Naruto Exhibition

If you are now in Japan you might be interested in visiting the Naruto exhibition which is currently being held at the 52nd floor of Roppongi Hills. The exhibition is opened until June 28th. Not only you will find Naruto and his friends at the exhibition but also in the streets of Roppongi which have been decorated for the occasion. You can collect the characters of the popular TV show that you find in the streets and participate in a “Stamp Rally” contest. You can find more info at the official website.

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Virtual Visit to Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum

Google recently scanned and photographed almost all the Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum in Takarazuka. You can take a look at the scanned high-resolution images, videos and an explanation of the life and artistic evolution of Osamu Tezuka at the Google Cultural Institute. You can also visit the museum virtually like in Google Street View.

It´s always good to remember that all masters started from zero. This is how Tezuka drew as a child:

Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum Virtual Visit

Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum Virtual Visit

Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum Virtual Visit

Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum Virtual Visit

Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum Virtual Visit

Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum Virtual Visit
Google Street View inside the museum

Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum Virtual Visit

Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum Virtual Visit

Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum Virtual Visit

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Evangelion Store in Harajuku

Last Friday we went to Harajuku, when we were arriving I saw in a map at the station that there was an Evangelion store in an alley parallel to Takeshita-dori (Exact location in Google Maps). We had no idea there was an Evangelion store in Harajuku so we decided to check it out. In the first floor almost all the items were boring t-shirt but in the second floor there was a lot of original and interesting merchandising. If you are an Evangelion fan the visit is a must!

Evangelion Store in Harajuku

Evangelion Store in Harajuku

Evangelion Store in Harajuku

Harajuku Evangelion Store

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Zordor

Harajuku Evangelion Store

Harajuku Evangelion Store

Harajuku Evangelion Shop

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Top 10 Best Selling Manga Series of 2013

Here is a list of the manga series that sold the most volumes during 2013 in Japan. What manga series are you following? Any recommendations?

1 – One Piece
Still the undisputed number one manga and anime in Japan and overseas. This year 18 million One Piece volumes were sold in Japan.

one piece manga

2 – Attack on Titan – 進撃の巨人
The manga written and drawn by Hajime Isayama ranks second on the list and, with 16 millions volumes sold, is the only one that comes close to the top spot occupied by One Piece. Attack on Titan is set in an alternative middle-ages world in which the Titans (huge creatures) have almost annihilated humankind. Only a small number of humans still survive by living in cities surrounded by walls.

Attack on Titans

3 – Kuroko’s Basketball – 黒子のバスケ
A basketball manga. Is this the Slam Dunk of this decade?

Kuroko's Basketball

4 – Magi
A fantasy shōnen manga written and drawn by Shinobu Otaka that is set in an alternative past. 18 volumes have been published since the manga started in 2009.

Magi

5 – Naruto
Next to One Piece, Naruto is the manga that has been on the list for most years. However its popularity is running out of steam. I used to follow the anime years ago but I ended up getting bored.

Naruto

6 – Silver Spoon – 銀の匙
It tells us the life and adventures of a student of a fictitious high school in Hokkaido. The anime series has started being aired in Fuji TV this year which has helped the sales of the manga.

Silver Spoon

7 – Assassination Classroom – 暗殺教室
A fantasy manga in which the students of a school have been promised a 10 billion Yen reward for assassinating their professor. Their professor turns out to be a powerful creature that destroyed 70% of the moon and has the plan to destroyed our planet.

Assassination Classroom

8 – Hunter x Hunter
Next to Naruto and One Piece it is the manga that has been on the top spots of the list for most years. After 15 years the adventures of Gon seem like are not ending anytime soon.

Hunter x Hunter

9 – Fairy Tail
The third fantasy manga in the Top 10. The two main characters are a wizard boy and a teen wizard girl.

