13 January, 2010

An old friend

Pictured to the left is my battered copy of Helen
McCarthy's The Anime Movie Guide. Actually it was quite battered when I first purchased it "new" from a bookstore whilst on holiday in Llandudno. This was the first time I'd found a shop that had the book and as this was 1996 I couldn't just hop online and order a copy as I didn't (nor did anyone I know) have internet access. So I took it to the till and paid the full price of £9.99 despite the scratches and bent corners - I can actually still recognise some of the cover damage as "pre-Dave".

Anyway the cover didn't matter as what was inside seemed (to '96 Dave) to be a comprehensive guide to every anime ever released. Which it wasn't - not that it claimed to be I should note. The big clue is that "since 1983" bit on the cover. Also it only covered movies and OAV's, so no TV series. But it didn't matter because movies and OAV's from 1983-1995 was pretty much all you could buy at the time.

At first I just looked up the titles I owned or had seen (then those in the same series I perhaps hadn't) but it then became an invaluable guide to aid in my anime purchasing. I remember going in to town one day and seeing the first volume of Gunbuster in a shop. I nipped home, checked what Helen could tell me about it, liked what I read (and no, not just the mention of "bouncing boobs" if anyone has just looked it up) then headed back to town and made my purchase.

There is a glossary at the start and there are small boxes scattered throughout with further information on things such as certain creators or influences. It feels very much like a prototype of The Anime Encyclopedia which McCarthy would later co-write with Jonathan Clements. And whilst the excellent Anime Encyclopedia does include TV series, covers 1917 up until the year of publication (current version: 2006) and is easier to navigate: A-Z rather than year by year (further divided in to movies and OAV's), I still have a soft spot for the older book and will dig it out whenever I want more information on a movie or OAV that was released at some point between 1983 and 1995.

Originally posted 17th February, 2009
Image replaced 5th October, 2011 

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