This was one hell of a popular exhibition.
Initial plan was to go straight to this after going to Japan House‘s exhibition. After queueing up to enter the British Museum – we were welcomed to the news that EVERY time slot was fully booked that day.
Booking in advance is always a smart move.
We entered to be greeted by Alice but with a Japanese twist. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is well-renowned as a literary classic 1865 novel by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.
An excellent way to open up the journey to the world of manga for those who are not overly familiar with the medium. Starting with an internationally recognised figure created by an English author to empathises the aim of the Japan-UK Season of Culture 2019 – 2020.
The “Japan-UK Season of Culture” will unfold in 2019 and 2020, when Japan hosts two sporting landmarks: the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020. It seeks to build on the British people’s keen interest in these events by showcasing Japan’s multifaceted attractions.
This exhibition was well thought-out of and rather truthful their representation of this art. Displaying catalogues from Comiket, the biggest biannual dōjinshi fair, in Tokyo with no shame at all. In basic terms is a LOT of independently published manga most of which are fanfic of pre-existing works with some containing mature content. *skips to the back of the catalogue*
They obviously had to showcase iconic works both new and old. From Dragon Ball Z & Sailor Moon to One Piece & Naruto. All great gateways into anime or manga.
The highlight for me was the manga bookstore replica that I would have spent hours indulging in if I wasn’t running to another exhibition afterwards. I was jealous of those who grabbed a book, sat on the floor and started reading.
There were obviously aspects of manga that the omitted such as the consistent panty shots of ecchi along with the extreme sides of hentai, gore and horror. All of which would be intimidating even for the hardest veterans. It was certainly lacking in the yuri and yaoi department too.
Regardless, I would do anything to take a more leisurely exploration of this exhibition but it has definitely reminded me why I fell in love with manga in the first place.
This flourishing exhibition granted me some solace after news of the KyoAni fire.