I’ve always been more of a anime person than a manga person for a simple reason: Being horrible at reading Japanese (also: Chinese). It’s not for lack of trying (as volumes of mangas on my shelves would attest to), and given that there’s lots of crossover between anime and manga, having something manga related on the horizon definitely piques my interest. Now here’s one: The inaugural Manga Festival In Singapore hits Singapore this weekend, Feb 15 to 17.
The inaugural MANGA Festival in Singapore that will take place from 15 th to 17th February 2013 is an exchange of business and culture as 10 of Japan’s top Manga publishers will be present in a series of events that include forums, lectures, booksigning sessions as well as interactive exhibitions.
Starting off the festivities is a series of lectures held at the Mandarin Orchard, Grand Mandarin Ballroom 1 from 2 to 4.30pm. Speakers, such as the Kadokawa chairman, representatives from Kodansha and writer and producers of food manga Shinya Shokudo (Midnight Dining) – which has also been turned into a rather popular TV series in Japan. Attendence is free, but don’t forget to sign up!
The highlight would definitely be this Saturday, where Kinokuniya in Ngee Ann City will be hosting talks and book signings. At noon, Mr Lim Cheng Tju, teacher, comic critic and country editor of the International Journal of Comic Art together with a few students will be holding a manga talk, and at 5.30pm, creator of Hatsune Miku, Mr Hiroyuki Ito, will be holding a presentation that’s moderated by Japanese culture expert Danny Choo. In between, Mr Yaro Abe (Shinya Shokudo), Mr Masayuki Ishikawa (Moyasimon: Tales Of Agriculture – that anime about talking microorganisms) and Mr Mine Yoshizaki (Sgt Frog aka Sergeant Keroro) will each hold signings for up to 200 fans each. Be there early! For more details, check here.
Manga fans will also be able to read (over 400!) manga at the exhibition at The Arts House on Feb 16 and 17, together with lots more manga on (I assume) a provided e-reader. A caveat: All manga will be in Japanese – it’s a pity that translation services aren’t involved, given how much they’ve added to the industry in Singapore (officially or not). Still, for us horrible at reading Japanese they’ll also be having an exhibition including “rare goods” and movies – presumably involving Hatsune Miku, vocaloid extraordinaire. I do wish they had more details – but it is free entry, so go check it out!
The Manga Festival is brought by the Japan International Contents Festival (CoFesta) in collaboration with 10 Japanese manga publishers, such as Kadokawa and Kodansha. For more details, check out their official website.