October 7, 2006

Shoujo Manga Exhibit.

On Wednesday I went on over to The Japan Foundation here in Toronto to check out their exhibit on Shoujo Manga. I had hoped to go see it with some company, but in all the chaos that just couldn’t work out, so I went all on my lonesome. I’m glad that I did though, because it was a very cool experience. They had original manga pages on display, where you could see the pencil marks, the texture of the paper, and even spots covered up with correction fluid. And there were also plenty of full colour illustrations there, which were incredible to see in person like that. The richness of the paint and the vibrant colours needed to be seen to be believed, and there were some really awesome pieces of artwork. I gained a new appreciation for those drawings and paintings after being able to see them up close like that.

My favorite part of the exhibit was definitely the very beginning. Nothing that explores the history of any facet of anime or manga would be complete without the works of Osamu Tezuka, and this exhibit on Shoujo Manga did not disappoint in that regard. I gasped a little bit when I saw the original manga pages from Ribbon no Kishi that hung on the wall there. It was a pretty special moment for me to be that close to something so historically important. There were also works from other pioneers that I admire, such as Leiji Matsumoto and Shotaro Ishinomori. As the exhibit progressed chronologically, it delved into popular and important series such as The Rose of Versailles and the works of CLAMP. There wasn’t really anything that I could find about Sailor Moon though, which I think was a glaring admission, but otherwise it was fairly in depth with lots of artwork to look at.

Now, at this point I’d recommend that you go see it if you’re in the area, but I can’t do that anymore because the day that I went was the last day. Too bad. But I really enjoyed it, and the Japan Foundation is a very cool place, so I’ll be keeping my eye out for other interesting things going on there.



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