Manga Barcelona is the most important event in Barcelona dedicated to manga, anime, cosplay and Japanese culture in general. In addition to the exhibitors who show their products or services in the stands of Fira Barcelona (ranging from those who sell figures of manga characters, to those who offer clothing, through organizers of manga events), Manga Barcelona organizes countless activities: exhibitions, conferences, film screenings (anime and otherwise), presentations of new publications, signings of prominent manga authors, contests, concerts, workshops, martial arts exhibitions and gastronomy among others.
The Manga Barcelona 2023 edition
Despite the uncertainties raised by the changes in the date and place of the 2022 edition, the success was undeniable. That is why, for the 29th edition of Manga Barcelona, the bet on the same space is maintained, although with a reorganization and expansion, in order to incorporate even more activities and allow a greater number of attendees to enjoy them. The great event for fans of manga, anime and Japanese culture will once again take place at the Fira de Barcelona Gran Via.
The utaku culture
Fans of otaku culture will be able to enjoy a proposal that will include cultural activities, as well as the usual stands of publishers, distributors, bookstores, merchandising stores, fanzine area and artist alley.
Musical groups, authors, cosplayers, singers... prominent names of the utaku culture visit Manga Barcelona every year. On stage or sitting at a table, in this edition will be present:
- Anly: singer-songwriter from Okinawa who mixes English and Japanese in her songs, she stood out with "Kara no Kokoro" from Naruto Shippuden. Remix by Matt Cab in 2022 with 2 million views on YouTube. He has contributed to other anime such as Seven Deadly Sins and Boruto.
- Arnaud Dollen: French novelist and screenwriter, he is known for "Les Surnaturels" and for being the creator of the "Cross the Ages" universe.
- Ayumi Miyazaki: versatile Japanese artist known for his contribution to anime and J-Pop music. He has composed hits for various artists and is famous for his role in the Digimon series. He is looking to expand his anime music at international conventions.
- Carles Dalmau: born in 1997 in Tossa de Mar, he dedicated himself to illustration after graduating in Audiovisual and Multimedia. With half a million followers on social networks, he has participated in various projects, including comics, webcomics, video games and cartoons.
- Centimillimental: Atsushi's solo project, a talented Japanese artist who excels in music production, playing piano and guitar. His success includes the opening of Given and other songs for anime. He will perform for the first time in Spain at MANGA Barcelona.
- Diana Tollin: with over 25 years in the Japanese pop culture industry, she has worked in licensing, translation, cosplaying and costume making for prominent companies. She represented the United States at the World Cosplay Summit and was an organizer for WCS USA and entertainment coordinator at Anime Expo. In addition, she has curated cosplay shows and works with World Cosplay Summit on international sponsorship and award opportunities. Currently, she is the Director of Cosplay and Main Events at Holiday Matsuri in Orlando.
- Hisato Murasaki: Japanese manga illustrator known for adapting the hit video game Persona 5 into a manga series in Manga One. He has illustrated comics and novels in his career.
- Madi Rivas: designer and content creator, she has been dedicated to the cultural dissemination of manga and anime since 2015 on platforms such as YouTube, Twitch, TikTok and Instagram, standing out as an influential Spanish-speaking figure in the field. She has also participated in projects with Amazon Prime and Planeta Manga, and is one of the organizers of the Toledo Matsuri event.
- Miriam Bonastre: illustrator born in 1994, she studied at Escola Joso and was part of El Rubius' "Virtual Hero" team. Her work "Hooky" in Webtoon achieved international success, with two volumes published in Spain and the United States. He also collaborates with Planeta Manga magazine and is working on his second Webtoon, "Marionetta".
- Tokyo Genso: Japanese digital illustration artist, known for portraying a futuristic vision of Tokyo. With a large Twitter follower base, he focuses on creating backgrounds for video games and anime. His book "The Art of TOKYO GENSO" shows scenes of Tokyo in a future with abandoned architectural elements but covered in lush nature, fascinating lovers of new realities and Japan.
- Turbo: the Finnish DJ, is the king of Eurobeat with over 450k subscribers on YouTube and 150 million plays. His remixes of popular and anime songs are a global sensation.
