Anime and Animation References and Resources
of Asian American events in LA, Excel format
One of my pet peeves is procuring anime merchandise and books. To get stuff
at reasonable prices, try the bookstores and toy stores that cater to the expatriate
Japanese community. The stuff at conventions is sometimes incredibly marked
up, although there are some bargains. Some of the local (LA) places I've had
luck at are listed below. Also listed are some reference books:
- Asahiya Bookstore in the Mitsuwa
Suite 108, 333 S. Alameda St., LA, CA 90013, 213-626-5650. Yaohan was bought
renamed Mitsuwa in 2000.
Open 7 days, 10AM-7PM. Part of a chain, but not all of them are as well stocked
as this one. The women who work there all wear the same Japanese type uniforms,
but they're not all the same. Some seem to be really up on their manga, so
results may be different depending on whom you talk to. Knowing a little Japanese
helps when making an inquiry. A lady in the Torrance store wasn't able to
help me to order the Eiko Kadono Kiki books and the Whisper of the Heart manga,
but a woman in the LA store had no problem figuring out what they were. On
the other hand, the Torrance store regularly stocks the Afternoon periodical,
and the LA one doesn't. The Torrance one seems to stock the Kodansha bilingual
comic books on an irregular basis, but they're getting better. They're stocking
Love Hina, GTO, and others. They have an anime section hidden along one wall.
- Kinokuniya Bookstore
23 South Onizuka St., Suite 205, Little Tokyo, downtown LA, 213-687-4447
upstairs in a little shopping square called Weller Place. Seven days a week,
open till 8PM.
Again, part of a chain, but this one is particularly well stocked. The one
in San Jose does not have all the anime merchandise. They don't wear uniforms
there, there are male employees. They've expanded their stock of anime merchandise,
but they don't seem to be able to stock the Kodansha bilingual comic books
reliably [Kodansha is no longer distributing these books!]. They do stock
the Mixx Parasyte TPBs, which are hard to find. They also seem to have more
trouble making special orders than Asahiya, but they recently did a good job
of getting The Big O manga for me. Their 2001 anime and manga catalog has
an especially nice cover with both Ifurita and R.Dorothy on it. In 2003 the
anime sections have really expanded, and they stock a large no. of anime DVDs,
but at list price.(9/3/2003)
- Alpha Shoken USA Toy Stores
21515 Western Ave., Torrance, CA, in the Mitsuwa shopping center, 310-618-9753
Carries Studio Ghibli merchandise at reasonable prices
Also in the LA Mitsuwa/Yaohan (see Asahiya) and in Costa Mesa at 665 Paularino
Ave., 714-549-0279. The store in LA had disappeared by the beginning of September
- Originally opened in the Torrance Mitsuwa (formerly Yaohan), MANDARAKE was a store
specializing in manga and anime, and a branch of the famous chain based in Japan.
In the Homeland employees are supposed to cosplay and perform, but in American
they just took your money. Lot's of used things. Great prices on tankouban.
21515 Western Ave., Torrance, CA 90501, 310-212-0777, fax 310-212-7778, www.mandarake.co.jp.
The Torrance site was closed and moved to Santa Monica, down the street from
Hi De Ho Comics. (10-30-2002.) The Santa Monica site is now closed down probably because of a lack of parking and I imagine high rent. (9/3/2003)
- Nearby just south of the Torrance Mitsuwa/Yaohan on Carson is Video Japan
2, 310-787-1131, which has a lot of untranslated videos for rent, including
such gems as Future Boy Conan.
- Books Nippan on 7th St. Downtown LA is history. Nobody has replaced them
as a source of picture books. However, both the Kinokuniya and Asahiya (in
the Mitsuwa) bookstores in downtown Little Tokyo seem to have expanded their
selections. Kinokuniya is becoming close to what Books Nippan used to be.
