The best books about anime

6 authors have picked their favorite books about anime and why they recommend each book.

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How To Draw Anime

By Sophia Elizabeth,

Book cover of How To Draw Anime: Easy Learn To Draw Anime Characters Step By Step

This is an excellent, well-designed book for anyone wanting to improve their Anime style of drawing. Many of the young artists I talk to have an intense interest in drawing in this particular style, sometimes referred to as the “Anime” style. This cartoon-style features sharp lines and shapes with stark, colorful graphics. Although this book doesn’t get into much instruction on how to create comics, it does provide the artist with a starting place for drawing in the anime style. From there, the artists can take this knowledge and apply it to the comics that they create. The drawings in the lessons are very well done, and the content covers all the topics that make anime a unique drawing style. I highly recommend this book.

How To Draw Anime

By Sophia Elizabeth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How To Draw Anime as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Let’s spark your creative ability and let your passion run wild with this amazing How To Draw Anime book from Sophia Elizabeth!

This book will teach you how to draw anime step by step, with the easiest approach possible through simple shapes. Inside this wonderful drawing book, you can learn everything you need to know on how to create a perfect original anime character. This includes head, facial details, body proportions, facial emotions, clothing and even basic character models for you to try out. In other words, this book is a perfect head start for any anime-drawing enthusiast.

Aside from…


Who am I?

My name is Art Roche and I've been drawing cartoons and comic strips for over twenty-five years. I wish everyone drew comics! Comic strips are an amazing art form that has been around for thousands of years. With a simple pencil, pen, and paper the artist can tell thrilling stories, make hilarious jokes, or illustrate their own diaries. Once you learn the basic mechanics of how comics are designed and built, anyone can begin drawing them regardless of talent level or experience.


I wrote...

Art for Kids: Comic Strips, 3: Create Your Own Comic Strips from Start to Finish

By Art Roche,

Book cover of Art for Kids: Comic Strips, 3: Create Your Own Comic Strips from Start to Finish

What is my book about?

I set out to create a book that demonstrates the actual process of creating a comic strip from start to finish. I wanted the reader to be able to feel confident about everything from drawing, to writing jokes, to creating characters. I’ve gotten great feedback about this book and young artists seem to really enjoy the artwork and the sample comic strip in the book, Galaxy Dog.

My other books include: Art for Kids: Cartooning Create Your Own Comic Strips from Start to Finish and The Knights of Boo’Gar. This book is a funny chapter book that features brave knights and princesses, enchanted turtles, monsters, and one very special goat.

Bloody Spade

By Brittany M. Willows,

Book cover of Bloody Spade

I loved the magical girl reminiscent transformations in this book mixed with a dark story. I’ve always had a fondness for the genre, and this book gave me a mix of Shugo Chara and Madoka Magica vibes. As a demisexual, I also really felt seen from all of the asexual spectrum representation in the main cast. I am a character first writer, so I loved the large cast and how insanely compelling each character and their backstory was. Every personality is so unique it bursts off the page, which is what really drew me into this book and made it my favorite novel of all time. The aesthetics also really help, since the flashier the magic the better in my opinion.

Bloody Spade

By Brittany M. Willows,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Bloody Spade as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A girl full of heart
A thief touched by darkness
A boy with a fiery temper
An unwitting servant of evil

The era of magic was once thought to be a myth, but after the Reemergenceushered forces both dark and light into the mundane world, it has sincebecome a harsh reality. Now those affected by this strange power—aspecialized group of Empowered called Jokers, known collectively asCardplay—must protect their world from the darkness that threatens toconsume it, all the while fighting for equality in a society clinging to normalcy.

But the Reemergence was only the beginning.

When another influx occurs on…


Who am I?

Fantasy has always been a passion and an escape for me. It started with copious amounts of reading, then I found anime when I was only a child as Cardcaptors began to air on TV. I’ve watched hundreds of anime shows since then and continued my penchant for reading and writing almost exclusively in the fantasy genre. In college, I obtained a BA in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing, so I have a good grasp on literature analysis and many works. In addition, I studied Japanese for two years, lived in Japan for six months, and held a position at the anime club while I was in college.


I wrote...

Arigale: Spite in the Spirit

By Denise O. Eaton,

Book cover of Arigale: Spite in the Spirit

What is my book about?

