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KYOTO

Manga fans to gather in Kyoto for annual fair

by Magdalena Osumi

Staff Writer

Kyoto is well-known for temples, geisha and other pieces of Japan’s past. This weekend, though, the city will be abuzz with the country’s present treasured artifacts.

The annual Kyoto International Manga Anime Fair (also known as KYOMAF) will be held Sept. 7 and 8 at various venues in the city, including the Kyoto International Manga Museum and Miyako Messe. The aim of the event is primarily business: Organizers hope young animators will be able to find companies to work for.

However, it also aims to entertain visitors are welcome to explore the worlds of manga and anime, which have both become the centerpiece of the government’s “Cool Japan” initiative.

Around 56 publishers and producers will show their work at the event and there will be character-related content and merchandise available at artist booths in the Kyoto International Exhibition Hall. One such character is the titular one of “Magical Girl Madoka of the Magus.” That series has seen its popularity rise in overseas markets recently. Yuki Aoi, who voiced the character in the series’ film version, will appear as the special guest at a chat show about the film “Rebellion,” which is the last chapter of a trilogy of the anime to be released next month.

In addition, dozens of booths with related goods will offer new or limited-edition products designed specifically for the event. There will also be food and drinks for sale at some of the booths.

During the weekend, “Ballet Manga” and other exhibitions are set to take place in Kyoto. Expect many fans to dress up as their favorite characters throughout the weekend.

The Kyoto International Manga Anime Fair will take place Sept. 7 (9 a.m. till 5 p.m.) and Sept. 8 (9 a.m. till 4 p.m.) at Kyoto International Manga Museum, Kyoto International Exhibition Hall, Miyako Messe and other venues in Kyoto. Standard tickets cost ¥1,000 for adult Japanese nationals. Elementary school students and younger children and non-Japanese will be able to enter the main stage for free. For more information, visit www.kyomaf.jp.