Fairy Tail

10 – Terra Formars
This is the only manga on the list that I am currently following (I have read the seven released volumes). It is a science fiction manga in which Mars has been terraformed by sending cockroaches and mold. Several centuries later 6 humans travel to Mars, the terraforming has worked, the only problem is that the cockroaches have mutated and have become dangerous creatures. The six people of the crew are killed by the mutant cockroaches. Years later a multinational sends a mission to Mars to exterminate the mutant cockroaches…

Terra Formars

Gintama and Bleach are still very popular in Japan however they were not able to make the Top 10 in 2013.

Ranking found in Oricon.co.jp.

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Classroom Art

I found this chalk art made by Japanese high school students impressive. Some of these drawings are now very popular in 2ch (Japanese forum) and around Twitter.

Blackboard Art

Japanese Blackboard Art

Japanese Blackboard Art

Japanese Blackboard Art

Japanese Blackboard Art

Blackboard Art

Blackboard Art

Japanese Blackboard Art

Japanese Blackboard Art

Japanese Blackboard Art

Source: Kotaku.com

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Steve Jobs Manga

The Kodansha magazine Kiss has started to publish a manga by the mangaka Mari Yamazaki based on the biography of Steve Jobs written by Walter Isaacson. If you haven’t read Isaacson’s book yet maybe reading it in manga form will be a more fun way to understand the life of Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs Manga by Mari Yamazaki

Steve Jobs Manga

Steve Jobs Manga

Steve Jobs Manga

I think that Mari Yamazaki drawing style, known for her excellent work Thermae Romae, is perfect for a biographical manga. In the following video you can see how Mari Yamazaki draws the manga directly with her graphics tablet:

The first 17 pages of the Steve Jobs manga can be read for free at Yahoo Bookstore.

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Malefic Time: Soum – The Photos

“Malefic Time: Soum” is a new manga by Kenny Ruiz based on the universe created by Luis Royo and Romulo Royo and published by Norma Editorial at the beginning of last month. For the release of the manga a video was filmed in digital format that puts together scenarios from the manga drawn by Luis Royo and Romulo Royo and real characters interpreted by live-action actors.

The video also includes art by José Luis Martín that he made using Tokyo photos that I sent him. The photos that I took are not really that great, but what José Luis Martín can get out of them is simply impressive!

Next you can see the original photo and the subsequent retouches/changes by José Luis Martín:

Malefic Time: Soum

Malefic Time: Soum

Malefic Time: Soum

Malefic Time: Soum

Malefic Time: Soum

Malefic Time: Soum

Malefic Time: Soum

Malefic Time: Soum

Malefic Time: Soum

Malefic Time: Soum

Malefic Time: Soum

Malefic Time: Soum

Malefic Time: Soum

Malefic Time: Soum

Malefic Time: Soum

Malefic Time: Soum

Malefic Time: Soum

Malefic Time: Soum

Malefic Time: Soum

Malefic Time: Soum

Malefic Time: Soum

Malefic Time: Soum

Malefic Time: Soum

Malefic Time: Soum

Malefic Time: Soum

Malefic Time: Soum

Malefic Time: Soum

Malefic Time: Soum

Malefic Time: Soum

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Thermae Romae

Thermae Romae (テルマエ・ロマエ) is one of the few manga that I am following at the moment; I read it as soon as new volumes are released. The good thing is that volumes are released months apart from each other, so it’s easy to follow. It started being only a single manga but lately anime adaptations and even a live-action movie have been released.

The main character is Lucius Modestus, a Roman architect that one day finds a thermae in which he can travel through time and appear in an ofuro in present day Japan. The plot plays with the different possibilities that Lucius has by bringing ideas and technologies back to ancient Rome. I love the kind of imagination that the mangaka Mari Yamazaki has and the funny situation that happen in the most appropriate times.

These are some photos of the invasion of merchandising based on the manga and the movie:

Termae Romae
Take a picture of yourself with Lucius body. Using the QR code you can get the first volume for free.

Bath salts
Bath salts

Termae Romae
The movie

Termae Romae

Termae Romae
T-shirts

Manga and books. Termae Romae
Manga volumes and books about the manga.