Judith and Chit are called to the lonely tower outside their city with little explanation. The one who summoned them is an old, elven wizard named Maleth, who will send them on a quest to lower their floating city of Arigale to where it once resided. Maleth is intrigued by Judith’s strange form of necromantic magic, yet he is also certain of the anxious young man in training.

Judith, a bubbly yet mysterious young woman, is eager to accept. Chit remains cautious, a remnant of being raised by the Order that presides over Arigale. Both discover their meeting with the wizard carried dire consequences. Can they accomplish what has been asked of them and save Arigale no matter the lengths they must go to?

The Stray Spirit

By R K Ashwick,

Book cover of The Stray Spirit

The medieval fantasy in this book was juxtaposed with band culture for the bard MC early in the book, which gave me a few laughs. I love all of the characters, but even more, I love that I didn’t like them all at first. One character came across too cheery while another was too stuck up, but I ended up loving them all by the end. The world is one I would adore stepping into for a week to live in, so it’s a very good escapist read. The MC’s directive is so simple, since he’s just trying to get into a bard group and prove his family wrong. The fact the scenario twists into so much more but remains so wholesome reminded me of the anime Spice and Wolf.

The Stray Spirit

By R K Ashwick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Stray Spirit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A bard and a forest spirit uncover a deadly magical threat…and the key to survival lies within their own forgotten songs.

Struggling bard Emry Karic has only one path home: impress the Auric Guild, join its ranks of elite musicians, and return to his family with his honor in hand.

Difficult to do on a good day. Impossible to do with a possessed lute.

Hours before Emry’s big break, an unnatural earthquake strikes, forcing a forest spirit named Aspen to take refuge in his lute. Aspen is loud, talkative...and not leaving anytime soon.

Panicked, Emry swears the spirit to silence…


Who am I?

Fantasy has always been a passion and an escape for me. It started with copious amounts of reading, then I found anime when I was only a child as Cardcaptors began to air on TV. I’ve watched hundreds of anime shows since then and continued my penchant for reading and writing almost exclusively in the fantasy genre. In college, I obtained a BA in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing, so I have a good grasp on literature analysis and many works. In addition, I studied Japanese for two years, lived in Japan for six months, and held a position at the anime club while I was in college.


I wrote...

Arigale: Spite in the Spirit

By Denise O. Eaton,

Book cover of Arigale: Spite in the Spirit

What is my book about?

Judith and Chit are called to the lonely tower outside their city with little explanation. The one who summoned them is an old, elven wizard named Maleth, who will send them on a quest to lower their floating city of Arigale to where it once resided. Maleth is intrigued by Judith’s strange form of necromantic magic, yet he is also certain of the anxious young man in training.

Judith, a bubbly yet mysterious young woman, is eager to accept. Chit remains cautious, a remnant of being raised by the Order that presides over Arigale. Both discover their meeting with the wizard carried dire consequences. Can they accomplish what has been asked of them and save Arigale no matter the lengths they must go to?

Evermore

By Alyson Noël,

Book cover of Evermore

Evermore has an anime-level mystical other world with copious drama and shenanigans afoot. There are strained friendships, romance, death-defying endeavors, and more. Who doesn’t love a good immortal chasing after his love through different lifetimes? I appreciate that the MC isn’t a damsel in distress even with the romance-heavy lean of the book. There’s plenty of mystery and action with the MC’s ability to see spirits and auras as she tries to discern the strange things happening around her. I have so much love for themes of life and death. I can see parallels between this book and the anime The Ancient Magus Bride. Both involve not-so-distant other worlds and a protagonist who has shut herself away for her gifts falling in love with an immortal.

Evermore

By Alyson Noël,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Evermore as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Don't miss Evermore, the first book in Alyson Noël's #1 New York Times bestselling The Immortals series. Enter an enchanting new world where true love never dies. . .

After a horrible accident claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever Bloom can see people's auras, hear their thoughts, and know someone's entire life story by touching them. Going out of her way to avoid human contact and suppress her abilities, she has been branded a freak at her new high school—but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste.

Damen is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy. He's the only one who…


Who am I?

Fantasy has always been a passion and an escape for me. It started with copious amounts of reading, then I found anime when I was only a child as Cardcaptors began to air on TV. I’ve watched hundreds of anime shows since then and continued my penchant for reading and writing almost exclusively in the fantasy genre. In college, I obtained a BA in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing, so I have a good grasp on literature analysis and many works. In addition, I studied Japanese for two years, lived in Japan for six months, and held a position at the anime club while I was in college.


