If you grew up in the 1960s and watched Speed Racer, Astro Boy or Kimba the White Lion, then you probably didn’t realize it at the time, but you were watching early versions of a Japanese animation form that has grown into a five billion dollar industry. This outstanding volume’s introduction defines anime and its print counterpart, manga, pointing out that even though the animation and print techniques were less advanced than those found in American products, it is the markedly different sensibility about story that may have attracted American followers from the start. Anime and manga often involve darker themes and morally ambiguous characters; the hero doesn’t always get the girl and things don’t always end happily ever after. The first chapter explores the roots of Anime, beginning with the twelfth century story, Tale of Genji, briefly describing the mid-nineteenth century European-influenced comic magazines such as Japan Punch and recounting the post World War II rise of Osamu Tezuka, called the “Walt Disney of Japan.” The author then describes the development of the anime market in the U.S., beginning with Astro Boy, with significant mention of Akira in the 1990s as a work that began the industry’s significant American expansion. The third chapter discusses the defining characteristics of anime and manga, including characters’ large, rounded eyes, unusual hairstyles and Western faces. Helpful distinctions are drawn between American animation styles and anime, which favors attention to physical details to expression characters’ emotions. Defining features of manga also are explained, including story types that are read at different ages, as well as structural features such as stories reading from right to left. Subsequent chapters explore the role of women in anime—female characters are commonly the heroes and themes of gender equality are ubiquitous—and the use of anime to convey important societal messages, including the horrors of war and the need to protect the environment. The final chapter looks at the blending of Japanese and Western artistic traditions as international artists create new types of myths in their story-telling and hybrids of artistic design in their animations. Like other volumes by Marcovitz in Lucent’s Eye on Art series, this one is accessible and will be of interest to middle school students, but older students and adults will find this a valuable introduction to an art form that will continue to gain popularity in the West for years to come. Highly recommended for middle school, high school and public libraries.