Anime from Akira to Howl's Moving Castle: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

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

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  275 ratings  ·  20 reviews
This new edition of the groundbreaking popular book is a must-have for both seasoned and new fans of anime. Japanese animation is more popular than ever following the 2002 Academy Award given to Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away. It confirmed that anime is more than just children's cartoons, often portraying important social and cultural themes. With new chapters on Spirited...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published November 29th 2005 by Palgrave Macmillan Trade (first published April 21st 2001)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Anime from Akira to Howl's Moving Castle, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Anime from Akira to Howl's Moving Castle

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 612)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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...more
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.
This book offers critical analysis of various mainstream anime films and books, such as Spirited Away, Ramna ½, 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...more
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...more
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.
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...more
Jared Colley
May 15, 2007 Jared Colley rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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...more
Feb 23, 2012 Kiles rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.
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.
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
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.
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  ·  review of another edition
I don't agree with many of her ideas, but I found some useful new ways of looking at anime & manga from her work.
A good way for the novice to expand their Anime horizons.
Carsten Scholz
Highly informative book on anime history.
Jul 25, 2013 Noelani is currently reading it
7/25: p. 14
Daniel Rodriguez
Daniel Rodriguez marked it as to-read
Sep 17, 2014
Julian Patton
Julian Patton marked it as to-read
Sep 10, 2014
Brooke is currently reading it
Aug 29, 2014
Christian Crochet
Christian Crochet marked it as to-read
Aug 22, 2014
Leslie marked it as to-read
Aug 19, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 20 21 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded the U.S.
  • A Hundred Years of Japanese Film: A Concise History
  • Starting Point: 1979-1996
  • Manga: 60 Years of Japanese Comics
  • Manga! Manga!: World of Japanese Comics
  • Oceanic
  • Silver Screen
  • Unspeak: How Words Become Weapons, How Weapons Become a Message, and How That Message Becomes Reality
  • A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present
  • Sanity, Madness and the Family: Families of Schizophrenics
  • The Monstrous-Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis
  • Mediated: How the Media Shapes Our World and the Way We Live in It
  • Flicker
  • The Japanese Mind: Understanding Contemporary Japanese Culture
  • Psychoanalysis: The Impossible Profession
  • Beyond Culture
  • Philosophy and Social Hope
  • Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative
From Impressionism to Anime: Japan as Fantasy and Fan Cult in the Mind of the West The Fantastic in Modern Japanese Literature: The Subversion of Modernity Escape from the Wasteland: Romanticism and Realism in the Fiction of Mishima Yukio and Oe Kenzaburo The Fantastic in Modern Japanese Literature: The Subversion of Modernity (Nissan Institute/Routledge Japanese Studies) In Godzilla's Footsteps: Japanese Pop Culture Icons on the Global Stage

Share This Book