Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman
The Rough Guide to Anime is a book written by Simon Richmond, and it was published in 2009. The book contains an introduction, acknowledgements, seven chapters, a glossary, and an index. The introduction covers some of the very basics of anime.
The first chapter of the book chronicles the history of anime, which is covered in seven sections. The ending of the chapter goes into the future challenges and the new directions of anime. Within the chapter, some properties from each of the eras are highlighted, and there are also some boxes included within the text that provide additional information for the reader concerning some of the topics discussed in the chapter. There are also still images of various anime sprinkled throughout not just the first chapter, but throughout the whole book.
The next chapter goes into the fifty "must-see" anime, and includes several obvious choices: Akira, Astro Boy, several of the Studio Ghibli films, Macross, several of Satoshi Kon's works, and Mobile Suit Gundam, among others. This chapter also includes boxes with additional information.
The third chapter goes into the history of the studios that have produced anime in Japan over the years, as well as highlighting some of the properties produced by the studios. It then goes into biographies of some anime directors and animators; this also includes an information box about some of the women who work in anime. Then, there are biographies for four Japanese voice actors, and a brief discussion of the music in anime.
Chapter four focuses on the connection between manga and anime, and includes a history of manga, and about how manga became some of the source material for anime. Then, there are biographies for some manga artists whose works have been adapted into popular anime series.
The fifth chapter goes into the various genres that are represented in anime, and highlights some of the anime that fit into each genre. The sixth chapter talks about how anime has come to influence some American series, the European influences on anime, and the connections with the rest of Asia. The chapter also talks about merchandising tie-ins, as well as anime's influence on art, fashion, and the theater.
The final chapter talks about various ways of being able to watch anime, and recommends various anime books, periodicals, and websites that readers can go to for additional information. There is also information on anime cons, and places of interest to anime fans in Japan.
Overall, I thought this book was very well-done, and is very informative. It's also one of the more recent books I have read on anime, so it's more up-to-date than many of the other books I have seen. There's a lot of information, but it is written in such a way that it is accessible to the reader, regardless of whether the reader is already knowledgeable about anime, or is learning about anime for the first time. The Rough Guide to Anime should really be in the reference library of any anime fan.
In order to write this review, I checked out a copy of this book through the King County Library System.