The Anime Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese Animation Since 1917

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Stone Bridge Press, 2006 - Performing Arts - 867 pages
9 Reviews

Bigger and better! Our first edition rocked the anime world with its in-depth entries on anime famous and obscure and its superb index/film finder. Now this fantastic book is 40 percent larger--with all-new entries on hundreds of anime released after 2001, updates on older entries, and over fifty thousand words on anime creators (like Tezuka and Otomo) and genres ("Early Anime," "Science Fiction and Robots," etc.). An absolute must-have for every anime shelf!

"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."-- Paul Jacques, Anime on DVD

"While you may not agree with their opinons on a given anime, they are informative and entertaining, especially when skewering a really bad anime." -- Frames Per Second

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Jonah's review already summarized one of the main failures of this book; the writers are shamefully ignorant pseudo-intellectuals trying to review anime from the perspective of ~animation experts~ despite lacking the most basic knowledge of it. Helen McCarthy and Jonathan Clements are, putting it simply, emperors with no clothing; they made their way into "anime academia" by simply having the right connections, but their critical input is ultimately less valuable or honest than even that of the typical IMDB or MyAnimeList review. About as insightful as the average 4chan "shitsux" troll post, the difference between 4chan's /a/ and The Anime Encyclopedia being that, if you trudge through the garbage, you may find nuggets of gold in the former.
The 4chan troll comparison can be taken really far, to the point where Clements and McCarthy deem works they have never fully experienced to be garbage; they dismiss the hugely revolutionary Devilman as poor despite getting the most basic plot information wrong, stating that Ryo is "the son of Satan" and mistaking Amon's appearance in his titular OVA for Satan himself. They unironically claim that Go Nagai's manga Abashiri Family is a cheap rip-off of an OVA that came out much later. They "inform" you that Violence Jack started in Weekly Manga Goraku, despite it starting in a completely different, shonen magazine and turning seinen (along with sometimes getting pointlessly guro-like to take needless advantage of the new, "edgier" publication & older target audience) in the 80s run. As Jonah pointed out they take a steaming dump on Shin-chan, basically accusing its adult fans of being tasteless manchildren, while utterly dismissing the amazing, satirically biting and shockingly enough in its later parts *strikingly emotional* Shin Chan: The Adult Empire Strikes Back film and getting the story synopsis completely wrong.
Helen McCarthy lacks even the most basic observational skill required to be an even vaguely satisfactory reviewer of a visual medium; in a podcast, she once claimed that Howl's Moving Castle was animated on traditional cels and that Shinya Ohira's stylistic animation for it was simply "paint spilling over".
There is no reason to financially support this book in an age where countless encyclopedic websites exist. It's filled to the brim with misinformation and half-truths, it's pointless, and above all else it's oddly mean-spirited and holier-than-thou for something so blatantly ignorant. McCarthy and Clements are the stereotypical pseudo-intellectual "scholars" of those often-misunderstood mediums commonly considered "nerdy" in our society; the Japanese cartoon equivalents of the pathetic video game reviewer attempting to explain to you how Bioshock Infinite is "the Citizen Kane of gaming" because it tackles racism in a childish one-dimensional manner while using a slew of of "big words" he/she doesn't actually understand, but sound "literary" enough to make you sound smart to the easily manipulated. The failed English major who, at some point in time, genuinely cared for the nerdy medium he/she is currently covering, but has long since stopped giving a damn, yet is nonetheless forced to focus on the only thing they can fool themselves and others into thinking they are knowledgeable about in order to put some food on the table. They spread the copy+pasted, misinformed, uninterested opinions of their shameless has-been peers while keeping animation commentary an impenetrable, cronyism-filled clique.
Long story short: if you're curious how bad it is and whether my claims of inaccuracies and poor reviews pretending to be encyclopedic entries are correct, simply read the legal online preview. Read the words of actual animation fans with actual animation knowledge and, above all else, true respect for the medium.

Review: The Anime Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese Animation Since 1917

User Review  - Ashley - Goodreads

Clements, J., & McCarthy, H. (2001, September 1). The anime encyclopedia: A guide to japanese animation since 1917. New York, NY: Stone Bridge Press. Citation by: Ashley D. Brown Type of Reference ... Read full review


Selected Bibliography
Music in Anime 433 645
False Friends 190 527 World Masterpiece

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About the author (2006)

Jonathan Clements is the former editor of Manga Max magazine, and the translator of dozens of anime, including Samurai Gold, Slow Step and Plastic Little. He has been awarded the Japan Festival Award for outstanding contributions to the understanding of Japanese culture. Helen McCarthy is the former editor of Anime UK and Manga Mania magazines, and the author of The Anime Movie Guide and Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation. She has been awarded the Japan Festival Award for outstanding contributions to the understanding of Japanese culture.

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