Fans of the Japanese cartoon art genre called manga, and of its sister genre animeor manga-style filmswill treasure this survey of an art form currently sweeping the world. The book is an illustrated history of Japanese comics, with separate chapters devoted to male and female heroes and villains, non-humanoid characters, and even manga depictions of historical and literary characters. Brief descriptive sketches of all characters accompany colorful illustrations of heroes and villains caught in moments of dramatic action. Key figures include Astro Boy, Akira, Lupin III, Pokemon, and many others. Just as fascinating are biographical sketches of several of the world’s most successful manga artists including Motoko Kusanagi, as well as Astro Boy’s creator Osamu Tezuka, and many others. As the first illustrated book to show and evaluate sucha wide range of manga characters, “500 Manga Heroes and Villains ” is an essential basic reference source for both manga fans and popular-culture historians. Approximately 200 memorable color illustrations. The worldwide explosion in the popularity of manga—the Japanese cartoon art genre—and anime, which is its sister genre in films, has been phenomenal. Many in the West think of manga as a modern invention based on a unique style of animation for children, but its true origin dates back almost 800 years to crude drawings on Japanese temple walls. In 1702, the Japanese artist Shumboko Ono produced a book in which he used many of those drawings, and the tradition of Toba-e—as this art was originally known—began to develop into the style as we now know it. Today, manga comics are widely recognized as an important literary genre in Japan. With manga’s growing popularity in the West, many books on the subject are appearing in Europe and America—not only translations of original Japanese manga and instructional guides for artists, but also scholarly books documenting the details of manga’s Japanese origins. Now 500 Manga Heroes & Villains breaks brand-new ground, becoming the first book to focus exclusively on the genre’s most popular characters. It presents 500 famous manga heroes and villains created between 1890 and the present day. Faithful full-color reproductions of characters are accompanied by thumbnail histories giving details of their lives in Japanese comics, dates when they first appeared, and major events in the history of manga comics. Fifty key characters, including Astro Boy, Akira, Lupin II, and Pok©mon are shown and discussed at length in special spotlight pages. You’ll also find feature articles on the most famous manga artists. Packed with facts and color illustrations 500 Manga Heroes & Villains is an essential and accessible reference tool for first-time enthusiasts and manga historians alike. Helen McCarthy is one of the foremost experts on manga and anime outside of Japan. She is a former editor of Anime UK imagazine and the author of several other books on the subject, including Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation, The Anime Movie Guide, and The Erotic Anime Movie Guide, which she co-authored with Jonathan Clements. She was given the Japan Festival Award for outstanding contributions to the understanding of Japanese Culture. Helen McCarthy currently lives in London.