The Anime Encyclopedia Rides Again

… or, as some prefer to call it, The Madness of Clements & McCarthy III

Here is is, in all its gilded glory – or rather, here it will be at the end of 2014, just in time for your Christmas gift list. The weight is now so daunting that there’s an e-book version – we don’t want to give delivery staff all over the world back strain just before the holiday.

And yes, pedants everywhere, we know that so far the origins of anime can’t be conclusively dated before 1917. We were two consistent voices arguing for conservative, securely documented dating during that brief period when the discovery of the Matsumoto fragment led some to posit a date before 1907 for the first animation made in Japan. But “a century” is a fair subtitle tag for an industry that’s been around for at least 97 years.



A lot has changed in the anime world since the second edition. A lot has stayed the same, too.

This edition will have its serious, thoughtful critics. My co-author and I, and our publisher, like them a lot. They offer us alternative points of view. They challenge us to argue opinions with others who know what we’re about and care about it as much as we do. They pick up stray typos and factual errors and point them out so they can be corrected.  They’re amazing, and it’s gratifying to see so many of them dotted all over the globe.

This edition will also have its share of critical poseurs who self-define as too well-informed and up with the latest thing to need it. There were a few of those around for the first two editions as well. A number of websites will probably have a few untrumpeted changes after this “completely unnecessary” volume appears, because that’s what happened after our last two editions. (This happens with most reputable anime books. When it comes to being both a target and a goldmine for carpers, no researcher is alone.)

The Anime Encyclopedia has become part of the critical and scholarly landscape of anime. I won’t list all its “firsts” because blowing your own trumpet is a waste of breath, but I’m proud of it and I still care enough about it to spend hours trawling Japanese websites stretching my pidgin Japanese round vocabulary no polite old lady will ever be expected to use and imagery I’ve seen a million times before but that never fails to make me feel a little bit sad and soiled. (Why do so many apparently normal men despise the female half of the human race so much?)

I also see hidden gems, lost fragments of history, unsung beauty I want to share with the world. When you go mining, you accept that most of the time you’ll be moving dirt; but every now and then, you find a diamond.

So if, reading the new edition, you discover a hitherto unknown  treasure, let us know. And if you know of a treasure we’ve missed, let us know that too.

But first, of course, you have to buy the book.


9 thoughts on “The Anime Encyclopedia Rides Again

  1. Just like the original printing, I’ll be adding this edition to my anime reference books. I *still* pull out the first edition occasionally when I’m looking for a quick visual prod or a reminder of a title I’ve forgotten.

    Online databases, wikis and blogs are great, but there’s nothing as enjoyable or as tactile as reading or using a book.

    Given the number of discoveries that have surfaced since the first edition, (or recovered … see your recent post regarding the lost Kon Ichikawa film), I think an expansion is more than justified.

    Thanks Helen!

  2. Pingback: MangaBlog — Anime update: Viz gets Sailor Moon, Disney grabs Doraemon

  3. One more for me to buy, and get you to sign.

    As one of those who faithfully wrote in to the e-mail address provided by Stonebridge with corrections, beginning with the first edition (which somehow printed only the diacritical marks, & not the vowels they were attached to, in words such as ‘naive’), I continue to hope to provide substantive contributions in addition to compulsive, after-the-fact poorfeating.

    Now I have to make you a button reading “Polite Old Lady” to wear around A-Kon. We’ll see who believes it!

    • Speaking of which, I’m pretty sure you mean “conclusively dated before 1917” — unless the ending of “Short Peace” has left us caught in one of Frank Tipler’s ‘closed timelike loops’, in which case I shall have to lodge a complaint with the Eirin board.

  4. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks a lot!

    • I’m afraid it looks as though my actions are limited to blocking you – you need to unsubscribe and then re-subscribe if you wish. You might have to unsubscribe 4x since it seems you’ve accidentally set up multiple subscriptions. I did that once and only removing all and re-starting helped.

  5. This news made a horrible day brighten up, I have both editions and your other anime books (just got the 500 Essential Anime Movies book from Amazon 2 weeks ago) this is great news cause I’ve been waiting for years for news of a 3rd Edition, can’t wait to tell my friends that the 3rd Edition of the “Anime Bible” (that’s what they call it) is coming out at the end of the year!

    • Glad to cheer up your day! Jonathan and I have been having a lot of fun with the new edition. To tide you over till it arrives you might like to check out his new book Anime: A History. Much more a history of the business side, and absolutely rivetting.

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