I wrote...

Arigale: Spite in the Spirit

By Denise O. Eaton,

Book cover of Arigale: Spite in the Spirit

What is my book about?

Judith and Chit are called to the lonely tower outside their city with little explanation. The one who summoned them is an old, elven wizard named Maleth, who will send them on a quest to lower their floating city of Arigale to where it once resided. Maleth is intrigued by Judith’s strange form of necromantic magic, yet he is also certain of the anxious young man in training.

Judith, a bubbly yet mysterious young woman, is eager to accept. Chit remains cautious, a remnant of being raised by the Order that presides over Arigale. Both discover their meeting with the wizard carried dire consequences. Can they accomplish what has been asked of them and save Arigale no matter the lengths they must go to?

Coffin

By Yoshitaka Amano,

Book cover of Coffin: The Art of Vampire Hunter D

Speaking of video-game and anime industry pioneers, it would be a complete miss not to mention Yoshitaka Amano, a man whose personal style marked the entire legendary Final Fantasy franchise, after which I was delighted to learn that he also did the original illustrations of my all-time favorite anime "Vampire Hunter D". His imaginative dynamic visuals are as equally beautiful as they are simple, and yet he keeps shocking with his ability to perfectly fuse traditional imagery with sci-fi buildings and details.

Coffin

By Yoshitaka Amano,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Coffin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rare book


Who am I?

I am a long-time manga teacher and a pop-culture researcher, as well as a comic illustrator and a Youtuber, presenting under the "Mistiqarts" pseudonym. Since manga was something that inspired me early on to dedicate my life to the art style and pop culture, I was constantly looking for new ways to bring this lifestyle and art to other people interested in drawing manga.  


I wrote...

Manga Crash Course Fantasy: How to Draw Anime and Manga, Step by Step

By Mina Petrović,

Book cover of Manga Crash Course Fantasy: How to Draw Anime and Manga, Step by Step

What is my book about?

This book is an intermediate-level tutorial book on how to draw manga, but with a spin on creating your own fantasy stories, worlds and characters. Guided by a decade of experience from my own manga classroom, I managed to present all the most effective shortcuts to someone who wants to make their own stories, and even inserted games to make the process fun!

This book features all the basic-level lessons, so even if you never drew anything in your life, you can start drawing manga today.

Japanamerica

By Roland Kelts,

Book cover of Japanamerica

This book has remained consistently influential and thought-provoking from the time it was written in 2006. Kelts uses the notion of the moebius strip to analyze the sometimes surprisingly rich and complex dynamics in the mutual relationship between Japanese and American popular culture. He explains how much each country’s art and entertainment culture has influenced the other in an interweaving tapestry of history, art, and inspiration. At a time when the question of cultural appropriation is still a provocative subject, Kelt’s book reminds us of how fruitful cultural interchange can be.

Japanamerica

By Roland Kelts,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Japanamerica as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Anime, or Japanese animation, is Asia's equivalent of the Harry Potter phenomenon in the rest of the world. While Hollywood struggles to fill seats, Japanese anime releases are increasingly outpacing American movies in sheer numbers and, more importantly, in the devotion they inspire in their fans. But just as Harry Potter is both "universal" and very English, anime is also deeply Japanese, making its popularity in the rest of the world surprising. "Japanamerica" is the first book that directly addresses our experience with anime and the Japanese pop phenomenon, covering everything from Hayao Miyazaki's epics, the burgeoning world of hentai,…


Who am I?

I am the Goldthwaite Professor of Rhetoric and Japanese at Tufts University. I’ve lived in Japan for 8 years beginning when I was 17 when I travelled to Tokyo and lived on my own, teaching English, and studying Japanese. I became a scholar of Japanese literature, and then in the 1990s became interested in Japanese animation (anime) and in animation in general. I’ve written five books on either Japanese literature or anime-related subjects, and I am currently working on a project comparing the animated films of the Walt Disney Studio with the films of Studio Ghibli.


I wrote...

Miyazakiworld: A Life in Art

By Susan J. Napier,

Book cover of Miyazakiworld: A Life in Art

What is my book about?

