Academic journal article Partnership : the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research

Understanding Manga and Anime

Academic journal article Partnership : the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research

Understanding Manga and Anime

Article excerpt

Brenner, Robin E. Understanding Manga and Anime. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2007. 333 pp. 40.00 USD. ISBN-10: 1-59158-332-2. ISBN-13: 978-1-59158-332-5.

As a fan, and a librarian who regularly speaks, reviews, and conducts workshops on graphic novels, manga, and anime, the author of Understanding Manga and Anime is well placed to share her experience and knowledge with those new to these formats. Written primarily for YA and public librarians, the book is intended, as the author states, "to foster understanding and appreciation and to bring novices up to speed on the traditions, cultural road bumps, and joys of reading manga" (p. xi). The book covers issues involved in reading, collecting and promoting Japanese manga and anime.

The book is divided into nine chapters, and includes appendices, bibliographies, and indices. The first two chapters provide the reader with a basic history of manga and anime, and an introduction to its basic vocabulary, visual cues, intended audiences, layout, character types, and language issues.

Although readers can choose to read only certain chapters, they should not skip chapter 3. This chapter is probably the most interesting and important chapter for librarians wishing to create and/or maintain manga and anime collections. It provides an examination and explanation of cultural issues present in these works surrounding humour, romance, nudity, gender roles and violence. The author focuses on the challenges these issues can raise for collection development, and offers suggestions for evaluation.

Chapters 4 through 6 examine the prominent genres in manga, and provide suggested readings and booklists for each. …

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