Manga fair kicks off in Barcelona
Record numbers expected at the 23rd edition of the event devoted to Japanese comics and animation
Barcelona’s annual Manga fair opens its 23rd edition tomorrow. Until Sunday, November 5, Montjuïc’s fair venue will feature all the very latest in comics, animation and Japanese popular culture. The Saló del Manga, as it is called in Catalan, has become one of the city’s most popular annual fairs, last year attracting 142,000 visitors. In fact, tickets for Saturday and Sunday have been sold out for some time.
The comic fair organized by the Ficomic association also continues to grow. This year there will be more than 215 stands present, some 9% more than last year, the number of rest zones has been expanded, and at 75,000 square meters this edition boasts an extra 5,000 square meters of floor space. The 2017 edition also promises more guests and more products on display than in previous years.
Focus on robots
This edition of the Saló has a special focus on robots, with talks and exhibitions on popular robot series, such as Mazinger Z: “Robots are a classic element of manga,” says activities coordinator, Oriol Estrada. In fact, one of the robots from the recent Blade Runner movie will make an appearance. Another focus this year is shojo, a manga genre targeted at teenage girls. Yoko Kamio, one of stars of shojo will be attending, as will top writers, Robico and Yoshiaki Sukeno.
Music will also play a larger role in this edition thanks to collaboration with the Sónar and Sónar+D festivals and performances by DJ Kentaro. Meanwhile, chef Kazushige Ikinari, along with ink wash artist Kaoru Hirose and traditional dance troupe Takarabune will provide visitors with a taste of mainstream Japanese culture.
Yet, there was also a hint of controversy surrounding the fair due to a change in its ticket policy. This year, once attendees have entered the fair they will not be allowed to come and go as in previous years. The policy has been criticized and the Facua consumer protection agency has even filed a suit against the fair’s organizers.