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National Art Center, Tokyo to Hold Manga Toshi Tokyo Exhibit

posted on by Kim Morrissy
Yoh Yoshinari draws key visual for exhibit which will run from July 8 to September 22

The National Art Center, Tokyo will hold a manga, anime, game, and tokusatsu-themed exhibition titled "Manga Toshi Tokyo: Nippon no Manga, Anime, Game, Tokusatsu 2020" (Manga City Tokyo: Japan's Manga, Anime, Games, Tokusatsu 2020) from July 8 to September 22. It is a rerun of the MANGA⇔TOKYO exhibition which was held in Paris, France in 2018.

The exhibition is organized by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, the Japan Arts Council, and the National Art Center, Tokyo. It will feature over 500 pieces of art, production materials, and video from 93 different properties. The National Art Center, Tokyo described the 2018 exhibit as follows:

Japan's manga, animation, games, SFX films (tokusatsu) are reflective of the social change and technological development of the city of . This exhibition pursues to represent these depictions through numerous drawings, models and images. How did the characteristics of the real city inspire the direction of fiction? How did these fictions and their characters present us with a new hybrid reality, now multilayered to the real city?

This exhibition does focus on Japanese manga, animation, games, and SFX films (tokusatsu), but through them it also portrays the city of , already iconic in a lot of people's mind. It hopes to delve into the meaning and possibilities for Japan's animation, manga and its gaming culture, as they have become tourism drawcards and created what for many enthusiasts is a "sacred pilgrimage" when visiting Japan.

The “MANGA⇔TOKYO” exhibition follows the first highly successful “Manga*Anime*Games from Japan” exhibition held at the National Art Center, Tokyo in 2015, and is one of the official programs of “Japonismes 2018: les âmes en résonance”, an extensive cultural season to showcase the unrevealed beauty of Japanese culture in France. This exhibition plans on displaying about 90 different works, which will provide a complex experience of the city of .

The exhibit's mascots are a girl named Vippy and a bird called Riyoko. They are designed by Little Witch Academia director Yoh Yoshinari, who also drew the event's key visual, shown top-right. The key visual depicts Vippy dressed up as iconic characters such as Evangelion's Rei Ayanami, Sailor Moon's Usagi, and Hatsune Miku. Shigeto Koyama (Darling in the FranXX, Promare), graphic designer Tsuyoshi Kusano (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Eureka Seven), and guest curator Kaichirō Morikawa lent their assistance for the character setting and designs.

In a press conference on Wednesday, the exhibit's organizers unveiled a 1/1000 scale model of the city of Tokyo, which will be shown at the exhibit. The exhibit will be divided into three sections: "A Cycle of Destruction and Restoration," which will focus on properties such as Akira, Evangelion, and Godzilla which have apocalyptic themes; "Everyday Life in Tokyo," which will focus on properties such as Rurouni Kenshin and March comes in like a lion which depict life in Tokyo during different periods of time; and "Character vs. Tokyo," which will reproduce real-life anime collaborations and installations such as the Unicorn Gundam in Odaiba.

The organizers expressed plans to hold cosplay events throughout the exhibit's run. The exhibit will move to the Ōita Prefectural Art Museum from November 21 to January 17, 2021.

Pre-order tickets for the Tokyo exhibit will be available via the exhibit's website and the Ticket Pia online ticket retailer until July 7.

Source: Comic Natalie


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