- Vicke Blanka: singer-songwriter born in Aichi, Japan, has achieved great success with his songs, such as "Masshiro" and "Ca Va?", which topped charts and were used in commercials. His theme song for the "Black Clover" series is one of his biggest hits, with over 1.7 million monthly listeners on Spotify. He has surpassed 400 million plays on streaming platforms and released successful albums, including "FATE" and "BEST ALBUM SUPERVILLAIN". In addition to his music career, he has dabbled in music production, radio DJing, advertising modeling and eSports broadcasting.
- Yoko Ishida: award-winning singer at the Anime Singer Contest in 1990, she is known for her contributions to anime series, such as Sailor Moon R, and for her music career in the United States with the album "Sweets". She has toured successfully in the U.S. and other parts of the world, and is a public relations ambassador for the Niigata Anime Festival.
- Yosuke Kinoshita: was the producer of "Digimon Adventure tri." and "Digimon Adventure LAST EVOLUTION KIZUNA." In the upcoming movie, "Digimon Adventure 02 The Beginning," he plays a role as an associate producer.
There will be no shortage of cosplay contests, so cosplayers will do well to get ready and put on their best clothes for the competition, or simply to parade in the Cosplay Parade. The K-Pop and Idols contests and Just Sing, the karaoke contest, will also be back. In addition, a new edition of the Otaquiz will be held. In addition, this year's Manga Barcelona will feature the Spanish final of the K-Pop Dance Fight Fest choreography contest. The winners of this competition will represent Spain in the European final scheduled for the end of April 2024 in Naples.
A selection of new releases and anime classics, organized by CineAsia and which has a prize at stake, the Auditorio Manga Barcelona award, which is obtained from the votes of those attending the screenings. The Auditorio Manga Barcelona will present the latest Detective Conan film, "Black Iron Submarine", in a version dubbed into Catalan, as well as "Utena, the Revolutionary Girl: Teenage Apocalypse". Also included will be the 2013 film, "Captain Harlock: Space Pirate," in a tribute to Leiji Matsumoto, who passed away in February. In addition, 35 years of "My Neighbor Totoro" will be celebrated with an exhibition called "My Neighbor Totoro. 35 Visions: Homage to the Japanese animation classic," featuring 35 works by national artists inspired by the iconic character Totoro.
This year you will be able to see 4 exhibitions:
- 35 years of Totoro: tribute to the Japanese animation classic to celebrate the 35th anniversary of this iconic anime film. Several illustrators have contributed their interpretation of the film and the iconic character Totoro.
- Expocon: in the sports section, totems decorated with characters from sports manga will introduce the Japanese sports culture, highlighting stories of self-improvement and friendship. Sports represented in manga are exhibited, and there is a Manga Sport area to practice them.
- Itadakimanga: at Manga Barcelona 2023, there will be a gastronomic exhibition highlighting popular manga dishes, such as ramen, okonomiyaki, dorayakis and mochis, complementing the activities of the Nihon Ryori section and the Japanese restaurants on site.
- Manga Kids Academy: The Expo: this exhibit explores the representation of Japanese schools in manga and anime, highlighting details such as school stages, uniforms and typical foods. It offers an engaging visual experience with options for all ages, and in 2023 a section on school clubs, common in sports manga, will be added.
In the Japanese gastronomy space, Nihon Ryori, the workshops and showcookings of Roger Ortuño of Comerjapones.com await you, where you will learn (and taste) the secrets of Japanese cuisine. Note that there will also be Japanese restaurants and outdoor food trucks.
Workshops to learn the basics of the Japanese language (spoken and written) and to make Japanese handicrafts.
A space designed for children from 5 to 12 years old where they can participate in a workshop to create manga and craft workshops, paint the face of their favorite character, exercise with sports and read in the Mangateca.
Proposals to enjoy sports and the Budo Experience section, with martial arts demonstrations and workshops. Baseball and sumo are some of the novelties presented in the space, but there are more.
The Manga Academy room hosts lectures, panel discussions and other talks dealing with the otaku world's favorite topics. It is also a meeting place for authors and their fans.
Fashion, cinema, society, music and literature are essential elements that make up Cool Japan, a space that immerses you in the most attractive aspects of Japanese pop culture.
This new edition will feature the usual Manga Barcelona Awards ceremony, which recognizes the best manga and anime works in different categories published in Spain during the last year. This year, two novelties are presented with the inclusion of the categories of Best Manga in Catalan and Best Anime in Catalan.