Samurai From Outer Space
By: Antonia Levi
Published by: Open Court Publishing Company
Review by: Ross Yoshino
Buy It Now!
First a bit of history... I went to our local Borders Book and Music store to listen to Dr. Levi lecture on her book, Samurai from Outer Space. Billed as "Why Americans are finding an interest in Japanese Animation", I felt that this was something worth looking into. The presentation was more into the Japanese culture and religion and how it was reflected on their anime (normally a very boring subject... but not the way Dr. Levi presented it).
Her writing was almost like her presentation... FUN! All her little quips, humor and stories can easily be found in her writing. Granted, I am already an avid fan of animation, but even those who are new or even totally ignorant of the subject of Japanese animation will find this book a refreshing introduction to anime and the Japanese culture.
I can honestly say that my insight into why certain characters did what they did is a lot clearer and the motivations now make sense. (Not to mention why the Japanese Soap Operas are so DEPRESSING yet so addicting... even more so than American soap operas.) Although a lot of inside jokes which deal mostly with culture are still somewhat missed, a lot has been made clearer by this book.
One of the things I liked about this was that all the references (anime shows) can be found at your local video store. While I have seen most of them, I definately became interested in several titles while reading this book.
I recommend this book for everyone whether or not they are interested in Japanese animation; the writing style is easy to read, she makes the subject matter exciting and you find yourself learning more about a culture even when you don't expect it.
-- Ross Yoshino