30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on 16 November 2001
Amazing!! This book is great! It's full of useful snippets of information on the cultural details you may have noticed (or missed, shame on you) in anime (and to a lesser extent manga). Alphabetically ordered, each object, place, person, or other piece of trivia has it's own succinct little paragraph; this makes the book great for looking up the thing you want in seconds; or for just dipping into at random. Which you will!
Some of the things explained in this book will greatly help you understand your anime to the full; others are in there just for fun. Some will have you scratching your head in disbelief. For example, the Kappa: In Japanese mythology, a tortoise-like spirit who has a hole in it's head for storing water, and is fond of cucumbers..!?!? Who makes this stuff up? The Japanese, apparently!
So, to sum up, essential for any anime fan (and even people who don't think they like anime should read this). A fascinating insight into a unique culture; in the context of anime/manga... does learning about other countries get better than this? I think not! Get it now, and amaze your friends with your worldly knowledge and trivia! If only it was longer!
on 6 September 2015
Essential guide to the subtler details of Japanese culture visible in anime that may not be obviously set in Japan!
F'instance....in the town of Glie, in the garden of the Charcoal Feathers...yep, Haibane Renmei. My favourite anime. But I didn't know the deeper significance of the carrots in the omelet.
Now I do. And I want Onagiri!
Have a revelation of your own. Buy this book!
5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 11 February 1999
For anyone who has ever wondered about the little cultural details of anime, your prayers have been answered. Everything from the Ainu to the zori is clearly explained with illustrations, text and examples taken from anime and manga. The Anime Companion is a well-written book that should be on the shelf of any otaku!
7 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 14 June 1999
This book is a good example of how to introduce japanese animations to the uninformed american person that believes the movies centere around sex, violence, gore and BIG BIG breasts. It also teaches vocabulary in a fun way to the average person that is learning Japanese. However, it does lack a section on how to draw anime and manga, but that would be something I personally would have added as an appendix.
0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 16 December 1998
This book is wonderful. As a major Otaku, and running my own web page about anime, I was delighted to see a book like this. I was even more delighted when I found out how well-written and comprehensive it is! As an otaku, I HIGHLY recommend this book to anybody, from the true Otaku to the anime beginner. Really, to everyone! This is a real MUST-BUY BOOK!
1 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 16 May 1999
This is a very cool book for everyone to read. It tells you about all the stuff in Japanese anime, And some neat pictures. I'd give this book a 5 star rateing because it is an easy to understand Anime and All the translations are neat to.