The work of the creator japanese Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989) is known by quite a few spaniards, although their name probably do not associate with the popular comic book characters that you created. The entertainer asia is the father, among other characters, Astro Boy, this manga in which an android with the form of a child, eyes bulging and hair with two crests, the fight against crime and injustices, with him super human abilities such as superspeed, the instant translation and his high iq, able to know the intentions and the degree of goodness of a person. The prestige of this author is such that, in the land of the rising sun is known with the nickname of “manga no kamisama” (“god of manga”). What no one disputes is that the draftsman took the japanese comics to live as a turning point and that his work influenced the creators of your country that came after. He dedicated the Museu Nacional d’art de Catalunya (MNAC) the first exposure to the sleeve in which you can see 200 original drawings of yours. The sample, which has been inaugurated this Thursday in the Catalan capital, is one of the betting highlights of the issue 25 of the Sleeve Barcelona (old Salón del Manga), which will continue beyond the conclusion of this lounge, and can be visited until the 6th of January.

“Remember that mangas are read from right to left,” reads an educational poster at the entrance of the exhibition, which informs about how to understand the drawings that are exposed; something almost obvious to the majority of people who visit the living room and the shows in the next few days. But the well-known character of Tezuka is not only in the MNAC. The sample is divided into seven sections that span from the birth of the sleeve contemporary, through the vignettes of Tezuka, until the innovation in the art and in the narrative through some of his works such as Kimba, the white lion, Princess knight and Black Jack, among many others.

A visitor runs through the exhibition that the National Museum of Art of Catalonia (MNAC), dedicated to Osamu Tezuka, the pioneer of japanese animation. Alejandro Garcia (EFE).

In just 200 square metres, the visitor delves into the rich universe of the creator is japanese. The most comic, in black-and-white, present their characters, elastic as if made of latex, which seem not to be able to be never still; but it also shows the world that thrives Tezuka and help them to understand their thinking and the japanese culture. The sample goes through the different stages of the artist, his first steps, the universe of characters that drift in the creation of a “star system” of the sleeve in which Kimba, the alien W3, Zero Man Ricky and the own Astro Boy does not struggle against evil characters, but against society as oppressive of their time. Under the appearance of monsters and genii of evil, and giant robots are the discrimination, the misunderstanding and the crimes that lead people to war.

The exhibition shows like Tezuka, under the influence of Walt Disney, revolutionized the manga animated, making it the exponent of the first weekly series of animation and the first series in color of your country, in the decade of the sixties, who would end up conquering half the world.

The few works in colour that made the creator are located at the end of the tour, and are related to adult themes and violent scenes. But at the end of this kind of labyrinth without exit, there’s a prize: a figure of plastic, half a metre of the height of the Astro Boy greets us with his right fist high, and leaves us to get a photo with him for remembrance.

The sample produced by Ficomic, in conjunction with the MNAC, Tezuka Productions, and the Festival of the Bande Desineè of Angoulême. The presentation of the exhibition, attended by the son of the cartoonist, film-maker Macoto Tezka, who has expressed his joy at the result: “My father used to say that the manga you can enjoy and do affect people of any country, race, religion. I would be happy with this exposure. His dream is fulfilled,” he said, accompanied by a delegation of the Japan Foundation.

The president of Ficomic, Patrici Tixis, thanked the museum for the opportunity to develop this project, curated by Stéphane Beaujean, who has qualified as a “representation of the effort and commitment that the city has with the comic and the manga”. The director of the Sleeved Barcelona, Meritxell Puig, has secured, for its part, is “the first time you see something like that in Spain” with the work of Tezuka. “Through the work that has been done the commissioner may enter your world to know how she thought, from their characters and stories,” he said. The exhibition has a cost of five euros. However, until Sunday, and presenting the entry of the Sleeve Barcelona, it will cost three euros to the visitors.

25th anniversary

This year, Manga Barcelona —the new name of the Salon Manga Barcelona—, celebrates 25 years and this anniversary arrives with more guests, more square metres (85,000 to 87.000) and more activities than ever before. The party around the japanese culture will be invited as the artist Atsushi Ohkubo, known for his work on the manga Soul Eater, the director asia of the movie the Ring, Hideo Nakata, and the producer of the anime tv One Piece, Hiroki Koyama, among others.

Osamu Tezuka, the god of the manga is one of the highlights of the show this year, whose budget amounted to 1.5 million euros. The festival has the support of the Barcelona city Council, the consulate general of Japan in the Catalan capital, and entities such as the Japan Foundation, Carnet Jove and the Escola Joso.

The event, which was also opened this Wednesday, will keep its doors open at the Fira de Barcelona until Sunday, with the intention for the organizers not to have peaked and to overcome the 150,000 attendees of the previous edition. Before opening its doors already had formed large queues of fans, many otakus dressed as their favorite characters.


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