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Immersing Yourself in Japanese Anime & Comics

An Invitation to an 'Otaku' Tour

The presentation of Japanese culture at the 1867 World Expo in Paris gave rise to 'Japonism' in Europe, a kind of boom for all things Japanese. In particular, 'ukiyo-e' paintings of Japan exerted a great influence on Impressionist painters. And now, in the 21st century, worldwide attention is drawn to our anime and comics, which could be seen as the contemporary version of ukiyo-e.

Japanese comics, which developed differently from American comics and French bandes dessinees, are a form of entertainment enjoyed extensively by children and adults alike, and both men and women. The comics cover a wide range of themes, from sports, school life, SF & fantasy, romance, business, war, and even social issues, and the manga artists now hold the same status as other writers. The Japanese animation or 'anime' industry has also developed, keeping pace with our comic culture. It has continuously produced more refined stories dealing with profound themes and has improved their unique presentation and graphic techniques, on a low budget. 'Candy Candy' and 'UFO Robo Grendizer', which are well known among the Japanese, are also very popular abroad. Some works were a great hit overseas without even being known as 'made in Japan'. But today, works by Studio Ghibli as well as 'Pocket Monster' and 'Dragon Ball' not only earn high praise as 'Japanese anime', but also exert considerable influence on Hollywood movies.

At the same time, when discussing the contemporary anime & comic culture of Japan, we cannot overlook the existence of the obsessed fans known as 'Otaku'. Having an exhaustive knowledge about their favorite works, and always searching for related products, these 'Otaku' support the anime & comic industry as consumers / harsh critics. Just as 'wabi' and 'sabi' became key words for understanding Japanese culture, the term'moe', which refers to the enthusiasm of the 'Otaku', has become a major key word for describing unique Japanese sentiment and taste.

Here, we are pleased to introduce places to visit where you can immerse yourself in the world of Japanese anime & comics, as well as stores where you can buy related items.


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