“… excellent short articles on many aspects of anime, including anime not yet released in English.”
Gilles Poitras, Librarian’s Guide to Anime and Manga
“…the first Western book to review Studio Ghibli productions not directed by Miyazaki… contains a lot of information not available elsewhere.”
Brian Camp, Animation World Magazine
Written in 1995, when the British anime market was thriving on home video, this book has been largely superseded by The Anime Encyclopedia. Its value now is mainly historical.
It focussed on anime made for theatrical or direct-to-video release since 1985, excluding TV series – though many well-known TV titles were featured through film or video spinoffs.
This approach reflected the reality of most readers’ experience. The market of the day was focussed on short video series and movies, because they were less expensive to acquire and less risky to market than TV series. Most anime buyers in Britain had no fan contacts, and therefore limited access to illicit videotape copies of TV anime – and there was still no comprehensive listing of titles as yet untranslated into English.
One of the defining factors in the book’s success was its size. It was specifically designed to fit in an anorak pocket. The idea was to make it something you could pull from your pocket to check out titles on the shelf before buying. The Japanese word otaku, used as a slang term for a die-hard fan, was often rendered in English as “anorak”, an expression of contempt that became a recognition of insider status.
I’ve signed quite a few battered, dog-eared copies for readers who told me that they used the book exactly as intended. It always feels good to sign one of your own books, but signing those copies makes me feel really good.