Manga Barcelona 2020

In collaboration with Manga Barcelona 2020

Manga Barcelona, Spain's largest manga festival, was held this year as an online-only "Limited Edition."
We have opened a special site on October 29 (Thursday), "Manga, diversidad e inclusión" (Manga, diversity and inclusion).

Barcelona-based manga researcher and translator Marc BERNABÉ is the project director for this special site which introduced six titles that display the diversity of Japanese manga with a focus on a special exhibition of TSURUTANI Kaori's "Metamorphose no engawa (BL Metamorphosis)", winner of the Manga Division New Face Award at the 22nd Japan Media Arts Festival. Q&A sessions and live drawings with popular manga artists whose work is featured in the exhibit was also held as online events.

Curatorial Theme: ”Manga, diversity and inclusion”

Diversity and inclusion have been key issues in the West for some years now. Race, gender, class, sexuality; they must be tackled to provide true equality for everyone. Even though there is a long way ahead, significant steps have been taken in the past few decades. Look at the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s, and of course the still-raging Black Lives Matter movement. Or how feminism advanced from the suffragettes to the #MeToo movement. Also, the modern gay liberation movement started in the 1970s in the United States, with protests and social pressure achieving huge achievements on LGBTI+ recognition and inclusion.

In this last case, not only have gay or lesbian persons achieved visibility in most advanced societies, but awareness regarding transgender issues have equally surfaced. In the past two decades, marriage rights have become common in many countries in the world. “Diversity” resonates with both the public and the media.

Of course, the word “diversity” can encompass many concepts. This includes but is not limited to race and gender-related subjects. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, diversity is “the inclusion of different types of people (such as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization.” With this exhibition we show how manga effectively tells stories related to diversity, acceptance, engagement, inclusion, discrimination, and normalization. They do so in a variety of forms and genres such as drama, love story, slice of life, iyashi-kei (soothing works), science fiction, action, educational, and documentary.

Despite the vast variety of manga published in Japan, only a small percentage reaches the international market. Those that do are usually popular action- and adventure-themed series. However, there is a growing tendency to publish alternative works. Many works in Japan depict characters, topics, or issues directly related to diversity and inclusion that resonate with Western audiences. In fact, some are more popular overseas than they do in Japan. The image of manga as a wider and more diverse medium is growing.

For this exhibition, we have selected a few brilliant works that deal with diversity and inclusion. They were distinguished by the Japan Media Arts Festival jury as outstanding and have been awarded recognitions such as the Grand Prize, the Excellence Award, the New Face Award, and the Jury Selections prize.

Director: Marc BERNABÉ

Online projects

In conformity with the curatorial theme, we introduce exceptional works that show the diversity of Japanese manga from among the Japan Media Arts Festival Manga Division award winners and works recommended by the jury.

Manga ︎Division Special Site

A website was launched for overseas audiences (in English and Spanish) for the Manga Barcelona 2020 to introduce six works showcasing the diversity of Japanese manga. We’ve also set up an online site for content such as Q&A sessions and live drawings by popular manga artists who have had their works introduced in the exhibition.

Manga, diversidad e inclusión special site *English and Spanish

Site contents
Online Exhibition
■ Special Exhibition

A special exhibition of "BL Metamorphosis" by TSURUTANI Kaori, winner of the Manga Division New Face Award at the 22nd Japan Media Arts Festival. She has drawn an original illustration for the exhibition, and the making of this illustration is shown in the video. Character sketches, rough layouts, and three chapters of her Manga with English/Spanish translations are also introduced.

■ Other Exhibitions

Introducing five Manga titles that were awarded at the Japan Media Arts Festival.

Online Events

Online talk events by popular manga authors (TSURUTANI Kaori and TAGAME Gengoroh).

Interview with TSURUTANI Kaori
October 30 (Friday) 8:00 PM – 8:17 PM (JST)
Masterclass with TSURUTANI Kaori (Live drawing and Q&A)
October 31 (Saturday) 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM (JST) *Live broadcast
Q&A with ︎TAGAME Gengoroh
November 1 (Sunday) 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM (JST)

Official Website for Manga Barcelona