Animated Discussions is a collection of essays culled from nearly a decade of writing and presenting on anime. Whether it's tracing depictions of the apocalypse from hit anime of the 90s and 2000s back to their roots in the ancient Near East, exploring the ways in which certain mecha and magical girl shows equate trauma and heroism, or just trying to figure out why the hell Utena turned into a car, these essays combine an accessible style and a bit of humor with literary analysis to present anime in a new light for old fans, new fans, and scholars alike!
In addition to the topics I already mentioned, the book will include essays on the depiction of time travel/time loops in several anime, including Higurashi no Naku koro ni (When They Cry), The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, and Erased!; a comparison of how Princess Tutu and Revolutionary Girl Utena deal with the idea of narrative traps; a defense of the final two episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion; and more!
In addition, there will be a guest essay by Charles Dunbar, the Anime Anthropologist.
Funds raised through the Kickstarter will be used to pay for professional editing and cover/logo design services, plus printing and shipping cost for rewards.
Achievement Unlocked! Excerpt from the chapter "Break the World's Shell: Anime Apocalypse as Personal and Social Revolution."
Achievement Unlocked! Topics for the other excerpts revealed!
Achievement Unlocked! Excerpt from the chapter "The Duel Named Revolution: Making Sense of Revolutionary Girl Utena."
Achievement Unlocked! First Stretch Goal revealed!
Achievement Unlocked! Excerpt from the chapter "Fullmetal Alchemy."
Achievement Unlocked! Excerpt from Charles Dunbar's guest chapter.
$1000: Fully funded!
$1200: Bonus chapter added to the book: "From Filmation to Funimation" on how shifts in the quality of American animation drove the rise--and shaped the attitudes--of anime fandom.
Risks and challenges
I have already retained an editor and a cover designer, so as long as the Kickstarter is successful, there will be no problem getting the book out.
The main issue is the possibility of schedule slip. December is a tight turnaround. I want to try for it so that people can get their rewards on or near Christmas, and given how much of the book is already written and the quick turnaround times this editor has been able to deliver in the past, I think it's doable. However, I've also had a book run several months late due to a confluence of my health, my cover designer's health, and my editor's availability.
To minimize the risk of this occurring, I've been talking closely with the editor about her schedule and mine, to make sure we're both clear on when I have to have content to her and what turnaround time I can expect. I will also keep in constant communication with the backers; it should be clear by the end of the Kickstarter whether I'm going to have the first draft done in time, and I'll be sure to communicate that BEFORE the Kickstarter ends. I'm also talking to the cover designer about the project now, so she has a full two months before we need a final cover.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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