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Kumamoto Manga Fes. & Manga Camp THE REPORT – Day 1

Enrico Croce Enrico Croce 28/09/2018 8 min read

Hello Silent Manga Community!!

You wouldn’t be blamed for wondering where your favorite publisher disappeared to! With little to no articles and limited updates, the SMAC! SNS channels were mysteriously quiet over the last couple of weeks. The reason? Well, the KUMAMOTO INTERNATIONAL MANGA FESTIVAL & MANGA CAMP of course!

Over the next 6 weeks, we will entertain you with all that happened during this pioneering event! From the grandeur of the world’s first INTERNATIONAL MANGA SUMMIT to highjacks in a rainswept Tokyo, this year’s event was as spectacular as it was vital to the future of manga.

MANGA FESTIVAL – Arrival of the winners

But what is the KUMAMOTO INTERNATIONAL MANGA FESTIVAL? Taking place within the breathtaking embrace of Kumamoto, on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu, the Manga Festival brings together the world’s best manga talent (not to mention SMAC! Master Class members) to exhibit their work for the enjoyment and delight of the people of this beautiful land. 

On September 13th, 2018, amongst the hustle and bustle of Fukuoka International Airport, the SMAC! Editorial Team awaited 8 weary travelers. One by one, the Kumamoto Manga Festival award winners arrived in Japan from every corner of the globe, including Portugal ( Luis Eloi ), Spain ( Kenkyo Studio ), Vietnam ( Zevania & NattorinJeet Zdung ), Italy ( Massimo Dall’Oglio ) and Brazil ( Ichirou ).

Once greeted, the award winners were then whisked off on a city tour of Fukuoka, to be astounded by traditional sweets, giant manga statues and an obligatory trip to manga and anime store Animate. The tiredness of travel was soon forgotten amongst this feast of Otaku delights!

The brothers Kenkyo Studio, overcome with emotion to be finally in Japan were treated to a quick bite, an infusion of coffee and a long awaited tour of their first Japanese city.

Jeet, always a bundle of energy was now on his third trip to Japan with SMAC! But you would be forgiven for thinking it was his first time by watching him zip from one store to the next with infectious excitement! One highlight of the day for all members, including the Vietnamese dynamo, was meeting this huge, life-sized Kinnikuman (ULTIMATE MUSCLE)! Just look at their happy faces!

P.S. Shimizu-san, our web-master, has always been a big fan of the series and specifically requested to have his picture taken close to his beloved intergalactic wrestler! KAWAII!

Not two hours after their first Japanese meal, the award winning Master Class members discovered an unusual delicacy invented in Japan… matcha ice cream (green tea)! Obviously our talented WASAMON’S could not miss out on the chance to trying something new and devoured the ice-cream with delightful abandon (WASAMON in Kumamoto dialect means “adventurer” or “person loving the new”).

So here they are, Kenkyo Studio (x2) and Jeet intent on eating their matcha ice cream. It looks so good…!  

We couldn’t visit the beautiful pagoda of Tochoji temple in Fukuoka without invoking everyone’s favorite martial arts movie, The Karate Kid! If you happen to visit this sacred site, make sure to experience the impressively large Buddha statue. Due to it’s holy significance, photographs aren’t permitted, but take a look HERE, for more info and official pics!

A quick stop at the tranquil Shinto Shrine, Dazaifu Tenmangu was in order before we all settled down for our first group meal.

Yokai Hunter Brendan, meets a new friend within the shrine grounds. A possible subject for his next exciting installment of Weekend Yokai Hunter perhaps??

The day is coming to a close and the group of international manga creators and editors gather around a table full of Japanese food, to eat together and share the memories of the day.

This is the best time to talk about creating manga, exchanging ideas and discuss what to expect from the Master Class project, along with talk about what awaits us in the Manga Festival and Camp. KANPAI!

Well fed, both on Japanese culture and Japanese food, the award winners finally succumb to their travels and their whirlwind tour, and bid us all a well earned “goodnight”. After all, with what’s planned for DAY 2, they will need the rest!

Hey, you said there would be 8 guests but I only count 6 …!

Oh, Penmaru, you’re right! Here is a photo of Massimo, with Ichirou the following day. Look how excited they are… this can only mean one thing: THE KUMAMOTO MANGA FESTIVAL AWARD!

See you next time for the DAY 2…

Kumamoto Manga Fes. & Manga Camp 2018 THE REPORT

“Day 1 : Arrival of the Winners”
“Day 2 : International Manga Festival”
“Day 3 : MC2018 Award Ceremony”
“Day 4 : Kumamoto International Manga CAMP”
“Day 5 : The last day of the Manga CAMP”
“Next stop... Tokyo then homeward bound”
Enrico Croce

Enrico Croce