looking for excellent books on anime and/or (visual media) criticism
May 25, 2023 6:51 AM   Subscribe

specifics within, but the tldr is I want to find some books (or other media: textbooks, videos, essays, whatever) that can hone how I think about criticism, especially of anime. ultimately I care most about the quality of analysis and writing, but an anime focus is a huge plus

I guess what it says on the tin, though I'm also interested in anything particularly good that might be considered "adjacent" to the ask. for example, a particularly good book on anime production, on the history of anime, that sort of thing.

my goal is to find maybe..3-5 books that are really really good that can help me think a little more critically and give me a more developed vocabulary/tools for thinking critically about anime.
posted by wooh to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I read a lot of arts criticism. If I were into the craft and history of animation, I would check out the Fantasy/Animation podcast.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 7:23 AM on May 25 [1 favorite]

There's a second edition of Anime: A History out in a few months. The first edition is pretty good, and gives a solid grounding on history, practice and critical development.
posted by Hartster at 7:49 AM on May 25

Scholar Thomas LaMarre has written extensively on anime, and I used to use some of his essays in teaching animation history classes. The Anime Machine is a good place to start, but he has plenty of other writings, too. Perusing that book's bibliography would surely be helpful, too.
posted by Dr. Wu at 10:30 AM on May 25 [1 favorite]

Scott McClouds "Understanding Comics" isn't just about anime, but it's by far the best thing I've read about visual story telling in cartoons.

It explains a wide range of topics efficiently and insightfully, like why we relate more strongly to stylised characters than realistic ones, the different ways cartoonists depict time, and the different approaches to plot and storytelling in Western vs Asian cartoons.

Also a really entertaining read.
posted by Zumbador at 9:06 PM on May 25 [2 favorites]

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