Samurai from Outer Space

Samurai from Outer Space : Understanding Japanese Animation

3.6 (70 ratings by Goodreads)
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"Samurai from Outer Space" provides a 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. To enter the world of "anime" is to enter a world of fantasy in which all of the following have keen known to happen: a college student orders out for a pizza, gets a wrong number, and winds up with an immortal Norse deity for a roommate (in "Oh My Goddess!"); a black-haired boy named Ranma turns into a curvaceous redheaded female, whenever he gets splashed with cold water (in "Ranma 1/2", a series which also features a character named Dr Tofu); and a 21st century juvenile-delinquent biker, roaming the earth after World War III, gains apocalyptic powers and an overwhelming desire to blow up Tokyo (in "Akira").
The book contains insights that will help readers understand the many questions and often obscure conventions in "anime", for example: why does Japanese animation look so different from American animation?; why do the characters look Caucasian and have such huge, oversized, round eyes?; why did 50 Japanese animators send a letter to Walt Disney Studios concerning a controversy surrounding "The Lion King"; when a male character in "anime" suffers a nose bleed, why does this symbolise sexual arousal?; how are flashbacks signalled in Japanese animation?; and what do the science fiction "anime" featuring androids, cyborgs and other automatons reveal about the Confucian and Shinto views on organ transplants and genetic engineering? "Anime" is created by Japanese for Japanese. While subtitles and dubbing can help American viewers overcome the language barrier, to fully understand "anime" requires knowledge of Japan's prehistory, its Ninja myths and Samurai legends, its Buddhist and Shinto religions, artistic traditions such as woodblock printing, and philosophies such as Confuciansim. Antonia Levi looks at "anime" from two perspectives.
First, she examines the roots of "anime" in Japan's history, mythology and culture. Second, she discusses why American audiences react as they do to an art form that was never intended for them. The Japanese views of truth, the universe, reason and reality are very different from American ones.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 180 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 12.7mm | 298g
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • English
  • 0812693329
  • 9780812693324
  • 2,842,655

Rating details

70 ratings
3.6 out of 5 stars
5 17% (12)
4 39% (27)
3 31% (22)
2 13% (9)
1 0% (0)
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