- Book Off. Itasho Bookstores was in the same place as a branch of the now defunct Books
Nippan. Itasho is in Pacific Square in Gardena, on Redondo Beach Blvd. east
of Western. Lots of anime merchandise, not many books, and a
small collection of videos. They've also gone out of business and
been replaced by a used Japanese book store called Book Off. They have
used real Japanese anime CDs, used manga (their stongpoint), kits sometimes, and picture books.
Definitely worth a visit.
- Anime Gamers, formerly Omochabox, 10811 Pico Blvd., 310.481.1410, fax: 310.481.1409, email:
email@example.com, Los Angeles, CA 90064,
www.omochabox.com. (Corner of Pico and Westwood). They may have more recent stuff.
- AnimeJungle, 319 E. 2nd St., #103, LA, CA 90012, 213-621-1661, firstname.lastname@example.org,
www.animejungle.com. Located in
the nearly abandoned underground mall in Little Tokyo, improving selection
of figure models and posters, as well as CDs for a reasonable price and LDs.
I think this is becoming one of the premier anime stores in the LA area, especially
for older stuff.
- Noriko's Anime, 24344 Muirlands Blvd., Lake Forest CA 92630, (949)
583-7688, or fax at (949) 583-7699, email@example.com, www.darkharbor.com.
Accessories for collecting pencil boards. Most pencil boards are not kept
at the shop. Check the website first and call to ask them to bring in what
- Banzai Anime 2961 Sepulveda Blvd., West LA, CA 90046 , 310-231-6080.
www.banzaianime.com. The place to
go to buy DVD if you were in a rush and didn't want to order from the internet.
However, their pricing of VHS products was erratic and totally out of line.
This store has disappeared
- Animate 7314 Melrose, West LA, CA 90046, 323-934-0500, www.animate-world.com.
Near Melrose and Fuller. Had a large selection of recent stuff. Also closed down.
- Robert's Animecornerstore.com
has been the most reliable internet site for ordering DVDs, if not the cheapest.
They also have CDs at reasonable prices. If you're looking for the cheapest
deals without the best selection, try buy.com and deepdiscountdvd.com.com.
The latter is usually the cheapest, but has the smallest selection. (11-02-2002)
- Deepdiscountdvd.com has become my site of choice for acquiring anime DVDs.
They take a little longer to acquire titles, they don't stock them all, and
they take longer to deliver, but they seem to be the cheapest.
- Half.com, an avatar of ebay, is the back-up when deepdiscountdvd.com doesn't
Ebay itself tends to have higher DVD prices than Deepdiscountdvd.com, but of course is good for finding dolls, magazines, etc.
- Buy.com sometime is worthwhile if they are featuring free shipping on an
have to return something to buy.com, they'll make you suffer, so make sure
you get your order right.
Here are some recommended books and periodicals:
The Anime Encyclopedia by Jonathan Clemenets and Helen McCarthy,
Stone Bridge Press, 2001, $24.95. 545 pages of 2000 representative titles. A
quick look at the book indicates that it is riddled with plot inaccuracies.
However, it does give a general idea of what's going on. It does include some
titles that never made it to the US, or are long forgotten. I like it.
The Anime! Movie Guide by Helen McCarthy, The Overlook Press, 1997,
$17.95. An English view of Anime, from the former editor of the now defunct
Anime FX. Not exhaustive, but includes a lot of stuff not normally available
in the US.
The Complete Anime Guide, 2nd ed., by Trish Ledoux and Doug Ranney,
Tiger Mountain Press, 1997, $19.95. Only lists stuff available commercially
in the US.
The Anime Companion by Gilles Poitras, Stone Bridge Press, 1999.
An encyclopedia of all those strange things you see in anime.
The Erotic Anime Movie Guide by Helen McCarthy and Jonathan Clements,
Titan Books, 1998. Includes a lot of info on NON-erotic anime, so I include
it here. Includes a listing for Little Witch Sally, which was still playing
on Italian TV when I visited Ravenna.