It’s about the Japanese animation director, Hayao Miyazaki, probably the most important animator since Walt Disney. Miyazaki’s films were initially known mainly in Japan but, from the 1990s, as Japanese animation (anime) became increasingly popular throughout the world, Miyazaki became recognized as a brilliant, influential, and entertaining auteur.  

While the designation auteur usually refers to directors of live-action films, such as Coppola, Tarantino, or the Coen brothers, I tell people that Miyazaki is a kind of Super-Auteur who, while working with a talented staff of brilliant and enthusiastic people, is still the main person behind everything – ranging from the numerous detailed storyboards he creates, the worlds and characters that he imagines, even the lyrics of each film’s theme song.

Dramacon

By Svetlana Chmakova,

Book cover of Dramacon

As a cartoonist, the convention scene has always been nostalgic to me, and serves as the perfect backdrop for this slow-burning romance about a guy who cosplays and a girl who writes comics. Manga and anime, love and heartbreak, pocky and ramune, this love story hits all the nerdy notes in just the right way. 

Dramacon

By Svetlana Chmakova,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dramacon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Relive Christie's three-year adventure at the Yatta Anime Convention with this 15th-anniversary edition of Svetlana Chmakova's debut series: Dramacon. All three volumes are compacted into one pocket-sized edition. 

Vol 1 Summary: When amateur writer Christie settles in the artist alley of her first-ever anime convention, she sees it as an opportunity to promote the manga she had started with her artist boyfriend. But when she unexpectedly falls for a mysterious cosplayer, things become complicated. What do you do when you love someone who is going miles away from you in just a couple of days?! Web-comic vet Svetlana Chmakova gives…


Who am I?

My name is Stephen McCranie and I'm currently working on Space Boy, a slow-burning high school romance that asks the question, "How do we bridge the gap between us?" I love working in this particular genre because high school is such a formative period for all of us. Also, when a romance burns slowly, the audience gets time to explore the world of the story, which can often be dynamic and lush with detail. And then, when our lovers find each other at long last, it is all the more sweet for having waited.


I wrote...

Space Boy, Volume 1

By Stephen McCranie,

Book cover of Space Boy, Volume 1

What is my book about?

When Amy's dad loses his job, she and her family are forced to move back to Earth, a thirty-year journey, spent in cryogenic sleep. Amy wakes up to a strange and different world, where she has to attend a new school and make new friends. There she meets a boy possessed by an emptiness as deep as space. It is a story about an alien artifact, a mysterious murder, and a love that crosses light-years.

E-Day

By Nicholas Sansbury Smith,

Book cover of E-Day

I have always loved the idea of exo-suits. As a kid, I watched the animated series Exosquad, I am a fan of Iron Man, I have watched exo-suit anime like Bubblegum Crisis, etc. So I was drawn to E-Day, a book involving warfare with the use of exo-suits. The action and the plot twists sucked me in and left me wanting to purchase the next book.

E-Day

By Nicholas Sansbury Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked E-Day as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Artificial Intelligence is our last hope of saving the war-ravaged Earth in this near future science fiction thriller from the apocalyptic mind of New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sansbury Smith (Hell Divers, The Extinction Cycle, Orbs).

The most advanced soldiers in human history are about to become obsolete.

Engines. Genetically modified warriors that keep the great Nova Alliance war machine churning against the enemy Coalition. Most days, Engines are all that stand between salvation and chaos. Led by legendary Engine, Captain Akira Hayashi, Shadow Squad has fought on the frontlines for a decade. They are on the brink of…


Who am I?

Since childhood, I’ve been a consumer of fiction entertainment. I’m a fan of comic books, anime, television series, fiction books, movies, video games, etc. Influenced by all of these forms of storytelling, I seek to entertain people with my science fiction books and help take their minds off their troubles. At a young age, I also realized fiction can be a gateway into exploring and bringing awareness to crucial issues. With an MFA from Howard University, I’m naturally a creative person, and if I’m not creating, I’m not living. I hope readers will check out my latest book, and best so far, Republic Falling: Advent of a New Dawn.


I wrote...

Republic Falling: Advent of a New Dawn

By Michael J. Brooks, Ida Jansson (illustrator),

Book cover of Republic Falling: Advent of a New Dawn

What is my book about?

