Sunday, December 5, eleven o’clock in the morning. The drafting of Ramen For Two is personalized in the X Festival of Asian Culture and Digital Leisure of Sevilla. Again, we have the weather conditions against us. This time, it is because the rook is flying low to the ground.
The first thing we perceive when we arrive at the festival is the increased number of attendees. The regulations have changed with respect to the summer edition, expanding the capacity for the joy and enjoyment of visitors. The queue to enter is a good sign: there will be atmosphere. After a few minutes, we went through the entrance, got our badges and started the coverage.
Unlike in the Summer Edition, we do not have time to attend everything we would like. There are talks that take place alongside other events and, given the limited staff, we have to content ourselves with sharing the opening bars of each event with you. The organization has tried to prime the schedule, managing to offer entertainment for all kinds of audiences.
For example, those interested in understanding the ins and outs of Asian culture could attend the different lectures given by AGEPEA, an association made up of graduates, specialists and professionals on the subject. There was no shortage of popularizers of the stature ofSleeves and other Vignettes, who made a necessary talk about the representation of mental illness in manga and anime, or the influence Armand, who took the stage to explain the origin and development of lolita fashion. The youtuber and popularizer Kalathras He also made an appearance, although as an author to promote and sign copies of his new work Spacedrum.
There was also available to attendees endless recreational activities: workshops, contests, board games, sections of arcade machines and virtual reality, tents for soft combat And a long etcetera. Best Way Group, the company behind Mangafest, was fully aware of the density of attendees and has come prepared as far as proposals are concerned. I wish I had paid the same attention to the human factor. The strict sanitary regulations at the entrance are left in a blur when there are no workers to ensure the safety distance in queues and activities. I say workers and not volunteers, who were the most sacrificed during these three days. Working incessantly for over twelve hours in exchange for little more than a snack. A recurring letter in the company’s moves that is based on a legal vacuum to lower costs. But hey, what else can I add? It’s an open secret since that sour 2014 edition, where staff were (obviously) untrained to prevent an avalanche of more than 2,000 people.
Anyway, this is a chronicle, not a protest article, so let’s get back to the issue at hand. In case it has not been clear from its sales and various news that we have been publishing, Tokyo Revengers has swept away. We have been able to see it first-hand at the stand of Editorial Standard, which, after exhausting its stock daily, was provisioned to re-sell until the last copy. Furthermore, in a tweet that we published during the event we wrote the following: “We do not know if the Toman will manage to take control of Japan, but for the moment it has already conquered the Mangafest”. Well, it was practically literal. Wherever you lay your gaze, there was cosplayers, merchandising, fans going from here to there in T-shirts or carrying a black backpack with the famous sauastika on their backs. The enthusiasm and love that his fanbase It is a near-unprecedented event in pop culture.
We not only encountered gang members, we also ran into food enthusiasts. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean that were transformed into Jolyne to celebrate their arrival at the platform Netflix, or with the inexhaustible staff of Haikyū !!, which continues to demonstrate what the cool reference.
Music also had a capital importance during the contest. The artist Elesky He delighted us with concerts for two consecutive days. His scores, humor and piano skills revitalized us after hours of constant hustle and bustle. The audience was moved and applauded euphoric thanks to an excellent performance of acquaintances openings and soundtracks that managed to fill the room with delicious nostalgia. Not only that, we were also able to attend the group’s debut idol Doki Para, who managed to overcome their nerves and put on a show worthy of their excessive enthusiasm.
Regarding the stands, we have to praise the variety and competition that they offered. The artisan stalls managed to catch up, without much difficulty, to the most corporate offers; demonstrating that products born of ingenuity, affection and pampering can match, and even surpass, those born of manufacturing. Compared to the Summer Edition, were distributed by the pavilions appropriately, ranking according to the products they had for sale.
Let’s move on to the stands belonging to individuals. Although the figures on display once again made their provenance clear, at least they sought informational posters that made their nature explicit. That is, they warned that you were buying an imitation. An act that, we deduce that it derives from problems that occurred in previous events, we have to applaud for its sincerity. Special mention for Gunpla Loompa, a modeling and model shop from Alicante that made the show in August, September and practically every month of the year, quickly becoming one of the favorite establishments among visitors.
Finally, we will refer to the restoration catalog. Ignoring the exorbitant prices, We confirmed that the quality and diversity among the foods was remarkable. Just as we criticized last summer for a lack of proposals that led to long queues, this time we can only applaud and congratulate. Of course, at lunchtime the corridors continued to collapse due to the crowds, we imagine that there were not many alternatives because of the release of the capacity.
And … it would be, that would be the total balance of the coverage. Before closing I would like to thank those responsible for the positions and cosplayers, for their kindness and enthusiasm when collaborating by taking photographs or videos.
During these days, I attended with a colleague from outside this world who said the following: “It is different, of course. But what really makes it special are the people. All the people with cosplays and organizing activities to have fun and for others to have fun. That is what makes it unique ”. Years have passed since the companies snatched the Sevillian manga salons from the associations, but their passion for Japanese culture continues to show at every event they attend. Thank you for making these events so special, even entertaining those who are completely foreign. For many more years, companions.