Full disclosure: I've been in the manga and anime business for 25 years, and I knew Jonathan when he was a charming young fan being haplessly drunken under the table by his elders.
Jonathan has written a wide range of books (all of them worth reading) but here's where he finally gives us the long overdue data dump of his astoundingly wide-ranging experiences in the Asian entertainment business. Some of these stories I'd heard before, some I hadn't (and, alas, some of his best will probably never be published) but Jonathan writes with a wry wit that is uniquely his own and while I rarely laugh out loud at books, this one had me chucking more than once. Sometimes in amusement, sometimes in sympathetic pain. Yet some of the writing, such as his account of a day in the life of a voice actress, truly captures the bittersweet life these "stars" lead. Jon's writing is nothing if not versatile.
If you are a manga or anime fan with even the faintest interest in what goes on behind the curtain, you must buy this book. Just don't expect it to be all unicorns and butterflies. If you'd rather believe anime and manga are created in a sterile vacuum, untouched by the wicked ways of the world...this is, as the saying goes, not a book to be tossed aside lightly--it should be hurled with great force.
Jonathan also covers some subject areas that have had very little written about them in English. The sections on Chinese animation and Korean animation and movies come to mind.
I loved the book from cover to cover, and learned a lot. For one thing, I learned that if I ever have the chance to hear Jon give a speech, I'd better take it!
A great read, dead-accurate as far as I can confirm it, and worth every penny. I've ordered five more copies to give away to some of my friends and relatives who ask me "Yeah, but what is your job really like?" Hopefully, after they read this book they will buy me whiskey.
(P.S. I'm reliably informed "Schoolgirl Milky Crisis" will soon be in production. Rumor has it Miyazaki will produce. Or at least his son. Or someone called Miyazaki, anyway.)