The Saló del Manga starts this Friday without Japanese guests

The 27th edition of the Manga Barcelona show will open its doors at the Fira de Barcelona this Friday 29th and will close on Monday 1st November, with many changes. This is its first in-person edition in a pandemic: the spaces have been reduced (one less pavilion in Montjuïc), the number of exhibitors (80% of the usual ones), capacity control measures have been established in an appointment that was characterized due to its overcrowding (with traditional long queues at the entrance and accumulations of people inside) and, above all, there will be no Japanese authors in Barcelona, ​​we will have to settle for those who participate in acts by videoconference.

Tickets are sold out. However, the problems that caused the saturation of the servers (due to the accumulation of people who wanted to buy them, up to 15,000 at a time, which collapsed the service) and the fact that this time the exhibitors have bought fewer seats for them and his guests who usually make that tomorrow Tuesday or, at the most, Wednesday, “a small remnant” of tickets will be released, which will be put on sale online (this year, it will not be sold at the box office).

Manga is a genre that has increased its sales around the world during the pandemic. The quarantine that Japan imposes on those who travel abroad on their return to the country makes publishers advise against their authors to attend events such as Barcelona, ​​since, on the one hand, the solitary confinement prevents the group work of the cartoonists and, on the other hand, “a negative image of the authors is projected, in a country that is in a worse moment in terms of infections and vaccination than we are,” said Oriol Estrada, coordinator of activities, who presented the program together with the salon director, Meritxell Puig.

Manga Barcelona will occupy a total of 70,000 square meters in the Fira site on Maria Cristina Avenue, next to Plaza Espanya, which is 8,000 less than in 2019, since Hall 4 has been lost, where it is now taking place vaccination against Covid. Casa Seat, at the intersection of Passeig de Gràcia and Diagonal, is incorporated with some activities.

The appointment will be an occasion to deepen in the current state of the local creators. For example, the Catalans Carles Dalmau, Drawill, Eric Cuaresma (Kalathras), Laia López or Wade Otaku, Kenny Ruiz from Alicante, Jimi Macías from Andalusia or Jorge Arranz from Madrid, among others. There will also be performances by the singer Ruki, the first Spanish of the genre anisong debuting on a Japanese record label, a Victormame label, or a performance by the cosplayer Geheiochu.

The movie theater -for which tickets are sold separately- offers, as its main attraction Belle, the version of Beauty and the Beast in internet times directed by anime master Mamoru Hosoda, which was already seen at the last Sitges Festival, where the filmmaker received the Grand Honorary Prize of the contest. They will also be screened Hug!, The Deer King or the series Tokyo Revengers, among other. The entire program is also available on Filmin for 10.95 euros.

Connections with Japan will be virtual. On Friday, there will be one with the Tokiwaso Museum, in Tokyo, a place created in the image and likeness of the famous apartment building, demolished in 1982, where several lived in the 1950s and 1960s. mangakas who revolutionized the genre, among them Osamu Tezuka, Hiroo Terada, Fujio Fujiko, Shotaro Ishinomori, Fujio Akatsuka or Mizuno Hideko. Kohinata Marco will also be interviewed by video call.

The nostalgic will find round tables, screenings and workshops on Oliver & Benji, the movies Paprika O Spirited Away and even a talk about the channel 3XL. Manga aimed at women will be discussed and, among the activities, everything: saber fighting, Japanese cuisine, Japanese courses, various workshops (including making peas), an exhibition on previous editions of the show and, of course , cosplays, concerts, choreographies …