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Book Review

Book Cover

Schoolgirl Milky Crisis
Adventures in the Anime and Manga Trade


Author: Jonathan Clements
Titan Books
RRP: £9.99, US $14.95, Cdn $16.95
ISBN: 978 1 8485 60833
Available 24 February 2009

Schoolgirl Milky Crisis is a silly name for a generic anime show, made up to protect the innocent in Jonathan Clements' long-running insider column about the Japanese comics and cartoons business. A hugely entertaining collection of nearly two decades of articles, speeches and interviews by Clements, manga and anime translator, sometime voice actor, and co-author of the Anime Encyclopedia. Mixing reviews, cultural commentary, insights into classic manga and anime titles, interviews and profiles of Japan's top creators, and hilarious insider stories from the anime trade, Clements is your guide to this fascinating and often very strange world...

Jonathan Clements should be a well known name to any anime and manga fan, not only for having produced the invaluable The Anime Encyclopedia with Helen McCarthy, a required reference book for any serious anime fan, but also through his wit and insight into the industry which has appeared in numerous publications.

Unless you’re an obsessive collector of magazines devoted to anime and science fiction much of his writing would have passed you by, which is a real shame. Fear not as we finally have Schoolgirl Milky Crisis: Adventures in the Anime and Mange Trade, which collects together the wit and wisdom of Jon for the first time.

Although the book has many reprints of his magazine articles, there is also a lot of new stuff to enjoy. It’s the sort of book that is not meant to be read cover to cover, but handy to dip into either to look up a particular show or just to read an amusing story.

That’s not to say that the book is played just for laughs. Although, for the most part, his writing style is informal, even conversational in places, this is matched by a depth of understanding that only comes from being immersed in his subject and the industry. Inside you will find thoughtful discussions on the industries past, as well as its probable future.

The book is divided into sections which collects the articles into relatively related pieces. The subjects range from the mundane and funny to the more esoteric, but each article is a little gem and encompasses everything from discussions of anime in various countries to insights about the creation of Godzilla and interviews with some of the most important people in anime. Throw in his insight from being a Japanese translator and you have one hell of a read.

If you’re wondering about the title it comes from a made up show that he created which could be used to disguise people’s real identity or the identity of the show.

If you’re serious about your anime and manga then this, like the Anime Encyclopedia, is a necessary purchase as it succeeds in that difficult task of being both informative and funny.


Charles Packer

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