The festival manga and anime photo album
In 2018, the festival celebrated the 160th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between France and Japan and beside the stress put on culture and traditions, manga and anime were part of it too. They are a perfect representation of how the French attachment to Japan has evolved through time. The attendees proved so once again, roaming about the Publishers’ Village, meeting mangaka, animators, and directors, and attending the many events organized all four days.
Space Opera has pride of honor and we told you all about it in a dedicated report that you can read on this page. The manga and anime program of the festival also took you into the worlds of 50 more artists. You had plenty of opportunities to meet them with 40 panels and live drawings, and 58 signings at the Sumiré area, not to mention the many others organized at the publishers’ booths. There was also 33 hours of anime screenings, with 10 premieres, 3 of which took place in the evening, to keep the party going after the festival closed. But for starters, let’s talk about our guests.
The authors of the most recent manga successes had come all the way from Japan to meet the European public. After winning two prizes at the 2018’s Japan Expo Awards – Best Manga for A Silent Voice and Best New Series for To Your Eternity –, Yoshitoki OIMA was among us, invited in, partnership with her French publisher Pika Édition. She gave signings and showed her amazing talent with a live drawing. She also shared some of her secrets with you at a masterclass.
Signings and a live drawing were also part of Atsushi OHKUBO’s program. The mangaka of Soul Eater came for his new hit, Fire Force, as volume 7 was released in France right in time for the festival. Invited in partnership with Kana, he made the most of his visit at Japan Expo with a meet & greet with a few of his fans, and also a draw battle with the Spanish comics artist Jordi LAFEBRE.
Ki-oon proposed you to discover Nicke with the volume 1 of Beyond the Clouds, an original creation of the publisher. You met her at the booth and dive into the poetic world of her manga. The atmosphere was altogether different on Mana Books’s booth and their guest Itsuki KAMEYA, the illustrator of the manga Final Fantasy Lost Stranger.
Let’s turn to animation: many of you got together around Shingo ADACHI, Masami NIWA, and Manabu ONO, the chara-designer, producer, and director of Sword Art Online -Alicization-, season 3 of the license that has been a hit over the past few years. After an exceptional panel and signings in partnership with Wakanim, Sword Art Online fans left with smiles on their faces.
Another anime team had come in partnership with Kadokawa and Crunchyroll, the one in charge of Bungo Stray Dogs – DEAD APPLE –, for the premiere screening that took place on Thursday evening. Nobuhiro ARAI and Mari SUZUKI, the chara-designer and producer of the film, met you several times for a panel and signings.
As a long-time fan of Japan, Thomas ASTRUC joined the festival guests for an exceptional panel. The creator and director of the anime series Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir came with some of his collaborators on the series. There were many young fans in the audience, delighted to ask their questions to Thomas ASTRUC and meet him at a signing later.
European manga in the spotlight
There are more and more French and European mangaka whose talent gets in the spotlight. Those fans of Japanese culture and manga find their inspiration in their passion and their imagination seems limitless. Over 30 of them came to sign their manga at the Sumiré area or at their publishers’ booths.
Glénat Manga welcomed many of their French authors. Enaibi and Aienkei signed their manga HORION for the release of volume 2, while Vinhnyu and Antoine DOLE immersed the attendees in the "magical" atmosphere of 4LIFE. Volume 2 of Tinta Run had pride of honor with Christophe COINTAULT, delighted as ever to meet his readers. Izu and Kalon had come to present Versus Fighting Story and also gave a panel to talk about this manga about e-sport. After Stray Dog and Ayakashi – Légendes des cinq royaumes, VanRah unveiled MortiCian. She also attended a panel alongside Christophe COINTAULT, Vinhnyu, and Antoine DOLE to share her experience as a French mangaka. Another panel featured a future release of Glénat: Devil’s Relics, the first manga the French singer Maître Gims who worked on this project with his brother Darcy, the comics writer Jean-David MORVAN, and the mangaka Yoshiyasu TAMURA.
