If you're looking to bone up on your knowledge of all things manga, you can't do better than Helen McCarthy's new book, 500 Manga Heroes &andamp Villains. McCarthy is an acknowledged expert on this Japanese comic-book art form, and her sure-footed descriptions of the genre's personalities from Astro Boy to Yu-Gi-Oh ring with authority and well-supported opinion. This is a reference book that's almost as much fun to read as its subject.

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