Samurai from Outer Space: Understanding Japanese Animation

Overview


Samurai from Outer Space is the first book-length discussion of the suddenly popular genre of Japanese animation. Japanese animation, also known as anime (pronounced AH-nee-may), is gaining devoted fans of all ages and nationalities. A few years ago anime was something of an oddity. Now it is poised to become the biggest cultural import since PBS discovered the BBC. There are anime fan clubs on college campuses across the country, as well as anime fan magazines and anime sections in video stores.

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Overview


Samurai from Outer Space is the first book-length discussion of the suddenly popular genre of Japanese animation. Japanese animation, also known as anime (pronounced AH-nee-may), is gaining devoted fans of all ages and nationalities. A few years ago anime was something of an oddity. Now it is poised to become the biggest cultural import since PBS discovered the BBC. There are anime fan clubs on college campuses across the country, as well as anime fan magazines and anime sections in video stores.

"Besides examining the psychological reasons for the cartoons' appeal, (Levi) compares anime to American cartoon animation, traces its connections to Japanese art and theater, and demonstrates that many anime plots are based in Japanese religion. A valuable addition to film, popular-culture, and Asian studies". -- Booklist

"In this fascinating and illuminating volume, Antonia Levi provides all the cultural and historical background necessary for anyone to appreciate the allusion-rich art form of anime. A wonderful guide for beginners and otaku alike". -- Vaughan Simmons Founder & Publisher of Mangajin

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Japanese animation, also known as anime, is rivaled only by karaoke in terms of Japanese impact on U.S. culture. Anime fan clubs flourish on college campuses and on the Internet, and anime proliferates in U.S. video stores. In this first book-length study of the form, Levi asserts that anime is designed by Japanese for Japanese. Using her doctoral studies in Japanese history to good effect, she explains anime as it relates to Buddhist and Shinto traditions, Ninja and Samurai myths, Confucianism, woodblock painting, traditional theater, and contemporary Japanese culture. At the same time, Levi tries to account for anime's popularity among American "Generation X" fans, or otaku. Her study is consequently as much about the United States as it is about Japan and, happily, yields insights into both cultures for scholars and zealous lay readers alike. A fine addition for cultural studies collections.-Neal Baker, Dickinson Coll. Lib., Carlisle, Pa.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812693324
  • Publisher: Open Court Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 12/30/1998
  • Pages: 180
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
Ch. 1 The Birth of the American Otaku 1
Ch. 2 Disney in a Kimono 19
Ch. 3 Other Gods, Other Demons 33
Ch. 4 Other Heroes, Other Villains 67
Ch. 5 Androids, Cyborgs, and Other Mecha 85
Ch. 6 Death and Other Bad Stuff 97
Ch. 7 Outrageous Women 115
Ch. 8 Coming Full Circle 137
Appendix A How to Become an Otaku 145
Appendix B Recommended Readings 153
Appendix C A Glossary of Anime Terms 159
Index 165
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