In Republic Falling: Advent of a New Dawn (Wars of the New Humanity book #1), the discriminatory effects of classism spark a violent civil war within humanity’s intergalactic republic, the Commonwealth. Now a young soldier of the Commonwealth Defense Force (CDF), named Randal Scott, seeks revenge on the man who murdered his mother and joined the insurrectionists, his own father. Randy’s lover, Stacie Spencer, also enlists in the CDF for personal reasons, to forge a life free of the gilded cage built by her parents. Together, they enter a bloody war that will have Randy questioning both of the combat forces in opposition, the CDF and the insurgency known as the Coalition of Rebel Factions.

Pure Invention

By Matt Alt,

Book cover of Pure Invention: How Japan Made the Modern World

In this book, Alt sets out a convincing argument as to how much of the modern world, the culture and products consumed, as well as niche but dangerously influential areas of the internet and modern politics such as ‘4chan,’ trace their birth and or roots back to Japan. It is full of facts that are commonly overlooked or ignored but are true nonetheless. I could not stop reading this, and I suspect that if you are reading this list, you won’t be able to either.

Pure Invention

By Matt Alt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pure Invention as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Amazingly well researched, fabulously informative and an awful lot of fun. If you love Japanese culture or are just curious to know more I can't recommend this book highly enough' Jonathan Ross

'A nerd- and generalist-friendly look at how Japan shaped the post-World War II world, from toys to Trump . . . A non-native's savvy study of Japan's wide influence in ways both subtle and profound' Kirkus

The Walkman. Karaoke. Pikachu. Pac-Man. Akira. Emoji. We've all fallen in love with one or another of Japan's pop-culture creations, from the techy to the wild to the super-kawaii. But as Japanese-media…


Who am I?

I first came to Japan knowing nothing about the place I was going to live. With hindsight, that was perhaps foolish, but it started my adventure in Japanese history. At first, I stumbled through blindly, reading the odd book and watching dramas and movies for fun. But then I discovered Yasuke, an African who became samurai in 1581. He focused me, and I started reading to discover his world. History means nothing without knowing what came before and after, so I read more, and more, until suddenly, I was publishing books and articles, and appearing on Japanese TV. It has gone well beyond the African Samurai now, but I am eternally grateful to him for his guidance.


I wrote...

African Samurai: The True Story of Yasuke, a Legendary Black Warrior in Feudal Japan

By Thomas Lockley, Geoffrey Girard,

Book cover of African Samurai: The True Story of Yasuke, a Legendary Black Warrior in Feudal Japan

What is my book about?

The man who came to be known as Yasuke arrived in Japan in the 16th century, an indentured mercenary arriving upon one of the Portuguese ships carrying a new language, a new religion, and an introduction to the slave trade. Curiously tall, bald, massively built, and black-skinned, he was known as a steadfast bodyguard of immense strength and stature, and swiftly captured the interest, and thence the trust, of the most powerful family in all of Japan. Two years later, he vanished.

Yasuke is the story of a legend that still captures the imagination of people across the world. It brings to life a little-known side of Japan - a gripping narrative about an extraordinary figure in a fascinating time and place.

Book cover of All About Clamp Art Book And Manga

A team of four female artists who have redefined the shoujo genre, and created one of the most iconic anime and manga aesthetics to date has been one of my original influences as a young girl. Big eyes, watercolor art, glittery effects, cute and gorgeous characters as well as adorable mascots were the inspiration for the foundations of my art style today. 

All About Clamp Art Book And Manga

By Clamp,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked All About Clamp Art Book And Manga as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Japanese Edition


Who am I?

I am a long-time manga teacher and a pop-culture researcher, as well as a comic illustrator and a Youtuber, presenting under the "Mistiqarts" pseudonym. Since manga was something that inspired me early on to dedicate my life to the art style and pop culture, I was constantly looking for new ways to bring this lifestyle and art to other people interested in drawing manga.  


I wrote...

Manga Crash Course Fantasy: How to Draw Anime and Manga, Step by Step

By Mina Petrović,

Book cover of Manga Crash Course Fantasy: How to Draw Anime and Manga, Step by Step

What is my book about?

This book is an intermediate-level tutorial book on how to draw manga, but with a spin on creating your own fantasy stories, worlds and characters. Guided by a decade of experience from my own manga classroom, I managed to present all the most effective shortcuts to someone who wants to make their own stories, and even inserted games to make the process fun!

This book features all the basic-level lessons, so even if you never drew anything in your life, you can start drawing manga today.

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