Hello, I am Kawasaki, otaku writer for Manga.Tokyo!
I visited the Kyoto International Manga Anime Fair (Kyomaf) 2016 on September 18. It is one of the biggest anime and manga events in the Kansai region. I’ve always wanted to visit, but never had the chance before. Since it was my first time at Kyomaf, I wanted to share the excitement with all of you!
The Special Stage is the main attraction. I visited the events for Blue Exorcist, The Eccentric Family, and the special announcement event for the establishment of the Incorporated nonprofit organization(NPO) 若年層のアニメ制作者を応援する会/AEYAC. The Special Stage is very popular and every single event was filled to capacity.
Here, I learned various behind the scene stories from anime VAs and their passions towards each work.
[Kyomaf2016] Blue Exorcist Main Stage Show with Nobuhiko Okamoto
Main stage events are highly recommended as you can usually hear many insider stories by popular VAs and members of the staff.
On the third floor of the building, there were anime exhibition booths and illustration-related companies and schools. You could see key frames used in animations, production references, and collaborated art works by anime and Kyoto’s traditional handicrafts. You could also take photos with life-sized anime character panels.
You could also buy various merchandise, some of them unique to the event. This time at Kyomaf, the merchandise of Black Butler were the most popular and almost all items were sold out.
I saw several interactive booths. One of them, was the Ghost In the Shell virtual reality experience by Production I.G.. It was especially popular and their numbered tickets were almost always gone. You can read more about it here.
Key Frame Exhibition
They was a key frame exhibition of Hozuki’s Coolheadedness. At key frame exhibitions, you can enjoy the way frames are painted and colored up close in a way that is not evident in the final manga or anime.
金色の闇(To Loveる -とらぶる-) @ ひかみるな
Kyomaf has a special area for cosplayers. This Cosplay Area was crowded with various cosplayers and photographers! Because of the location of the event, many cosplayers were dressing up as characters from Kyoto-related shows like Touken Ranbu and Hakuouki.
Kyomaf: Special Cosplay Report
Dagashikashi Exhibition Kyoto branch
Kyoto International Manga Museum served as the secondary venue. They hosted an exhibition on Dagashikashi, a popular comedy manga series about Japanese candies and snacks. They displayed replicas of manga manuscripts and colored artwork used for covers, as well as real snacks and candies that appeared in manga series. These snacks and candies are generally very familiar to Japanese people, and the exhibition served as a reminder of their their history.
Special interviews with Visitors
To take advantage of this opportunity, I decided to interview some of the visitors. There were many overseas visitors as well!
A French couple
Where did you come from? How did you get to know of this event?
Woman ‘I came here from France as a tourist. While I was traveling in Tokyo, an acquaintance of mine told me about this anime event in Kyoto. So, I got on Shinkansen train right away to come.’
How did you like it? Tell me what you thought.
Woman ‘I’ve been to Japan Expo in France, but this is different and stimulating. The atmosphere is completely different. It was fun to see many different anime that I didn’t know, too. I would like to come back again.’
A Bolivian couple
I saw you making a tin badge.
Man ‘I didn’t know I could experience this. It was fun to make my own tin badge in a short time. It made me want to visit more booths.’
Awesome! Did you know about this event beforehand?
Woman ‘No, we didn’t know anything about it. We arrived in Kyoto last night, and we learned about it when we were looking for where to spend the night. I haven’t watched many anime or manga, but it’s still fun. I ran into many different technologies.’
Circle friends in their 20s.
Do you often visit events like this?
Woman ‘No, this is my first time.’
Man ‘I’ve visited several times, but it’s my first time to visit Kyomaf.’
What is your main purpose today?
Man ‘Kinpuri (King of Prism) for me. There are some merchandise only available here, so I came here to buy them. I did manage to buy what I wanted, so I’m happy.’
A British man
How did you get to know of this event?
Man ‘I used to live in Japan, and I’ve visited one before.’
Oh, I see! Have you found anything you wanted or any new discoveries?
Man ‘It’s always fun to learn the latest anime information and to encounter shows barely known in my country. It’s also great that I can examine the merchandise myself before purchasing.’
After visiting Kyomaf
There seemed to be many visitors from overseas, as well as from different places in Japan. It was my first time visiting such a big event, but it really made me want to go to another one really soon. The best part about it is that you get to learn so many new things and you can actually get to meet the people involved in the anime production. It’s also great that there are many limited-time projects and items like unique merchandise and collaboration cafes.
Kyomaf Official Site: http://kyomaf.kyoto/en/