Contact Us Sitemap Privacy Policy Communication Policy Social Media Policy
Messages of Hope and Friendship #3

What am I doing? Helen McCarthy
Author and Japan Cultural Specialist

As a writer and speaker, I spend most of my working life at home, either at my computer in the study, or in the garden working on my iPad. In many ways, this terrible pandemic has not changed my everyday life.

I cannot go out to see friends, give lectures, visit exhibitions or have business meetings, but I can do most of my work online. I am very privileged to be able to keep working on my new book without any disruption. The only thing I cannot do is speak at anime conventions and events – so many have been cancelled.

Right now I’m preparing the index to my next book, a volume of essays in English on the art of Leiji Matsumoto, due out in 2020 or early 2021 from the US academic publishing house McFarland.

I intended to travel to Japan later this year to research new projects, and to revisit beautiful Matsumoto Castle. That may no longer be possible. Travel will be difficult for some time to come, and there will be a longterm economic impact for me and many others from lost work and lost trade.

Luckily, I can do preliminary work on my new projects here in London. I can’t discuss them all at this time, but I am co-authoring a book on a neglected figure in anime with a professor at a Japanese university.

I hope everyone reading this stays well, and that I’ll meet you at a Japan Foundation event when the pandemic passes. 

Helen McCarthy is a British author and Japanese culture specialist, having been the first English-speaking author to write a book about anime and with a number of anime reference books in her canon of works, including 500 Manga Heroes and Villains (2006), Manga Cross-Stitch (2009), and A Brief History of Manga (2014). She is the founder of Anime UK magazine, and has written extensively on anime and manga for British publications including The Daily Telegraph, NEO, and ImagineFX. She is also a frequent contributor at film festivals and academic gatherings in Europe, America and Japan. McCarthy has curated a number of seasons of lectures and screenings at the Barbican Cinema in London, most recently the anime film season Anime’s Human Machines which was presented in September 2019, in partnership with the Japan Foundation and a regular contributor to the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme.

(Image: Matsumoto Castle © Helen McCarthy)