The Anime Machine
. Minneapolis: University of Minneapolis Press, 2007.
This dense but incredibly valuable study of anime looks at the genre from top to bottom. Lamarre’s introduction can be considered a thorough introductory essay on how to understand Japanese animations, and he takes a very intelligent approach in his union of text to culture. After the theory is introduced, he examines the varying phenomena of anime in the subsequent chapters. This book is a highly rewarding reading experience when read from beginning to end, but it’s also useful as a reference guide for any areas of interest.
Animating Film Theory
. Durham: Duke University Press, 2014.
Beckman’s introduction is the most valuable piece in this work, laying out all the different ways of approaching and finding value in animated film. She breaks it down into sections that are easily digested and immediately relevant. Containing a variety of essays by many authors on animated film in general, this book is a useful reference source for anime and its cinematic context. Particularly valuable are the articles that defend animated film from its detractors that it isn’t “real cinema.” Other articles provide useful ways to make meaning from animations, and it can serve as a general context for the specific genre of anime.
Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers University Press. 2000.
Naremore has collected an outstanding series of essays dealing with the issues involved in adapting literature to film. His introduction not only give an overview of the themes and history of adaptation in cinema, but it gives an interesting narrative of the development of cinema in general. The subsequent essays deal theoretically and practically with film adaptation, and the first essay, by André Bazin, does a good job of dealing with these theoretical issues head-on.