With the growing popularity of anime and manga, an abundance of new books are being written and published on the subjects each and every day. Regardless of whether your interest in these topics is purely hobby oriented or whether you are conducting research for an essay or article, having a number of different books at your disposal can be extremely beneficial. Unfortunately, not all books live up to the same standards. Some are written purely for entertainment purposes rather than to inform or educate. Because of this, you may run into books that have too much filler to be useful research tools. The following suggestions should help you learn how to identify the best scholastic books on these subjects.
Research The Author
As with all other types of books, the quality of the content comes down to the expertise of the author. By learning more about the author, you can determine whether or not the content of the book will be of any use to you without even having to read it. A good place to start is by looking at what makes the author an expert. Have they worked extensively in the field of manga or anime in the past? Do they give lectures or teach classes on the subjects? This background information should help you identify whether the subject of the book will be solid enough to base your research on. Likewise, it will also help you avoid fluff pieces that were written by hobbyists or other casual enthusiasts.
Look For Books That Have More Text Than Pictures
While anime and manga both rely heavily on imagery, a book that is filled with nothing but pictures won’t be very useful in terms of conducting research. Instead, you should look for books that are either entirely text-based, or that are a good mix of text and images. These books tend to have more valuable and usable content than those that are filled with nothing but pictures.
You can ignore the above rule, however, if you are looking at encyclopedias. Certain specialty encyclopedias are geared toward fans of anime and manga. These guides often provide in-depth analysis along with beautiful pictures. Although these books don’t usually go into great detail on one particular subject or another, they do help give a broad overview of interesting subtopics within the larger genres. You can always look at the citations on any references that interest you to find out where to learn more about those particular topics. this will allow you to continue your research if you so desire. Just be sure to look for encyclopedias that specifically target manga, otaku and anime.
Read Japanese Books On The Topic
Depending on how good you are at reading and understanding Japanese, you may find it beneficial to look at anime and manga books that are written in Japanese. Because these books are usually written by people who are extremely familiar with anime and manga trends in Japan, it is a great way to get deeper insight into the culture. Not only that, but adding these Japanese books to your references can make your work seem far more credible and well-researched than just using Western books.
In closing, if you are looking for well-written anime and manga books to use for academic research, it is important to choose books that were not only written by well-respected authors, but that also use liberal citations to other sources. Whether you opt for anime and manga based encyclopedias to get a general overview of the topic, or for books that take a more in-depth look at these subjects, as long as you choose your research material wisely, you should be able to write a compelling essay.