5 Places to Visit in Japan for All Things Manga and Anime
Japanese Manga and Anime has taken over the world and appears of television and in comics globally but what makes it so appealing? The main difference between English animation and Japanese is that Japanese targets people of all ages whereas cartoons on this side of the world are mainly directed towards young children. Japanese Manga translated as ‘cartoon’ can be traced back to as far as the 12th century however it didn’t really take off until after World War 2.
What’s the Difference Between Japanese Manga and Anime
For those of us who know very little about Manga and Anime, the first thing to know is that they aren’t the same although they are often put in the same bracket. There are couple of main differences between the two which everybody needs to know.
Manga is the Japanese word for ‘cartoon’ or ‘comics’ and in Japan all comics are referred to as Manga, whereas in other countries, Manga is usually just used for Japanese comics. Anime in English translates as ‘animated’ and refers to animated television series or films. Both manga and anime consist of similar story-lines and characterization such as the big eyes and mainly 2d animation.
‘Astro Boy’ known in Japan as ‘Mighty Atom’ was originally written in 1952 as a manga and created the first real Manga movement. Astro Boy has been reinvented into anime and also became the first popular Japanese TV series. Since his success, Astro Boy has been watched by millions and is still being created now, 64 years on!
Manga is usually created by one author also known as a Mangaka whereas Anime uses a whole production team. Why does this matter? Well because a Mangaka often works alone, the story can be told exactly how they want and they can create original and sometimes controversial stories. To create the Anime, because so many people are working behind the scenes, there are a lot of ideas and opinions to take on board and a larger audience to please so stories need to be well thought through and tend to be more PG friendly.
5 Places to Visit in Japan for Manga and Anime
1. Anime Japan
Anime Japan previously known as Tokyo International Anime Fair is one of the biggest Anime events in the world. This year it will be held on March 26th and 27th at the Odaiba’s Big Sight Convention Center. If you are an Anime enthusiast then we suggest you should visit this event. Present at the event will be anime and manga creators, characters who voice the parts, TV and film production companies and much more. You can visit different exhibits to find out all about your favourite Anime and may be lucky enough to watch one of the shows or concerts which are held throughout the event.
2. Manga Cafes
Cafes dedicated to Manga are very popular in Japan and we are not surprised. In these cafes you can read Manga at your own pleasure with a free flow of non-alcoholic beverages. If you would prefer a bit of peace and quiet, some even offer little compartments where you can go and read. In Manga Cafes known in Japan as Manga Kissa, you are free to read and borrow as much Manga as you like within your time limit and of course there is a small fee depending on how long you’d like to stay, charges are usually 300 yen per 30 minutes.
3. Pokemon Center
Probably one of the most famous Anime to come out of Japan, Pokemon is so popular that there is not just one Pokemon Center but seven in Japan’s major cities including Sapporo, Tokyo and Osaka. Pokemon Center holds everything you could ever imagine related to Pokemon including mugs, all sized plush, clothing, trading cards, bags and loads more. If you can’t get over to Japan anytime soon then they have an online store where you can get your Pokemon fix!
4. Kyoto International Manga Museum
Just one of many Manga museums is the Kyoto International where you can fully immerse yourself in the history and development of Manga throughout the years. The museum is based in an old Japanese school and takes over 3 floors and a basement. There are regular events and exhibitions which take place here so if you are thinking of visiting, have a look on the event calendar as you may be able to meet your favourite Manga creators!
5. One Piece Tower
Located in the base of the Tokyo Tower you’ll find One Piece Tower an ‘amusement park’ dedicated to the popular ‘One Piece’ manga series. We use the term amusement park loosely because there isn’t any large scale roller coasters but instead a range of carnival games. Also within the tower is a range of attractions such as sculptures, live-stage shows and One Piece food to eat in case you get a bit peckish. Huis Ten Bosch is also another theme park which has attractions dedicated to One Piece including the Thousand Sunny Boat Cruise.
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