Saturday, November 26, 2016

THE ASTROBOY ESSAYS (2007, Frederik L. Schodt)

Frederik L. Schodt. The Astro Boy Essays: Osamu Tezuka, Mighty Atom, and the Manga/Anime Revolution. Berkeley California, Stone Bridge Press, 2007

PDF / English / 248 pages / 1933330546 / 978-1933330549 

The genius of Japan’s Manga No Kami-sama “God of Comics,” Osamu Tezuka (1928–89), is examined through a collection of essays on his masterpiece: Tetsuwan Atomu, Mighty Atom, or Astro Boy, a comic series and animation featuring an android who yearns to be more human, and fights for human peace. The most influential japanese pop character ever (and Japan's first animated TV series)  If you are a fan of anime, manga, or both, you will want to read this book.

Or you could follow this...

Friday, November 25, 2016

ANIME CLASSICS ZETTAI! (2007, Camp / Davis)

/ PDF / English / 408 pages / 1933330228 / 978-1933330228

Brian Camp and Julie Davis. Anime Classics Zettai! 100 Must See Japanese Animation Masterpieces. Berkeley California, Stone Bridge Press, 2007

A concerted effort by two long time anime critics to identify the best works produced by japanese animators; narrowing down the 100 essential titles of all time. To name just a few: Panda and the Magic Serpent, Space Battleship Yamato, Akira, Castle in the Sky, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Neo Tokyo, Blue Submarine No. 6, My Neighbour Totoro, Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, Pom Poko, Ninja Scroll, Steamboy, Tokyo Godfathers, Howl’s Moving Castle... and many more.

Each entrance receives at least two pages of treatment, with a plot summary, a visual style description (design of the characters and the world setting), music soundtrack analysis, notes on the production of the animation, highlights of the film, and little about the precedents, influence and legacy.

ART IN ANIME (2011, Dani Cavallaro)

Dani Cavallaro. Art in Anime. London, Macfarland, 2011.

/ PDF / English / 242 pages / 0786465611 / 978-0786465613

The book comprises four chapters. The first chapter, “Cultural Perspectives,” examines anime’s thematic and technical engagement with the concept of art, promoting a comprehensive and multibranching approach to this concept as a fundamental definer of both the treatment of art in anime and of the conception of art embedded in Japanese culture at large. The discussion encompasses an assessment of four key aspects of Japanese culture and art: their hybrid identity, their anti-mimetic proclivities, their underpinnings in Eastern philosophies, and their material expression in the guise of specific objects and symbols. 
The second chapter, “The Search for a Language,” focuses on the ways in which diverse individuals strive to externalize their talent, creativity and expressivity by recourse to particular artistic discourses. 
With the third chapter, “Mythopoeia,” the analysis turns to the significance of the creative practices dramatized and embodied by anime as means of ideating novel mythologies which articulate simultaneously both contemporary encodings of emerging (and even controversial) cultural meanings, and revivals of time-honored narratives and underlying belief systems. Mythologies, in this perspective, stand out at once as conservative repositories of tradition and as experimental sites of interrogation and resistance. The fourth chapter, “Performance and Visuality,” concentrates on the dialectical interplay of these two concepts. It proceeds from the premise that Japanese culture is intensely visual and that all levels of its social and economic structure, accordingly, are saturated with images. The ascendancy of visuality is confirmed by the privileged place accorded by Japanese art to a wide range of both ancient and new-fangled patterns, emblems, symbols and stylized figures. (Dani Cavallaro)