Book Topics

Battle Royale: Angels' Border

Jun 7, 2014

Battle Royale: Angels' Border

by Andrew Lee

Among all the violent death scenes in “Battle Royale,” there’s one that stands out: the lighthouse shootout that leaves a group of schoolgirls lying dead in a pool of blood. It’s a tragic, senseless event that proves that given the right mix of fear, ...

Modern cat tale echoes former feline fiction

May 31, 2014

Modern cat tale echoes former feline fiction

by Paul Mccarthy

That the Japanese are great cat-lovers should come as no surprise: a taste for the elegant, the mysterious and the quirky leads in a feline direction, after all. There are paintings of cats from the classical period of the imperial court and prints from ...

Attack on Titan Colossal Edition 1

May 31, 2014

Attack on Titan Colossal Edition 1

by Andrew Lee

Kodansha Comics’ new “Colossal Edition” of Hajime Isayama’s “Attack on Titan” manga certainly lives up to its name. Weighing over 2 kg and containing around 1,000 pages, this beast of a book — which contains the first five volumes of the manga — is ...

Tales of the Ghost Sword

May 31, 2014

Tales of the Ghost Sword

by Elliott Samuels

There are so many ghost tales floating around Japan that it’s somewhat surprising there’s any space left over in bookstores here for actual accounts of the living. In “Tales of the Ghost Sword,” horror novelist Hideyuki Kikuchi presents nine bloodcurdling historical stories that depict ...

One Man's Justice

| May 24, 2014

One Man's Justice

by Stephen Mansfield

To borrow historian John Dower’s expression, the conflict in World War II between Japanese and American forces was a “war without mercy.” The atrocities committed by Japanese forces are well documented, those by American military personnel less so. One Man’s Justice, by Akira Yoshimura ...

Godzilla Awakening

May 24, 2014

Godzilla Awakening

by Andrew Lee

The first thing that must be said about the comic prequel to the new “Godzilla” movie is that it seems to contain a massive spoiler! So if you haven’t yet seen the movie, then perhaps you should wait until you have, before reading either ...

The Reason I Jump

May 24, 2014

The Reason I Jump

by Andrew Lee

The No. 1 best-seller “The Reason I Jump” is now available in paperback. Written by Naoki Higashida, an autistic Japanese boy in his early teens, this incredible book gives readers a glimpse into what it’s like to be autistic, and along the way shatters ...

Decadence in the time of evil encounters

May 17, 2014

Decadence in the time of evil encounters

by David Cozy

For most of us the notion of life in a tight-knit village is pure fantasy: We have lived our whole lives in and around cities. One would think, therefore, that we would have grown comfortable with the anonymity and the promiscuous mixing with strangers ...

Vibrator

| May 17, 2014

Vibrator

by Andrew Lee

Modern Japan can be a lonely place. Especially in Tokyo, where sometimes it seems everyone is walking around in cones of silence and is too shy or afraid to talk to strangers. You can see it in the statistics too, which say that 32 ...

Insufficient Direction

May 17, 2014

Insufficient Direction

by Andrew Lee

Moyoco Anno’s manga “Insufficient Direction” is the, perhaps, inevitable result of what happens when a legendary anime director marries a well-known manga artist. Insufficient Direction, by Moyoco Anno.Vertical, Manga. Hideaki Anno is, as any otaku (geek) will know, the creator of the seminal anime ...

The Politics Of Dialogic Imagination

May 17, 2014

The Politics Of Dialogic Imagination

by Elliott Samuels

“The Politics Of Dialogic Imagination: Power and Popular Culture in Early Modern Japan” attempts to ascertain the relationship that existed between well-known cultural portrayals and the configuration of social order in the late Edo Period (1603-1867). It peels back the layers behind the political ...