Manga are Japanese comics that come in various genres such as comedy, sports, history, drama, action, adventure, romance, horror, fantasy and science fiction. They are a form of entertainment that started in the late 1800s and have gained popularity through the decades.
In Japan, reading manga transcends age and gender and it is common to see adults in business suits, commuting on the subways or trains, reading manga to pass the time.
During recent years, the manga following outside of Japan has expanded significantly and, to cater to fans around the world, many popular manga have been translated into English, French, Spanish and other languages.
Usually, when a manga series garners a huge following, it is adapted into an anime or a Japanese cartoon series. Some notable examples are Sailor Moon, One Piece, Dragonball, and Pokemon.
There are several manga and anime events held in Japan every year. These may be special exhibitions, manga fairs, cosplay conventions, musicals and plays, and many more. Three of the biggest are:
- Comiket – Held twice a year (in August and December) at Tokyo Big Sight in Tokyo, this is the largest event for self-published works in Japan.
- AnimeJapan – Launched in 2014, this is an anime and manga fair also held at Tokyo Big Sight.
- Jump Festa – Inaugurated in 1999 and sponsored by Jump creators, Shueisha, this event has become a yearly tradition for the manga and anime loving crowd. Over the last five years, it has been held at the Makuhari Messe in Tokyo.
J-World Tokyo – An indoor theme park at the Sunshine City Plaza in Ikebukuro, J-World Tokyo has rides and games based on popular Jump manga series such as One Piece, Gintama, Kuroko no Basuke, and Haikyuu.
One Piece Tower – Based on the long-running and well-loved manga, One Piece, the One Piece Tower is located inside the Foot Town building at the Tokyo Tower.
Gundam Front Tokyo – Highlighted by a life-sized Gundam in front of the building, the Gundam Front Tokyo in Odaiba has numerous Gundam-themed attractions and sells a range of Gundam merchandise.
Ghibli Museum – A museum dedicated to Studio Ghibli’s films, the Ghibli Museum features exhibits and attractions based on characters from Spirited Away, Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, and their other works.
Kyoto International Manga Museum – Inaugurated in 2006, the Kyoto International Manga Museum is home to a wide collection of Japan’s best manga series, from several decades ago up to the present. It consists of four levels, all of which contains shelves and shelves of manga, and an outdoor garden where people can hang out and read.
Akihabara – Originally known for its wide array of electronic shops, Akihabara has become the country’s otaku hub in the last few years. In addition to stores that sell various types of gadgets, it also has maid cafes, and several stores and establishments that offer manga and anime merchandise.
Ikebukuro – One of the busiest districts in Tokyo, Ikebukuro provides a large selection of shopping, dining and entertainment options. It is home to many anime and manga related shops such as Mandarake and Animate, and has also become a popular destination for manga and anime fans.
Nakano Broadway – Located close to Nakano Station, Nakano Broadway is a large shopping complex that caters to manga and anime enthusiasts. It is the place to go if looking for action figures, video games, game consoles, manga, cosplay materials, or other similar merchandise.