It is a highly informative book on anime that gave me lot of new insights.
May 01, 2010 Wysterria rated it it was ok
Another one for my anime/pop culture in Japan class. This one was dry reading, though, and I was glad we didn't read too much from it.
Nov 11, 2008 Cera marked it as grazed
I don't agree with many of her ideas, but I found some useful new ways of looking at anime & manga from her work.
Aug 25, 2013 Nick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference
A good way for the novice to expand their Anime horizons.
Carsten Scholz
May 24, 2013 Carsten Scholz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Highly informative book on anime history.
Yanathorn Jiararattanakul
anime more than Ghibi
Jul 25, 2013 Noelani is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
7/25: p. 14
Victor Bacab
Victor Bacab marked it as to-read
Sep 26, 2016
Ip rated it it was amazing
Sep 25, 2016
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Sep 24, 2016
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Sep 24, 2016
Animelove24 Brown
Animelove24 Brown marked it as to-read
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Sep 21, 2016
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