The indie publisher H2T had invited two French mangaka and two Italians. ART-OF-K, Caly, Redjet, and Rossella SERGI also performed a live drawing all together, and showed their titles Hana no Breath, Euterpe, Space Duck RG, and Deep Scar.
Invited by Ki-oon, Shonen signed his manga Outlaw Players, Best International Manga at the 2017’s Japan Expo Awards, while the winner of the same prize in 2018, the Swiss mangaka Yami SHIN was also there to present Green Mechanic.
Olydri éditions welcomed Jorys BOYER, the illustrator of Noob Reroll, as well as Philippe CARDONA and Florence TORTA who work together on the manga Sentaï School, as well as on the comics Neogicia and Le blog de Gaea for Olydri éditions and the Noob comics for Delcourt.
A pioneer of French manga, Reno Lemaire is always game for meeting his fans! The author of the Dreamland saga was at Japan Expo to sign the brand new volume 18 of his manga, released right before the festival. By his side, the younger generation with Romain Lemaire and his first title, Everdark. On top of signings at Pika Édition’s booth, they got together on stage for a draw battle on subjects chosen by the audience. Another release and more meetings with Pika Édition: the illustrator Miya and the writer Samantha BAILLY unveiled volume 2 of Alchimia. Vald, the author of Catacombes, was also awaiting you at the booth.
The manga & anime photo album
Anime fans had 10 opportunities to find out about upcoming releases before everyone else thanks to our partners. French, European, or world premieres took place during four days and three evening premieres were dedicated to some of the most expected:
- On Thursday, you watched Bungo Stray Dogs – DEAD APPLE – in the presence of its chara-designer and producer, Nobuhiro ARAI and Mari SUZUKI (with Kadokawa and Crunchyroll).
- On Friday, it was My Hero Academia fans who got together for the premiere of the film My Hero Academia: Two Heroes.
- On Saturday, L'Attaque des Titans : Le Rugissement de l'Éveil (Attack on Titan) which saw a full house for the exceptional screening of the third film of the saga, for the first time in Europe with @Anime.
We mentioned Chi a bit earlier and her presence added to the exclusive screening by Kodansha of the first episode the anime in which she stars, Koneko no Chi: Ponponra Dairyoko. Another premiere got a full house and many cheers from the audience: JOJO’s Bizarre Adventure Golden Wind. The first episode was showed at Japan Expo and in Japan at the same time by Warner Bros. Japan.
Wakanim invited you to discover Les Brigades immunitaires (Cells at Work!) and dive into the fascinating and unknown world of cells working to protect the human body. An for @Anime, they showed the first film of the Eureka Seven Hi trilogy, Evolution, and the first two of the Laughing Under the Clouds trilogy, Gaiden: The Oath of the Yamainu and Gaiden: The Double-Headed Fûma. A short movie featured in the Anime Tamago 2018 selection, a young animator springboard, was also shown: TIME DRIVER by Junichi YAMAMOTO.
An overflowing anime program
Japan Expo had a lot more surprises for anime fans! The Mamoru Hosoda Film Works exhibit immersed you into the director’s work, from The Boy and the Beast to The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars, Wolf Children, and of course his latest film, Mirai of the Future. Exceptional items were displayed such as storyboards, chara-designs, and original artworks.
While screenings were organized at all time of the day in the Video Room, the satges also hosted a number of events. @Anime revealed its upcoming movie releases for 2018/2019, among which Mirai of the Future, Penguin Highway, and Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms.
Crowning the success of the French manga Radiant by Tony VALENTE in Japan where it sold over 65.000 copies, it is now adapted as an anime by NHK, the first public TV channel in Japan. Publisher Ankama invited you to meet the author for signings and attend a panel about this amazing adaptation in the presence of the producer, Yusuke FUJITA, and director, Daiki FUKUOKA.
