Barcelona’s Manga Fair kicks off and focuses on Dragon Ball
The 18th Manga Fair of Barcelona is running from the 1st to the 4th of November, in the Montjuic venue of Fira de Barcelona. The fair has moved location, increasing the space from 11,000 square metres to 17,000. This year’s ‘Saló del Manga’ pays tribute to Dragon Ball, written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama. During the opening of fair, many people were dressed up as Goku, Son Gohan, Piccolo, Master Roshi, Bulma, Pilaf or Red Ribbon Army members. The fair is the annual get-together of the Catalan manga and anime fans. This year, the meeting also focused on Japanese cuisine, with cooking workshops and an exhibition showing its relationship with manga cartoons.
Barcelona (ACN).- More than 300 people dressed up as Dragon Ball characters to welcome the opening of Barcelona’s 18th Manga Fair, the annual get-together of Japanese comic book fans. Goku, Son Gohan, Piccolo, Master Roshi, Bulma, Pilaf and Red Ribbon Army members were walking around stands selling comic books, anime movies, merchandising items and Japanese food. In fact, this year’s fair is focusing on Japanese food and on the popular cartoon and anime series Dragon Ball, written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama. At this year’s fair there will be cuisine workshops and an exhibition showing the relationship between manga and Japanese cuisine. Over the years, Barcelona’s Manga Fair has become an important comic book event at a European level specialised in manga and anime. Furthermore, the popular fair has moved location, from la Farga L’Hospitalet to the Montjuic venue of Fira de Barcelona. This means the exhibition surface increased from 11,000 square metres to 17,000. 126 exhibiting companies and a forecast of 70,000 visitors are some of the main figures from this event, which will run in the Catalan capital from Thursday the 1st of November to Sunday the 4th.
None of the Dragon Ball characters missed the opportunity to get a World Guinness Record, gathering more than 300 people dressed up as this series’ characters. Pedro Garrido, who was dressed up as Piccolo Jr., said he chose this character “because it is an interesting character, different from the rest such as Son Goku; this one is subtle. He has resources and he is the character with the most outstanding clothing”. Garrido stated to be a devoted fan of Dragon Ball, which is “like the Bible” to him.
Aisea, who was dressed up as Son Gohan, explained that Dragon Ball reminds her about her childhood. She has been attending the Manga Fair for quite some years now and she said to be very satisfied with the location change. “There is much more space and everything is on the same spot”, she said.
Carles Pons, who was dressed up as Son Gohan’s grand-father, said he had never dressed up before but that he decided to do so with some friends: they would all be dressed up as one of the series’ masters, including Mutten-Roshi (also known as Turtle Hermit or Master Roshi). Regarding Toriyama’s series, Pons stated it had “shaped all their childhood”, “teaching them values” such as “friendship, helping others and to not surrender in order to reach a goal”. He recognised that he turns quite melancholic when he watches the series again.
However, not everybody was dressed up as Dragon Ball characters. Alvaro, who came from Zaragoza, was dressed up as Predator. Last year he also came to Barcelona’s fair in this costume, but that this year he worked on the beast’s arms and chest, in order to improve his dressing-up character. Alvaro added that next year, he will improve the back and legs. He said that his objective is to have a good time and enjoy the event. He said he likes to look at people’s creations, although he thinks the dressing-up level has decreased “a lot”.
Japanese cuisine showcased by top chefs
Beyond Dragon Ball, Japanese cuisine will also be one of the fair’s main dishes. Several Japanese chefs will be showing their art and running workshops to teach how to prepare different traditional dishes. Some of the attending chefs will be among the world’s most respected cuisine masters, such as the Catalan Ferran Adrià, considered by many experts to be the world’s best and most influential chef in the last decade, running ‘elBulli’. The Japanese chef Hiroyoshi Ishida, from the prestigious ‘Mibu’ restaurant from Tokyo will also be one of the main stars, together with the chef from Barcelona’s restaurant ‘Dos Palillos’, Albert Raurich. Furthermore, the fair displays an exhibition showing the relationship between manga and Japanese cuisine.