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Stray Dog of Anime: The Films of Mamoru Oshii Paperback – 2 Apr 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; Revised edition edition (2 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1137355670
  • ISBN-13: 978-1137355676
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.7 x 21.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,388,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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"A fascinating look at a filmmaker who exemplifies the breadth and complexities of modern Japanese cinema." - The Japan Times
"Stray Dog of Anime: The Films of Mamoru Oshii is a solid and wide-ranging look at a director who deserves to be recognized for more than just scantily-clad cyborg women." - Cartoon Brew

"[A] thoughtful, well-researched analysis of what makes Oshii such a fascinating creator." - Otaku USA
"A fine introduction to one of Japanese animation's few true auteurs, Stray Dog of Anime examines Oshii's films from both sides of the camera. Brian Ruh's work is scholarly but readable, and affirmative but critical - an education for academics and fans alike. Welcome to Class Real." - Jonathan Clements, co-author of The Anime Encyclopedia

"Brian Ruh's Stray Dog of Anime: The Films of Mamoru Oshii is the first comprehensive treatment in English on a Japanese director who is by turns familiar, alien, grim, funny, evasive, brutal, ethereal, and deeply human. Readers will begin to understand why the imagination of Mamoru Oshii inspires The Matrix's Wachowski brothers and Titanic's James Cameron. The book will be of interest not only to those who want to get to know Mamoru Oshii, but those who presumed they already knew him well. For those new to Mamoru Oshii, Stray Dog of Anime is the viewer's companion to have. For those already fans, it is likely to provoke at least half-a-dozen new questions." - Carl Gustav Horn, co-author of Japan Edge: The Insider's Guide to Japanese Pop Subculture

"Stray Dog of Anime is a wonderfully accessible introduction to Oshii Mamoru, one of the most brilliant and challenging anime directors working today. It provides a fine overview of the spiritual, aesthetic and political issues that weave through Oshii's work. This book is an excellent resource on a major director, still too little studied in the States. Fans of Oshii and fans of anime in general will find it both stimulating and enlightening." - Susan Napier, author of Anime from Akira to Princess Mononoke

"Ruh deserves attention simply for stepping up to the mat as one of the few writers building a framework for the mature appreciation of anime as a creative form by British and American viewers, but he's also provided an overview of one of the medium's most interesting figures. His synthesis of the available material is accompanied by a passionately argued statement of Oshii's importance as director and auteur. There's plenty to interest students of film as well as anime buffs, and Ruh's thoughts will generate argument in fan circles throughout the English-speaking world." - Helen McCarthy, author of Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation and The Anime Encyclopedia 
"Bridging the gap between thorough scholarly analysis and clear, accessible writing for the general reader, Brian Ruh's timely book is a welcome study of a director whose works openly invite closer analysis. Taking a chapter-by-chapter look at Oshii's individual works, beginning with his contribution to the animated TV series Urusei Yatsura (1981-84) through Angel's Egg (1985), a thematic turning point that had some anime fans howling in frustration, he traces the themes and intellectual concerns throughout his body of work leading up to, but not including this latest film. Ruh charts the increasing centrality of such recurrent motifs as the aestheticisation of technology (especially military), the usage of mythological and religious symbolism and allegory as they become further detached from their origins, and the questions of identity and reality in a rapidly changing society - 'how technology alters how one perceives the world.'" – Jasper Sharp, editor, Midnight Eye

Book Description

The first in-depth look at the films and career of Mamoru Oshii, the maverick director of Japanese animated films such as the classic Ghost in the Shell

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Well researched and a pleasure to read on Mamoru Oshii
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Bring this Stray Dog Home. 3 Mar. 2008
By Ghost in the Matrix - Published on
Format: Paperback
I wrote a review of the book "Cinema of Mamoru Oshii: Fantasy, Technology and Politics by Dani Cavallaro", describing it as "comprehensive, even if a bit dense." Well, Brian Ruh's book "Stray Dog of Anime" accomplishes the same goal that Cavallaro set out to accomplish, only minus the thick academic language. This is not a slight to Cavallaro's work, which should help bring Oshii's genius into the line of sight of Western Academia. However, for the rest of us who appreciate an intelligent yet more accessible style of writing, there is Ruh's book.

What's interesting is that Ruh's book captures the same format as Cavallaro's, walking the reader through Oshii's work in chronological order. Ruh follows a helpful outline approach that offers an introduction, description, synopsis and, finally, analytic commentary on each film. Ruh's dissection of each film is presented in a conversational format that is without pretense. Readers like myself will especially appreciate the Oshii interview excerpts throughout the book. In fact, I bought both books hoping to find not just a critical look at Oshii's films, but also some insight from the man himself. It's always a good feeling to come across an outside view of a movie or film director that is in line with my own. I really appreciated how Ruh takes notice of Oshii's maturation through each film, with Patlabor 2 being something of a pivotal point in Oshii's more subdued yet enriching approach to how dialog and mood is captured and conveyed in his films.

Unfortunately, my favorite Oshii film -- Innocence -- was not yet finished at the time of the publishing of this book, so you won't find any discussion about this film. But it is a minor miss for an otherwise well written, comprehensive inspection of Oshii's other works.

If you can afford it, buy this book and Cavallaro's together.
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