Other events were featured such as a theatre impro match dedicated to anime, the Furansujin Connection panel about the experience of French animators in Japanese studios, or another panel about Broken Blade with Nobuyoshi HABARA, Chizuru KOBAYASHI, and Takumo NORITA.
We can’t talk about anime without mentioning themes and music! Anisong was in the spotlight on the Karasu stage and others, starting with a moving tribute by the Neko Light Orchestra to the iconic director Isao TAKAHATA, who passed away in April 2018. They performed covers of the most beautiful pieces from his films, Grave of Fireflies, Princess Kaguya, and other masterpieces.
You sang along legendary openings and endings with Mika KOBAYASHI, famous for taking part in the themes of Attack on Titan, Kill la Kill, or Blue Exorcist, and with Yoko TAKAHASHI, the singer of Zankokuna Tenshi no Te-ze (A Cruel Angel's Thesis), THE opening of Neon Genesis Evangelion. With the electro-rock band The Sixth Lie, you listened to the live performance of the ending of Golden Kamui, or to the theme of Koneko no Chi: Ponponra Dairyoko with the idols from Wi-Fi-5. Last but not least, Cécile CORBEL and Misaki IWASA got together on stage for a French-Japanese duo during which they performed the music of the Studio Ghibli anime From Up on Poppy Hill.
The Publishers’ Village
Meetings and events become a reality thanks to the publishers who also have many more surprises in store at their booths, all brought together in the Publishers’ Village! They display their best titles, decorate their booths in the colors of their major hits, and organize activities to celebrate their new releases.
Radiant had pride of honor at Ankama’s booth with a set dedicated to the series, besides a corner where the attendees could play the Dofus video game.
Glénat Manga dedicated part of its booth to new artists with a mangaka workshop. They also challenged you with a Dr. Stone climbing wall and a shooting game.
Kana exhibited the Fire Force truck, the Matchbox, on the occasion of Atsushi OHKUBO’s presence, besides the eternal giant Naruto. They also challenged you to an escape game dedicated to the manga Moriarty!
Kazé Manga highlighted Neverland with another wall which many of you climbed.
Ki-oon doubled their booth with one part entirely dedicated to activities: Ki-oon World. To celebrate the coming of Nicke, you could drive drones on a Beyond the Clouds area. There was more with Black Torch ninja fights, an Issak shooting game, and a Case Study of Vanitas photocall. You also tried for the first time the video game My Hero Academia One Justice.
Besides a corner dedicated to Yoshitoki OIMA’s To Your Eternity, Pika Édition proposed a Seven Deadly Sins selfie box and Bandai’s game Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia. You could also control a robot fighting on a mini-ring, like those in Boichi’s new manga Origin.
Many more publishers welcomed you to present their manga and anime titles: Akata, Crunchyroll, Delcourt-Soleil-Tonkam, Doki-Doki, H2T, isan manga, Kurokawa, Mana Books, Meian, Olydri éditions, Ototo-Ofelbe-Taifu, Panini Manga, Wakanim, Yüreka éditions, and also Wacom who invited you to try their graphic tablets.
Associations are always up for sharing their passion for manga and anime with you and this year proved it right once more. Anigetter exhibited all types of models and organized workshops to teach you how to make your own creations. AEUG’s booth also highlighted an exhibit and handicrafts focused on Gundam.
Many associations organized quizzes, contests, blindtests, karaoke, and all kinds of games at their booths or on the Sora stage, like Asian’Efrei, BulleJapon, Forum Thalie, Kaerizaki and Ze Network Tsundere. As for Esprit Ludique, they used board games to take you to the worlds of manga, among other Japanese themes.
Tengumi and the Yuai Association put the stress on drawing and organized contests and workshops, or made your portrait. The artist Mélanie KHOTH presented incredible trompe-l’œil made of 3D drawings and also performed with a live drawing.
This manga and anime program was as rich as ever thanks to the associations, publishers and of course guests who contribute year after year to celebrating Japanese pop culture!