I remember reading about this book when it first came out and I actually considered picking up a used copy.
I just finished up reading Wrong About Japan, a travel memoir by novelist Peter Carey about a trip he took to Japan with his anime- and manga-obsessed son. It’s a short book, mixing the dubious results of Carey’s interviews with anime directors with the story of his ever-changing relationship with his oh-so-typically withdrawn and moody tween.
As it turns out, most of the story was fiction.
Carey told Seattle Weekly that the character Takashi, Charley’s similarly anime-obsessed Japanese friend, was invented. As the author put it, he “had to” make up a character to “get to” the conflict, which is what a phenomenally self-assured person says when they mean they “felt like” making up a character so they could “pretend there was” conflict.