Anime Book Review: Eye on Art: Anime

Eye on Art: Anime is a book written by Hal Marcovitz, and was published by Lucent Books in 2007. The book is 104 pages in length, but only 94 pages is the actual content of the book; the remaining ten pages are notes, other books, periodicals and websites on the subject suggested by the author, the index, picture credits, and an “About the Author” page.

Eye on Art: Anime
Written by: Hal Matcovitz
Publisher: Lucent Books
Release Date: November 9, 2007

The book opens with a Foreward, which gives a brief history of art and explains the Eye on Art series. From there, it goes into the introduction for the book, which gives an explanation of anime and a brief history of the explosion of anime in American pop culture. The book includes six chapters: The Roots of Anime, Anime in America, What Makes Anime Different?, The Role of Women in Anime, The Messages of Anime, and Bringing Two Cultures Together. These chapters are informative, and some of them also make the reader think; specifically, the chapters about the role of women in anime, the messages of anime, and bringing two cultures together fall into the thought-provoking category.

Each chapter also includes short pieces that provide additional information that is related to the topic of the chapter. These pieces include: Two Influential Europeans; The Walt Disney of Japan; Manga Cafes; Kimba and The Lion King; Spirited Away Director Hayao Miyazaki; The Pokemon Craze; Manga on Sundays; The Otaku; Naoko Takeuchi, Creator of Sailor Moon; Anime’s Dark Side; Keiji Nakazawa; The Robots of Japan; Noh and Kabuki; An American in Anime; and Manga School. These chapters may include information that long-time anime fans may already know, they still help to enhance the information that’s been presented in the book. These short pieces will be of interest to readers who may just be starting out in learning about anime.

This book also utilizes photographs and still images from some anime titles mentioned in the book. However, my biggest disappointment is that in the captions for the anime stills, it is never mentioned what anime properties or films the stills come from. While there is a photo credits section in the back of the book, it only mentions copyright holders and what pages that copyright holder’s images appear on. Outside of that issue, though, I think that the images used in the book help to illustrate what the author is talking about.

Overall, this book is a quick read, and is easy for anyone to understand, regardless of how much they may or may not already know about anime before reading it. I believe this book is a great resource for people who are just getting into anime. Through this book, they can learn about the history of the art form, its characteristics, as well as background on the ideals and imagery that Japanese directors and producers put into their work. Eye on Art: Anime would be a good addition to an anime fan’s library.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Eye on Art: Anime that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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