1-1. Taihei Imamura, Manga eigaron (Manga Film Theory), First published by Daiichi Geibunsha, 1941; reissued by Shinzenbisha, 1948; Otowashobo, 1965; Yumanishobo, 1992; Iwanami Shoten, 1992; Tokuma Shoten, 2005
The book was first published years ago and is infrequently quoted, but it has become a must-read classic for this research field in Japan. It is difficult to put into words the impression left by the earnest discussion about the essence and potential of animation at that time.
This was the first book consulted by beginners in a time when there were few references specializing in animation. As to be expected from the “Technique of” in the title, the book focuses on production techniques and commentary on forms and methodology, but it is also thought provoking in regards to technique and style.
An epoch-making book for its overview of the animation world. It focuses on genealogical (chronological) records, but the preface follows a format of similar books in laying out definitions and classifications. It served as a kind of “nautical chart” when surveying the world at large.
2-2. Katsunori Yamaguchi, Yasushi Watanabe, Nihon animeeshon eigashi (Japanese Animation Film History), Edited by Planet, Yubunsha, 1978
The detailed records in Yamaguchi’s pre-war volume and Watanabe’s post-war volume, followed by the reference volume, earned this work a solid reputation as a reference book. There is little about TV animation, which was growing in importance, perhaps because of the focus on “film history,” but this work is essential for researching Japanese animation history.
2+x. Chikuji kankoubutsu (Sequential Publication), FILM 1/24, Anidou, May 1978 (New edition Vol. 8) – July 1984 (New edition Vol. 32)
3-1. Sheldon Renan, An Introduction to the American Underground Film, Dutton, 1967 published in Japanese, Tetsuro Hatano translation, Sanichi Shobo, 1969
It is necessary to expand one’s viewpoint to include experimental film in regards to the relationship with cinema and short films, auteurism, and the issue of commercial vs. non-commercial works, and this was the first authentic book on experimental film. It is weak in terms of theory, but it is valuable as a reference work and though provoking in terms of establishing the concept of animation.
3-2. Robert Russett, Cecile Starr, Experimental Animation: an Illustrated Anthology, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1976 / Reprint edition: Experimental Animation: Origins of a New Art, Da Capo Press, 1988
This is one of the most important books specializing in experimental animation. Experimental animation is an important research topic for thinking about artistry and commercialism, individualism and collectivity, and auteurs and works, and also examining and expanding the concept of animation.
4-1. Georges Sadoul, Histoire du cinéma mondial, des origines à nos jours 9e éd., Flammarion, 1972, published in Japanese as Sekai eigashi, translated by Sadamu Marusho, Misuzu Shobo, 1964 and Sekai eigashi 1, 1980
In the era when animation was “animation film,” it was necessary to refer to cinema and be aware of cinema. This book has an established reputation for bringing together cinema history from a broad world perspective. The details provided about animation film are also important.
4-2. Takashi Tomono and Nobuo Mochizuki, Sekai animeeshon eigashi (History of World Animation), supervised by Takuya Mori, edited by Takashi Namiki, Parupu, 1986
This book connects with the genealogy of (2), and is a laborious work on world animation history from a Japanese author. It achieves high standards for quality and quantity as a Japanese-language reference. It proposes a fundamental perspective on animation history, and also sparked new research in critical response.
5-1. Keiji Asanuma, Eigagaku Sono kihonteki na mondaiten (Film Studies: Fundamental Issues) Kinokuniya Shinsho A-17, 1965, republished: Kinokuniya Shoten, 1981; Seisen Fukkoku Kinokuniya Shoten, 1994
One of Japan’s leading cinema scholars discusses the essence of film with basic questions about film history and moving images. It presents the fundamental issues for animation research with cinema studies as the departure point, and is also thought provoking in regards to the framework of animation studies.
Essential reference book for animation research grounded in film and visual media studies. In particular, Keiji Asanuma’s many discussions cover important issues for animation research, and this book has given birth to many research topics simply by positing questions about cinema in terms of animation.