This is happening this weekend.
Supported by the Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and 10 Manga Publishers, this event will have 3 components:
15 Feb (Mandarin Orchard)
- lecture meetings from 2 pm to 6 pm
- forum/business matching from 6 pm
16 Feb (Kinokuniya, Ngee Ann City)
- autograph sessions with 3 popular manga artists from 1 pm to 5.30 pm
- special session with Hiroyuki Ito (Final Fantasy) moderated by Danny Choo from 5.30 pm. I expect this to be the popular event.
16 - 17 Feb (Arts House)
- manga exhibition
The 3 managka looks interesting. Yaro Abe's Shinya Shokudo is very popular among female adults in HK, Taiwan and Japan. It's a food manga.
Masayuki Ishikawa's Tales of Agriculture is food related too. The artist won the Tezuka award in 2008. 2 volumes of the manga has been translated into English and published by Del Rey Manga. There is also an anime series.
Mine Yoshizaki's Sgt Frog' sounds like a lot of fun with its frogs as alien invaders storyline. The frogs have delusions of being Gundam. There is an anime and Tokyopop used to release the English editions in the US.
CoFesta (Japan International Contents Festival) is also involved. Set up in 2007, CoFesta is an initiative to promote Japanese content abroad. The Tokyo International Film Festival is one of its events. Since last year, CoFesta started its Student Ambassador Programme - getting international students to promote Japanese content in their country and the rest of the world. This is part of the Cool Japan Strategy.
Some details here:
I've been asked to be part of a public forum to talk about manga together with 3 other Singaporean students. We are the 'opening act' for the autograph sessions, between 12 pm to 1 pm at Kinokuniya on 16 Feb.
While it'd be interesting to hear the views of young Singaporeans on the influence of J-pop on local culture, I wish there could be interaction between local artists and the 3 mangaka. Maybe that will happen. After all, one shouldn't just absorb and consume. But it is to learn, transform and create our own content that is important.