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The Anime Companion: What's Japanese in Japanese Animation [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   163
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 7" Height: 9"
Weight:   0.75 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 1999
Publisher   Stone Bridge Press
ISBN  1880656329  
EAN  9781880656327  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Anime is from Japan, so it's full of all sorts of cultural details that are downright perplexing . . . unless you're Japanese or unless you've got The Anime Companion. Find out why characters wear belly bands and what nosebleeds really mean. Learn about the Edo Jidai and those games they play at New Year's. Gilles Poitras has taken his popular anime website and created a new print version that's filled with curious details and fresh insights drawn from dozens of the most popular anime. And for students of Japanese, The Anime Companion is a great way to learn about Japan while indulging in your favorite pastime.

"Combining personal passion with an intelligent sense of perspective, this enjoyable book is just right for dipping into, full of amusing and informative snippets which fans will love and even non-fans can enjoy."-Helen McCarthy, author of The Complete Anime Guide

"I've worked on over 20,000 pages of manga over the last ten years, and I still learned quite a bit from this fascinating book. For anyone with more than the most casual interest in anime and manga, The Anime Companion should be on their coffee table right next to the remote control."-Toren Smith, Studio Proteus

"Entire generations of English speakers now receive their first exposure to Japanese culture through anime. But many cultural references can be puzzling. Gilles Poitras's book is like a Rosetta Stone for confused anime fans. Before slipping that next anime video into your VCR, make sure this book's handy!"-Frederik L. Schodt, author of Manga! Manga! and Dreamland Japan

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Pop singers. Idol singers are not unique to Japan; every modern country has its clean-cut prefabricated stars known for their short careers. In Japan highly competitive management companies maneuver to get their latest singers in the spotlight for as long as they can before the nex

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More About Gilles Poitras

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Poitras has degrees in Library Science and Religious Studies. He maintains several anime-related web pages and is a frequent contributor to anime magazines and newsletters.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Great  Apr 28, 2007
This is a really great book, lots of fun to read. You'll learn a lot of interesting things about Japanese culture, but it doesn't feel like a text book or a learning book. Highly recommended.
Professionalize, please.  Dec 26, 2005
The fannish attitude expressed in the book's introduction ("go read a bestseller," you inferior being you) almost made me stop reading, as did the lame illos, "rants" about topics like breast sizes, etcetera. I was also frustrated by certain entries that told me what an item was and what anime it appeared in, but not what its cultural significance might be. (For instance, the shrub in a certain cartoons was a hydrangea. In the first place, duh. In the second place, what does that hydrangea mean? Anything? Nothing? Does this plant carry the cultural baggage of, say, cherry blossoms/sakura, or is it just set dressing?)

All gripes aside, this is a fascinating intro to Japanese culture as well as anime that could benefit from a little professionalizing to take it beyond the fanboy level, since the author obviously knows what he's talking about. I'd definitely supplement this book with Levi's Samurai From Outer Space and/or Napier's Anime: from Akira to Princess Mononoke.
This book went wrong from page 1...  Aug 21, 2005
I am glad I was not the only person on here who rated this book with less than 3 stars. As I was reading this, I was pretty disgusted, but when I got to this site to do my review, I was shocked to see this book had as high as a rating as it did. I did feel a little better after I read some of the reviews that shared the same concerns I had, however.

This book is not for a "veteran" anime fan, not by any means. There are many interesting tidbits of info, but it all comes in the form of a dictionary, and unless you like to sit down with your Webster's and have a good read, I suggest you pass on this book and look elsewhere for your info. All the entries are alphabetical in Japanese, which means you are going to have a hard time finding the info you want if you are indeed looking up something, unless you are pretty fluent in the language. The organization is bad and the sidebar "rants" the author has are annoying. He claims in the first "rant" that he has a right to whine all he wants in his book, but to that I say "No you don't, not when you are attempting to be professional." I'm all for fun in books, but there is a thin line between fun and immaturity, and I'm sure you can guess where this guy is. Some of the things this guy rants about are boobies, guns, boobies, guns, boobies, boobies, boobies. You get my drift? It's VERY insulting to female readers. He even talks about his ex-Asian girlfriend's breasts. Like we care!

