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Full Metal Apache: Transactions Between Cyberpunk Japan and Avant-Pop America (Post-Contemporary Interventions) Paperback – 27 Jun 2006


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Review

"[Tatsumi] succeeds in describing the speed and multilayered complexity of trans-Pacific cultural exchanges that happen in science fiction, with a near-synchronicity of story content and theme across varied works."
--Amelia Beamer, "Locus"

"Tatsumi's book is useful not only as a guide to works we might otherwise have overlooked but also to works we thought we knew well. . . . Those interested in new art and writing, and new ideas about older art and writing, will enjoy Tatsumi's book. . . ."
--David Cozy, "The Japan Times"

"Turning to literary and cultural criticism from Japan, it is enjoyable to read Takayuki Tatsumi's thoughtful, quirky, often breezy work, gleaming under the reading lamp, whirring and clanking with a motorized hum. Samurai sword and sexy robot. Metallic, man, metallic."
--Michael R. Moser, "Leonardo"

"Something like a cultural Godzilla himself, Tatsumi upends deeply embedded stereotypes of orientalism and occidentalism, smashing conventional notions of Western originality and Japanese imitation. . . . [R]efreshingly irreverent, even fun. . . . "Full Metal Apache" never fails to frame Japan and its 'infectious negotiations' with the West in unexpected and startling ways."
--Brad Quinn, "Daily Yomiyuri"

"The arguments Tatsumi makes are potent and sharp, and his conclusions come across less as capstones to one critic's opinions, but more like a geologist's take on natural processes, something elemental yet hidden, requiring the most careful observation and tweezing of evidence to prove something so undeniably true. These essays are moonlights to look towards as we plumb the turbulent depths of cultural exhange
--Ryan Smith, "American Book Review
"


"[A]s an overview this book makes absorbing reading, and is for much of the time obsessively fascinating. Critical theory's jargon is thankfully absent, and the book can be recommended to all except those seeking the very strongest stimulants in the way of cross-cultural intellectual analysis. The innermost organs of pink Godzillas and postfeminist cyborgs may remain, in the last analysis, unprobed. But even so, "Full Metal Apache" is a rich and nourishing soup with almost everything in there, nuts and bolts included. There's almost no one whose cultural diet can't in some way be broadened, you can't help thinking."
--Bradley Winterton, "Taipei Times"

“"Full Metal Apache" [is a] brilliant, paradigm-smashing study by Japan’s hippest literary critic and cultural commentator.” —Larry McCaffery, from the foreword

“"Full Metal Apache" is a genuinely exciting and powerful text, incredibly rich in both material and ideas. Takayuki Tatsumi’s overall theme is the complex and dense dynamic between Japan and America (and often the West in general), and he investigates this dynamic in ways and with material far fresher and more critically invigorating than a standard analysis of ‘influences’ would be.”—Susan J. Napier, author of "Anime from "Akira" to "Princess Mononoke: "Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation"

“I have always thought that Takayuki Tatsumi had (and still has) the most interesting lines into whatever it is that I’ve been doing with fiction, culture, and technology. He showed up before 99 percent of American academics had ever heard of me and seemed immediately to know what I was talking about—often before I did myself.”—William Gibson, author of "Pattern Recognition"

“"Full Metal Apache" is a marvelous literary mediation of postoriental aesthetics and the transactions of cybercultures. Takayuki Tatsumi cites synchronicity over mimesis, a mighty tease of cultures, and his inspired critique of the chimeric emperor, "gaijin" fabulations, scrap thieves, ghost stories, and metafiction is extraordinary and masterly.”—Gerald Vizenor, University of California, Berkeley

"I have always thought that Takayuki Tatsumi had (and still has) the most interesting lines into whatever it is that I've been doing with fiction, culture, and technology. He showed up before 99 percent of American academics had ever heard of me and seemed immediately to know what I was talking about--often before I did myself."--William Gibson, author of "Pattern Recognition"

""Full Metal Apache" is a marvelous literary mediation of postoriental aesthetics and the transactions of cybercultures. Takayuki Tatsumi cites synchronicity over mimesis, a mighty tease of cultures, and his inspired critique of the chimeric emperor, "gaijin" fabulations, scrap thieves, ghost stories, and metafiction is extraordinary and masterly."--Gerald Vizenor, University of California, Berkeley

