Review by Choice Review
Galbraith's thoroughly researched book is a gold mine of information about films and film personnel in Japan, and an essential addition to any cinema reference collection extending beyond Hollywood. The book's most valuable features are its exhaustive film credits in the "Feature Films" section, its equally complete filmographies for biographees in the "Personnel" section, and its listing of Japanese film awards in Appendix 3. Its focus on films available for viewing in America should give it wide appeal. However, this resource is not without its flaws. Its omission of plot synopses in the "Feature Films" entries is disappointing, since plot, along with cast and director credits, is of greatest interest to the average filmgoer. (Beverley Buehrer's Japanese Film: A Filmography and Commentary, 1921-1989, CH, Jan'91, does supply plot synopses for more than 85 Japanese films.) Where available, photographs of industry personnel alongside their entries would also have been helpful to US readers. Finally, more introductory discussion of areas for future research would have been enlightening. These criticisms notwithstanding, this book is an excellent resource for all levels of readers. C. Hendershott New School for Social Research
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
If Japanese movies are a weak spot in your collection, this reference source should fill the gap. The feature films listed here are limited to those that have appeared (or the author hopes will soon be available for viewing) in the United States, including what is already on video and laserdisc. American versions of foreign films usually have notably sketchy credits, which not only presents problems for scholars but makes it difficult for fans to confirm that the actor in one movie is the same one who played a vastly different role in another. As a result, the primary concern of author Galbraith (Japanese Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, McFarland, 1994) is to provide a complete credit list for these films. In the first section, "Personnel," actors predominate, but composers, directors, cameramen, and screenwriters are included. The second section briefly describes the different film studios. The third and by far the largest section of the book, the film list, is the work's primary focus. Detailed entries are arranged alphabetically by U.S. release title and also provide Japanese title, production crew, cast with roles, Japanese production company and U.S. distributor, running time, release date, MPAA rating, etc. Several interesting appendixes on the Japanese film industry round out the book. The only drawback is the absence of plot synopses, however brief, but this remains a good, basic source on the subject. Highly recommended.Marianne Cawley, Enoch Pratt Free Lib., Baltimore, Md. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.