Other problems include the author's sources...While he claimed he was limited because of the only 100 or so titles he had available to him at the time, he pretty much refered to the same 6 anime titles when he did his entries, and 90% of those references were Rumiko Takahashi references. I don't like Rumiko Takahashi's art or stories at all, but even her fans are complanining in their reviews that enough is enough and that there are many other talented manga artists and animes this guy could pull references from. If you are not a fan of Takahashi or have never seen her work, how are you supposed to know what these things are or where they came from?

Yet ANOTHER problem are the pictures and artwork for this may have noticed the cover is very ugly, it looks like some bad fanart laminated, the inside illustrations are the same way, and the screencaps that you do get to see are black and white and blurry. Over all, this is terrible design, and I cannot understand how the editor let this pass through his hands without gagging.

This book only further progresses the bad anime fan stereotype. The author talks about how anime fans are loud, like to complain, and obnoxious, among other things. He whines that "dubs suck lol, subs forever!". We know that there aren't a lot of good dubs out there, but if you are writing a reference book about anime and anime in the United States, you can't be a snob and only focus on subtitled shows. I know a lot of fans who appreciate both. He also constantly uses the word "Otaku" to describe himself and other anime fans...this is a very derogatory word used by the Japanese, and any true fan would be nuts to go around calling themselves that. If you have any respect for yourself or your anime hobby, you won't take this book very seriously, or better yet, you won't read it. I wouldn't even read it again if someone handed it to me off the street for free.

Don't buy this book, don't buy the second edition, and don't encourage this guy to write ANYMORE!

Gives translations/blurbs of Japanese language and customs  Jun 22, 2005
It's not bad for what it is, which is a concise and playful alphabetical listing of Japanese terms and customs that one might come across in Anime. But the blurbs are all very short, so if you're looking for deep essays on Japanese or Anime culture, look elsewhere. In other words, if you want a scholarly analysis of the Anime art style, portrayal of women, attitude toward sex or violence, etc., this book will NOT be of much value. However, it does have informative blurbs on Japanese holidays, foods, cram school, hygiene, school-girl uniforms, etc. (The better Fansubs out there usually provide crucial cultural information when it is needed, but this book can help to fill in the gaps a little further.) It also has some interesting tidbits on the more peculiar aspects of Anime, such as the preoccupation with panties, nosebleeds, and intergenerational romance. But don't expect anything in the way of real analysis or critique. You won't find it.
Terrific resource, and not just for anime fans  Mar 25, 2005
My kids were adolescents back in the `80s, when Japanese animation began to be seen on American TV, and for a long time -- even though I'd been interested in modern Japanese literature since college -- I unconsciously equated "anime" with Speed Racer. Then I learned better and became a semi-fan, enough to rent several of the best-reviewed series from Blockbuster. But I had never sat down to learn the milieu of the art form until I came across this author's two books on the subject. He covers a very wide range of Japanese cultural "stuff," from names of historical periods and the different types of bells you find in temples, to major writers whose work has been adapted in anime and the reason for the big-eye-pink-hair thing. You'll no longer wonder why guys in Japan get nosebleeds from looking at girls, what the sound of cicadas in the background are intended to imply, and why you shouldn't be upset that some anime meant for kids includes mild nudity. For that matter, he goes into the sexual psychology of various other Japanese folkways, too, with no embarrassment or leering, which supplies the cultural context you really need if you're going to understand this stuff. Actually, this book would be useful not only to would-be otaku but to any westerner puzzled by various aspects of Japanese society. There's a new, thicker edition coming out soon and I'm definitely going to have to acquire it.

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