‘Manga Mad Tokyo’ (2008) 59 min, dir. Ray Castle.
Exploring Japan’s passion for anime, their biggest pop culture phenomenon, and largest export
From Tokyo, the comic capital of the world, comes an exploration of Japan’s passion for anime, their biggest pop culture phenomenon, and their largest export.
A documentary about Japan’s biggest pop culture and deepest underground, filmed in the comic capital of the world, Tokyo. More people read comics in Japan than any other country. Comics account for 40% of all total books and magazines published in Japan.
MANGA MAD gives insight into contemporary Japanese culture through the iconography of its biggest pop culture and explains why comics are not just for children, as depicted by the compulsive consumer obsessiveness of the otaku adult manga and anime scene. The tradition of graphic narrative is traced in Japanese art history through to the post WW2 boom of comics. There is extensive coverage of cyber-sex, ‘electronics town’, Akihabara.
The virtual reality, manga-anime-mecca, for otaku, and most popular tourist attraction in Japan. In addition, Comiket Market, the biggest comic and cosplay event in the world is featured with an interview with its founder,
Mr Yonezawa, who recently passed away. Candid interviews with artists, animators, publishers, historians, retailers and otaku fans punctuate vivid fantasy graphics and cartoon-clad, bustling, metropolis vistas, segued with an exotic, electro sound track.
MANGA MAD opens the window behind the Japanese mask, to reveal what’s really going on in the collective imagination, and explains why manga is so ubiquitous, mesmerising, virtually uncensored, and is now contagiously popular world wide.