Hayao Miyazaki, Master of Japanese Animation, by Helen McCarthy,
Stone Bridge Press, 1999. Doesn't cover all of the works of Ghibli, just the
ones Miyazaki worked on.
Anime from Akira to Princess Mononoke, Experiencing Contemporary Japanese
Animation by Susan J. Napier, Palgrave, 2001, ISBN 0-312-23863. I haven't
read this since I just bought it, but it looks interesting.
Anime Explosion, The What? Why? & Wow! of Japanese Animation by Patrick
Drazen, Stone Bridge Press, 2003, ISBN I-880656-72-8.
Adult Manga by Sharon Kinsella, University of Hawaii Press, 2000.ISBN 0-8248-2318-4
Dreamland Japan, Writings on Modern Manga, by Frederick Schodt, Stone
Bridge Press, 1996. This book is of course a follow on to:
Manga! Manga!, The World of Japanese Comics, by Frederick Schodt,
Takarazuka, Sexual Politics and Popular Culture in Modern Japan,
by Jennifer Robinson, Univ. of California Press, 1998. You can find this at
a place such as Kinokuniya or order from Amazon.
Office Ladies and Salaried Men, Power, Gender, and Work in Japanese Companies
by Yuko Ogasawara, publ. by University of Calif. Press, 1998. Available
from the Univ. of Calif. Press website.
Survival in the Office, the Evolution of Japanese Working Women by
Risu Akisuki, publ. By Kodansha,
1999. I've seen five volumes. Bilingual manga can be ordered from Kinokuniya
and Asahiyas now seem to stock all volumes. There are 14 or more volumes in
the original Japanese. These little books are really cute and funny.
Reflections on the Way to the Gallows, Rebel Women in Prewar Japan ed. by
Mikiso Hane, University of California Press, 1988, ISBN 0-520-08421-7. Those
aggressive anime heroines have a foundation in recent Japanese history. Women
in Japan demonstrated, were tortured, imprisoned, and executed for their beliefs,
remaining defiant to the very end.
AnimeFantastique was a quarterly publication from the same people
who bring you CineFantastique. Started Spring 1999 issue which was out at the
end of 1998. Included non-Japanese animation such as Prince of Egypt. Long articles
on Captain Tylor. Unfortunately, this periodical folded after only four issues,
but they were good issues.
Manga Max started in Dec. 1998, but issue one is actually issue 47
of the former Manga Mania, an English publication. In spite of the title, contained
anime and Hong Kong film info. Nothings seems to bother the English, perverted
sex or blasphemy, but don't you dare say anything positive about Nazis! Unfortunately,
this one is out of production as of issue 20. Back issues are worth finding.
Back issues of Anime UK (which became Anime FX) are also worth it, but difficult
to locate and very expensive. The English have always had the best hobby publications.
Old periodicals to looke for include Animenominous, Animag, and VMax. Anime UK (later Anime FX) was a classic and back issues on ebay are worth getting. (12-7-2003)
Animerica is an old standby,
but I stopped buying it for a while since it got fairly boring. Articles lack
the depth or interest of other periodicals, but it has been improving. Sort of the "Time" magazine of the
anime world. More Viz stuff online at www.viz.com.
is a wonderful French Canadian publication . The release schedule seems to random,
but this is a must buy. Probably the best English language anime periodical.
The American version of Newtype seems to be surviving. Issue zero, produced by ADV, was being given away during
cons in 2002. Starting with issue 1 an independent company is supposed to be
producing it. Comes with a DVD and it is not cheap! Even an annual subscription
is nearly $100. However, it does seem to have plenty of content. My experience
with the subscription service has been terrible, and I probably won't renew.
I'll have to buy it through a comic book store or Tower Records.(12/7/2003)
Wizard Anime Invasion is surprisingly good and worth a look. Started off as
a quarterly and is now bi-monthly.
Diversity in Anime Some of these links may be dead
now, but they give you an idea of how anime appeals to very diverse viewpoints.