The Barcelona Manga fair closes its doors with record-breaking 148,000 visitors
Lasting five days and with more floor space than ever, this was the event’s most ambitious edition
The Barcelona Manga Fair has done it again: the annual event has broken attendance records for the second year in a row. Ending with an unprecedented attendance of more than 148,000 visitors – 6,000 more than last year – the Saló del Manga (as it’s called in Catalan) features all the very latest in comics, animation and Japanese popular culture. This year’s 23rd edition was hosted at the Montjuïc fair venue from November 1-5.
The event’s director, Meritxell Puig, called this edition “a success.” According to Puig, thanks to increased floor space, the event was more fluid and had “fewer queues,” and “visitors were able to visit the venue more comfortably and were able to participate in more workshops.” Indeed, the director also noted that the “exhibitors were also very happy because they’ve made more sales.”
Meritxell Puig pointed out that the five day duration of this year's edition, longer than ever before, “was a great challenge and effort for FICOMIC,” the organizing entity. Readers of the Japanese comic books manga were able to buy signed and dedicated editions of their favorite books, as well as learning the details of their work through conferences and master classes.
The 23rd edition of the Manga Fair also celebrated two prominent anniversaries. One was the 100 years of anime, Japanese animation in television and film. Additionally, 2017 marked 25 years that the iconic manga Dragonball Z first arrived in Catalonia. Both were celebrated with prominent personalities in the two fields. Another prominent focus of the event was robots, which visitors were even able to interact with in the Robot Exhibition Area.
Additional activities included ones centered on the videogame The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and cooking displays for traditional Japanese cuisine, hosted by the restaurant Ikinariya, with Kazushige Ikinari as chef.