Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman
Anime Interviews: The First Five Years of Animerica, Anime & Manga Monthly (1992-97) was published in 1997. The book compiles interviews with anime and manga artists that were conducted between 1992 and 1997 for Animerica magazine. At the beginning of each interview is an introduction, and at the end of each interview there is an afterword and a select filmography put together in 1997.
For readers of Animerica that may have already read the interviews when they were originally published, the versions included in the book have been expanded from their original versions (including material that had not been printed until this book was published). On the flip side, though, some of the more interesting revelations from the original interviews had to be excluded. This was primarily due to space constraints, but in the introduction, the Animerica editors also explain that some information had to be left out to "help create a clearer, more sharply focused picture of each creator's work as a whole."
The interview subjects in this book are Yoshiyuki Tomino, Rumiko Takahashi, Hayao Miyazaki, Masamune Shirow, Ryoichi Ikegami, Yukito Kishiro, Yoshiki Takaya, Kosuke Fujishima, Yashuiro Imagawa, Hiroki Hayashi, Haruka Takachiho, Hiroyuki Kitazume, Shoji Kawamori, Kei Kusunoiki, Buichi Terasawa, Mamoru Oshii, Gisaburo Sugii, Leiji Matsumoto, Ryosuke Takahashi, and Nanase Okawa. Overall, I thought the interviews included in this book covered a wide spectrum for both anime and manga. While this book may not focus solely on anime creators, the manga interviews that are included are with people whose works have been made into anime (for example, Rumiko Takahashi). All of the subjects answer questions about their works, their influences, as well as other topics.
When reading this book, the reader needs to keep in mind that the book is out of date. While some may argue it makes the book irrelevant, I think it needs to be looked at as a "snapshot" of the time it was written. As a reader, I found it fascinating to see what the perspectives of the anime and manga industry were back in the early-to-mid 1990s. Of course, as I was reading through some of the filmographies, I would mentally fill in some of the items that were released after the book was published.
I would recommend this book for anime fans, whether they're new fans or have been interested in anime for a long time. Readers can find out some interesting tidbits and facts about various anime and manga creators and their works.
In order to write this review, I checked out a copy of this book through the King County Library System.