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Making a Living in Manga in Japan with Felipe Smith
Lost in Translation
About 3,500 fans of the Lucky ☆ Star comedy manga and anime franchise converged on Washinomiya shrine, the real-life locale that makes cameos in the anime, for a December 2 event. The shrine's local township only has 34,000 citizens. The brunch and official shrine visit featured the manga creator Kagami Yoshimizu and four cast members of the anime: Hiromi Konno (Akira Kogami), Emiri Katō (Kagami Hiiragi), Kaori Fukuhara (Tsukasa Hiiragi), and Minoru Shiraishi (playing a character named after himself). Katou and Fukuhara played fictional twin sisters who work as miko (shrine maidens) at the shrine.
According to the local chamber of commerce, fans began arriving on-site at around 5:00 a.m. By about 7:30 a.m. (four hours before the start of the event), the number of people in line already exceeded 200, the capacity of the Ootorichaya Washinomiya restaurant at which the event would begin. All 2,100 mobile phone straps that the restaurant brought out for advance sales were sold. The straps were fashioned to look like ema, the traditional wooden plaques that contain written wishes from shrine visitors.
The event began with a brunch with Lucky Star's signature cornet-shaped, chocolate-filled pastries, Blue Hawaii drinks, and other dishes. (Unlike the file photo at left, the event's exclusive chocolate cornets were topped with a large yellow star.) Yoshimizu and the four cast members then led a procession to the shrine to pray "for a bright future for Lucky ☆ Star."
Images © Kagami Yoshimizu/Lucky Paradise
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