Manga-mania grips Paris at Japan expo
The ninth edition of Japan Expo which showcases an extravaganza of manga comics, Tokyo pop, video gaming and wrestling is expected to draw 100,000 fans.4 July 2008
PARIS - Some 100,000 fans of all things Japanese were expected from Thursday at a four-day Paris extravaganza of manga comics, anime, Tokyo pop, video gaming, fashion - and Japanese wrestling.
The ninth edition of Japan Expo, a celebration of Japanese pop culture, kicked off Thursday afternoon and runs until Sunday in a vast conference hall north of the capital. 2007's expo drew 80,000 people over three days.
One in two French children is thought to have read at least one manga comic, and an entire French generation was reared on a diet of Japanese animated television cartoons.
With France now the second biggest market for manga outside Japan, there is also a growing interest in other sides of Japanese culture.
"Manga acts as a spearhead for Japanese pop culture," explained event organiser Cyril Grillon. "Comics open up a window onto Japan's language, its food, its fashion."
Dozens of established and aspiring manga artists will have their work on display, but guests from Japan will also include artists, game creators and live music acts ranging from punk rock to pop and electro.
Traditional Asian culture will also get a look in with stalls on flower arranging, sudoku, the art of Zen, or the ancient board game of Go.
Contests will be held for the best cartoon character costumes - a discipline known as "Cosplay" - and amateur manga comic strips, in the vast hall mingling gaming, drawing contests, martial arts, gigs and fashion shows.
This year's Japan Expo also coincides with the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
[AFP / Expatica]