Termae Romae
Compilation of the 100 best ofuros in Japan according to Lucius.

Termae Romae

The main characters in the movie are played by Aya Ueto and Hiroshi Abe. The movie is not bad but I was hoping more from Aya Ueto :)

Aya Ueto and Hiroshi Abe. Termae Romae

Aya Ueto and Hiroshi Abe. Termae Romae

Aya Ueto and Hiroshi Abe. Termae Romae

Aya Ueto and Hiroshi Abe. Termae Romae

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Osamu Tezuka Sketches Exhibition

The other day I had the chance to visit an exhibition about the father of manga, Osamu Tezuka, in the Setagaya Literary Museum. The exhibition is organized in a chronological way and starts telling us things about the student life of Tezuka.

During the last years of the war, Tezuka Osamu studied medicine in Osaka University. In his class notes Osamu’s drawing skills can already be seen:

Tezuka Osamu

Tezuka Osamu
One of his hobbies was to draw animals in notebooks and write things about them.

Apart from studying medicine, in 1945 a young Tezuka went for the first time to a movie theatre and saw the animation movie Momotaro. He was so impressed with the possibility of creating stories using drawings that he decided to dedicate the rest of his life to draw and write manga.

Just two years after the war, Tezuka started his first work and sold 400,000 copies all of a sudden! It was just the beginning, he drew until he died in 1989, leaving a legacy of more than 700 manga volumes (around 150,000 pages). According to my own calculations he drew an average of 10 pages per day since 1945 until his death.

To achieve that feat he didn’t need iPads nor computers, these were some of the tools that Osamu Tezuka used the most:

Tezuka Osamu

Tezuka Osamu beret
Tezuka liked to use berets. This was one of his favourite berets.

Tezuka Osamu
One of the oldest sketches on the exhibition.

In these sketches it can be seen how Tezuka evolved his “film style”. The reader can quickly flip the pages and see the story flow in front of his eyes:

Tezuka Osamu

Tezuka Osamu

Tezuka Osamu

The rest of the exhibition is divided in sections showing the creating process of some of his most important works like Hi no tori or Adolf. The friendship relationship between Tezuka Osamu and Shinichi Hoshi, a science fiction short story author that had a big influence on Tezuka, is explained. In fact, one the characters of The Amazing 3 is based on Shinichi Hoshi.

Tezuka Osamu

Tezuka Osamu

Tezuka Osamu

Tezuka Osamu

Tezuka Osamu

Tezuka Osamu

Tezuka Osamu

Tezuka Osamu

Tezuka Osamu
The Atom hearth!

Tezuka Osamu

If you like manga and you are coming to Tokyo soon you can come and see the exhibition until June 27th in the Setagaya Literary Museum (closed on Mondays). You can get there walking five minutes from Rokakoen station (Keio line from Shinjuku)

Continue reading: Tezuka Osamu in Takanadobaba.

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Berserk, Golden Age Arc

Berserk is a manga by Kentaro Miura that has been being published since 1989. The art is impressive and the story gets you completely hooked, specially during the first 5-10 volumes. In addition to the art, the fantasy-horror feel and the atmosphere of a particular medieval Europe, the best is the collision of the personalities of the main two characters Guts and Griffith. I like a lot how Kentaro Miura plays with the feelings of the reader as the story is unveiled and you start feeling attached to one character or the other but at the same time you like both of them. I liked it until volumes 12 or 13, after that the story started to lose interest for me.

If you haven’t read it, you should give it a try!, it’s available in English.

Berserk

Berserk

Berserk

Berserk

Berserk

Berserk

During this year a trilogy of Berserk movies called Golden Age Arc are being released on Japanese movie theaters. We were able to enjoy the first movie last February and the second movie will be released next month. In the movie theater I went to see the movie the cafeteria was decorated with Berserk stuff!

Berserk

Berserk

Berserk

Berserk

Berserk

Official website of the Berserk movies

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