Anime Impact by YouTube film critic Chris Stuckmann explores the impression the medium has left on various fans with discussions on Japanese anime television shows and movies from the 1960s to the present.
Title: Anime Impact: The Movies and Shows that Changed the World of Japanese Animation
By Author: Chris Stuckmann
Hardover: 350 pages
Available on Amazon in hardcover and Kindle editions. You can find it at other online and offline booksellers, as well.
Summary of Anime Impact
Anime Impact is a collection of essays by various anime fans — I doubt any of them are over 30 years old — sharing their personal experience with a specific anime title. Titles included were released anywhere from 1963 to 2018. More than 115 titles are included and the author, Stuckmann, wrote about at least 20 of them.
What Worked for Me
I really liked the title and what it promised. I also like that each chapter is devoted to a specific title, so you can easily look up a title you’re interested in, such as Ponyo or Cowboy Bebop and just read that one chapter.
What Didn’t Work for Me
The book does not deliver on the subtitle. When I read, “The Movies and Shows that Changed the World of Japanese Animation,” I expected to learn something about the history of anime and how it affected “the World of Japanese Animation.” That’s not what I got.
What I got was a bunch of personal essays from people who clearly love anime but many of whom have no sense of historical context outside of their own lives. I was first introduced to Anime in 1971, watching Speed Racer and Kimba the White Lion. Reading this book, you’d think that anime wasn’t available in America before the 1980s, which is why I think the writers included in this book are under 30 years old.
I started off with the intention to read the book from cover to cover, which is what I usually do when reviewing a book. However, after I got about 10 chapters in, I was so disgusted I started to just skip to chapters that were about shows I either had seen or was interested in seeing. After doing that for about five titles, I was so angry and disgusted I decided to not even finish the book.
What I’d Love to See in the Second Edition
I don’t mind that this is a collection of personal essays. I think I would have had a much better experience with this book if one of two things were different:
- The subtitle had been different, perhaps something like, “Personal Experiences with Anime Classics in the Words of Fans.” Basically, if the subtitle had been honest and not promised something that wasn’t delivered, I wouldn’t have been so angry.
- There was some historical context added that delivered on the promise of the subtitle. If, for example, each chapter had talked a little about the title, its significance and then gone into the personal essay, that would have been much better.
I also think it would be nice to have some essays from older fans, people who experienced anime before Cartoon Network came into existence.
I wasn’t that impressed with this book, however now that you know what the book really is, you might have a better experience with it.
Oh, by the way, my husband started reading this book, as well, and we both had similar experiences. He gave up on it, too.
Score for Anime Impact: 1 Palm Trees out of 5 Possible
NOTE: Although I received this book free to review, that did not affect my opinion of the book. Read past reviews of books I’ve received for free and you’ll know I don’t hold my punches.