… 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.