Made DNA's Reviews > Full Metal Apache: Transactions Between Cyberpunk Japan and Avant-Pop America

Full Metal Apache by Takayuki Tatsumi
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Aug 20, 10


When I first heard of this book, I preordered and awaited it breathlessly. When it came earlier than I expected, I was thrilled. After I opened the pages, I found myself emerged in a dry, difficult-to-follow, academic book that is full of more quotes from other books than it has original text.

I am not saying that Takayuki Tatsumi isn't knowledgeable on his subject, quite the opposite. I think perhaps he is too close to the subject to be able to write to a layman audience and it shows.

My difficulties with the book ranged from it's style to references. Perhaps it is more for the academic minded; it was definitely published via an academic press, and definitely reads like a dissertation. I believe the author is somewhere between 10 and 15 years older than myself, creating a gap in the information streams in which we were exposed to. He makes reference to far too many movies/books/relevant figures (authors, playwrights, directors), etc, that I am simply not familiar with. And while normally this is not a problem, he fails to explain to my understanding who these people and their works are. I felt in the completely dark throughout this book.

But perhaps the worse part was, it was a slow, painstaking read for the 200-odd pages of half-page text that graced the pages. It didn't help that I would have to stop again and again to consult online references to who people or their works were.

Normally, I would give this kind of book only 1 star, but it covers two subjects I am very fond of: Japan and cyberpunk. So it gets an extra star, for anyone NOT deeply interested in these subjects, I recommend to steer clear away. This is not a casual read by any stretch of the imagination.
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