Quick Guide to Anime and Manga

ReferencePoint. Aug. 2021. 64p. Tr $31.95. ISBN 9781678200923.
Gr 6 Up–This book discusses how manga, which originated in 11th-century Japan, evolved into an enormous industry that is loved all over the world. Readers will learn how manga (“whimsical pictures”) uses cinematic techniques to increase dramatic effects, how these comics appeal to different ages and genders, and how artists use visual cues to express personality in their characters. The deep dive into the history of these formats includes a discussion of how Japanese and American cultures influenced each other (such as how the cute Japanese characters with big eyes were influenced by Disney animated films). This book introduces readers to a wide scope of stories they can discover, from groundbreaking films like Akira and My Neighbor Totoro to more modern stories like That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime. It also includes information about the more controversial aspects of manga and anime, like fan service, whitewashing, overwork and low pay for Japanese animators, and “Netflix jail.” What readers may find especially valuable is the exploration of why manga and anime are so appealing—they provide escapism, stories about gender identity, and stories that provoke strong emotions. This volume includes enough colorful pictures to keep tweens engaged and a thorough index that will help them find their favorite topics quickly.
VERDICT A good introduction to manga and anime, this book also contains trivia and recommendations that even the most devoted otaku will love.

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