""Full Metal Apache" is a genuinely exciting and powerful text, incredibly rich in both material and ideas. Takayuki Tatsumi's overall theme is the complex and dense dynamic between Japan and America (and often the West in general), and he investigates this dynamic in ways and with material far fresher and more critically invigorating than a standard analysis of 'influences' would be."--Susan J. Napier, author of "Anime from "Akira" to "Princess Mononoke: "Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation"

"Tatsumi is a never-less-than-intelligent reader, and a writer who conveys his enthusiasms and the ideas they spark in him with nervy brilliance."--Roz Kaveney, "Times Literary Supplement"

"Tatsumi's book is a brilliant contribution to the field of pop culture, containing chapters on not only all the usual suspects (Shinya Tsukamoto, J. G. Ballard, William Gibson) but also on the potential of literary theory in a global context, on the relationship between history and aesthetics and on the link between geography and artistic production."--Polina Mackay" Journal of American Studies"

From the Back Cover

""Full Metal Apache" [is a] brilliant, paradigm-smashing study by Japan's hippest literary critic and cultural commentator." --Larry McCaffery, from the foreword

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars controls of the Tatsumi mecha 7 Jun. 2010
By S. Hall - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In Tatsumi's early career, he was interested in cyberpunk, and you can still see some of that interest shaping his approaches in Full Metal Apache. Whereas cyberpunk had some fascination with coincidence, you can see where Tatsumi has refined this particular vector in his research and moved to synchronicity. This is not in the exact Jungian sense of the word, although it is related in the sense that meaningful associations may be manifested through conceptual frameworks. It is this construction of new theory that lead to the J.G. Ballard-esque condensed criticism that you find in Full Metal Apache, a book I highly recommend. If you read any of Tatsumi's considerable work, you will quickly see, usually by the end of the first page, that his critical apparatus harvests from a wide variety of sources and he begins constructing an intertextual mecha, an assemblage of seemingly unrelated components that are worked into something that, like those magnificent powered suits, slips on easily and magnifies the user's agency in the world.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stimulating examination of cross-cultural ferment 7 Aug. 2006
By Eileen Gunn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is the cultural critic's equivalent of a richly textured and nuanced novel. It is full of startling juxtapositions and imaginative leaps; it can transform the familiar into the strange and wonderful; and its point of view is witty and ironic and generous. It is as valuable to me for its insight into the complex relationship between Lafcadio Hearne and Japanese folklore as it is for its explication of the intricacies of twenty-five years of contemporary Japananese/American post-post-modernism. As I read it, I looked forward with pleasure to re-reading it with deepened understanding.
6 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Difficult, Dry Read 26 July 2006
By Made in DNA - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
When I first heard of this book, I preordered and awaited it breathlessly. When it came earlier than I expected, I was thrilled. After I opened the pages, I found myself emerged in a dry, difficult-to-follow, academic book that is full of more quotes from other books than it has original text.

I am not saying that Takayuki Tatsumi isn't knowledgeable on his subject, quite the opposite. I think perhaps he is too close to the subject to be able to write to a layman audience and it shows.

My difficulties with the book ranged from it's style to references. Perhaps it is more for the academic minded; it was definitely published via an academic press, and definitely reads like a dissertation. I believe the author is somewhere between 10 and 15 years older than myself, creating a gap in the information streams in which we were exposed to. He makes reference to far too many movies/books/relevant figures (authors, playwrights, directors), etc, that I am simply not familiar with. And while normally this is not a problem, he fails to explain to my understanding who these people and their works are. I felt in the completely dark throughout this book.

But perhaps the worse part was, it was a slow, painstaking read for the 200-odd pages of half-page text that graced the pages. It didn't help that I would have to stop again and again to consult online references to who people or their works were.

Normally, I would give this kind of book only 1 star, but it covers two subjects I am very fond of: Japan and cyberpunk. So it gets an extra star, for anyone NOT deeply interested in these subjects, I recommend to steer clear away. This is not a casual read by any stretch of the imagination.
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