Like the other festival stages, the Kuri Stage also developed. Wider, it can welcome more people than it used to with 600 seats. This open stage can also welcome way more viewers who attended the 22 panels featured last July, about manga, traditional culture, anime, or video games.
More than 42 artists had turned up last summer to talk about their work, their career, or their projects, and answer your questions. Many mangaka took this opportunity to perform live drawings and show their talent and techniques. The live drawings realized by Makoto AIZAWA (Quand la neige m’appelle, chattochatto), Mitsuhiro ARITA (illustrator, Wacom), Rie ARUGA (Perfect World, Akata), Daiki KOBAYASHI (Ragna Crimson, Kana), Kenshirô SAKAMOTO (Fairy Tail : La Grande Aventure de Happy, Pika Édition), and Tsuyoshi TAKAKI (Black Torch, Ki-oon) were shot and showed on the big screen of the Kuri Stage so the audience could see every detail of it.
More conferences about manga and animation were featured with the seiyû Aya HIRANO (Haruhi Suzumiya), the former editor in chief of Shônen Jump Hiroki GOTO, and the team of the animation movie Child of Kamiari Month. A draw battle brought together four mangaka published by H2T, Rossella SERGI and Kira YUKISHIRO forming the shôjo team, and Salvatore NIVES and Redjet for the shônen team.
Among other tackled subjects, let’s mention Takarazuka theatre with Izuru AMASE and a few dancers from the troupe, kimono with master Nobuaki TOMITA, tourism with the JNTO conference about discovering Japan, video game with the art of Samurai Shodown explained by Nobuyuki KUROKI and Yumi SAJI, or cinema with the three main actors from the feature film Tokyo Ghoul ‘S’, which premiered at the festival, Masataka KUBOTA, Shota MATSUDA and Maika YAMAMOTO.
Let’s not forget the panel dedicated to Japan Expo’s 20th Anniversary with the festival founders, Jean-François DUFOUR and Thomas SIRDEY, which was also set on the Kuri Stage. A touch of humor opened the Kuri Stage on Thursday morning with Wes-P performing his breathtaking tablecloth trick and its many surprising variations.
Let's look at the photo album:
See you at Japan Expo 21st Impact, on July 2-5, 2020 at Paris-Nord Villepinte Exhibition Center!