The promotional material on the publisher’s website expounds on the accessibility, informational aspects, and the iconic images contained within this A-Z guide to the world of anime and manga. This reference tome is presented in a comic book format, printed on newsprint which unfortunately renders it as a fragile item, flimsy pages and difficult to read and to utilize in a public library setting. That being said, the fan service nature of many of the illustrations will make this a dubious choice for a public library and definitely keep it out of school library collections. The intended audience, according to the publisher’s blurb, is newcomers, fanboys and cineastes and for that demographic, the book will suffice.
The numerous entries are informative and entertaining, written in an informal style and often offer some creative sentence structure. For example, the entry “Ginko,” states: “In each episode, Ginko encounters a new case, and his ability to take action and free the patient from the Mushi lies in knowing how to talk to people and absorb their story, he lost his own memory after an encounter with a Mushi” (page 67). Does this mean that Ginko can only absorb the stories of others because he has not memories of his own?
The entries vary in length, are presented with enthusiastic commentary, and are arranged alphabetically with additional information in a variety of sound bubbles regarding the main category or categories that the entry may be organized. The categories include TV series, Videogames, Director, Mangaka, Film, Character, Composer, Character, Designer, Studio, Short films, Robot, Video series, Scriptwriter, Animator, and Designer. The entries also include “see also” references where applicable. The 257 pages of entries are followed by a series of one page essays authored by experts in the field exploring a wide variety of issues, perceptions and comparisons of manga and anime. Unfortunately there was no space available for the inclusion of illustrations that would add even more information for the reader. Paul Gravett’s piece on “How Manga Reinvented Comics,” (page 264) is much more accessible on his website as he includes numerous illustrative examples with the same text.
The essays are followed by a creative glossary of terms, an index of titles, an index of directors and creators, an index of characters, a brief bibliography of recent publications on both manga and anime and a listing of eight online resources.
Manga Impact: The World of Japanese Animation
by Phillip Brophy, Carol Chatrian, Jordi Costa, Luca Della Casa, Stephanie Delorme, Davide di Giorgio, Daniele Dottorini, Stefano Gariglio, Paul Graveltt, Erwan Higuinen, Fabrizio Liberti, Helen McCarthy, Fabrizio Modina, Giona A. Nazzarro, Maria Roberta Novielli, Grazia Paganelli, Gianni Rondolino, Michel Roudevitch, Mario A Rumor, Stephen Sarrazin and David Surman
Phaidon Press, 2010
Publisher Age Rating: Adult