Stray Dog of Anime: The Films of Mamoru Oshii

Stray Dog of Anime: The Films of Mamoru Oshii

by B. Ruh
     
 

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Upon its U.S. release in the mid 1990s Ghost in the Shell , directed by Mamoru Oshii, quickly became one of the most popular Japanese animated films, or anime, in the country. Despite these accolades, Oshii is known as a contrarian within anime, a self-proclaimed 'stray dog', avoiding the limelight in favour of his own personal cinematic vision. He cannot be

Overview

Upon its U.S. release in the mid 1990s Ghost in the Shell , directed by Mamoru Oshii, quickly became one of the most popular Japanese animated films, or anime, in the country. Despite these accolades, Oshii is known as a contrarian within anime, a self-proclaimed 'stray dog', avoiding the limelight in favour of his own personal cinematic vision. He cannot be pigeon-holed, working in both live-action film and animation, directing everything from absurdist comedy to thrillers to meditations on the nature of reality. Stray Dog of Anime is the first book to take an in-depth look at Oshii's major films, form his early days working on Urusei Yatsura to Avalon , his most recent feature. Ruh details Oshii's evolution as a director, paying special attention to his personal style and symbolism, resulting in a unique guide that will appeal to anime fans and cinestes of all kinds.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A very solid discussion of both a major anime director and several major anime titles, some of which have never been analyzed critically before. As is the case with all books on film studies, some movie fans will invariably go 'what's the point, movies are made to be watched, not analyzed.' For those who want something more, though - whether they are longtime fans of Oshii's works, or have only seen one or two of his films - this is an excellent resource. In fact, much as Oshii himself is more than merely an anime director, this book holds its own very well indeed when compared to discussions of the major modern cinema directors in general." - Anime News Network

"This lucid, well-researched handbook traces the artistic development of animation film director Mamoru Oshii (b. 1951) through close readings of major fantasy-laden productions ranging from Urusei Yatsura (Beautiful Dreamer, 1984) to Avalon (2000). Ruh offers an engaging treatment of ten animated films or television series, including for each a descriptive list of the major dramatis personae, a succinct synopsis of the plot, and a section of informed commentary and analysis . . . Summing Up: Recommended. All collections supporting film studies or contemporary Japanese culture." - CHOICE

"A fine introduction to one of Japanese animation's few true auteurs, Stray Dog of Anime examines Oshii's films from both sides of the camera. Brian Ruh's work is scholarly but readable, and affirmative but critical - an education for academics and fans alike. Welcome to Class Real." - Jonathan Clements, co-author, The Anime Encyclopedia

"Brian Ruh's Stray Dog of Anime is a wonderfully accessible introduction to Oshii Mamoru, one of the most brilliant and challenging anime directors working today. Stray Dog of Anime provides a fine overview of the spiritual, aesthetic and political issues that weave through Oshii's work. This book is an excellent resource on a major director, still too little studied in the States. Fans of Oshii and fans of anime in general will find it both stimulating and enlightening." - Susan Napier, author of Anime: from Akira to Princess Mononoke

"Ruh deserves attention simply for stepping up to the mat as one of the few writers building a framework for the mature appreciation of anime as a creative form by British and American viewers, but he's also provided an overview of one of the medium's most interesting figures. His synthesis of the available material is accompanied by a passionately argued statement of Oshii's importance as director and auteur. There's plenty to interest students of film as well as anime buffs, and Ruh's thoughts will generate argument in fan circles throughout the English-speaking world." - Helen McCarthy, Author of Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation and The Anime Encyclopedia

"Brian Ruh's book Stray Dog of Anime: The Films of Mamoru Oshii is the first comprehensive treatment in English on a Japanese director who is by turns familiar, alien, grim, funny, evasive, brutal, ethereal, and deeply human. Readers will begin to understand why the imagination of Mamoru Oshii inspires The Matrix's Wachowski brothers and Titanic's James Cameron. Stray Dog of Anime will be of interest not only to those who want to get to know Mamoru Oshii, but those who presumed they already knew him well. For those new to Mamoru Oshii, Stray Dog of Anime is the viewer's companion to have. For those already fans, Stray Dog of Anime is likely to provoke at least half-a-dozen new questions." - Carl Gustav Horn, co-author, Japan Edge: The Insider's Guide to Japanese Pop Subculture

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781137355676
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan US
Publication date:
04/02/2014
Edition description:
2013
Pages:
319
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Brian Ruh frequently writes and teaches about Japanese popular culture and film. He holds a PhD in Communication and Culture from Indiana University, USA.

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