A short while ago, a friend went to Otakuthon, a Japanese anime festival. My first reaction was, “isn’t that for geeks who like to play dress up?” (the friend in question is a legal translator). Oh, stereotypes!
She told me about her experience and I immediately wanted to know more.
Even though it has little if not no similarity with occidental culture, Japanese culture is more and more popular. Very present in the French speaking world, mangas, or Japanese cartoons, are taking more and more space in Montreal.
My first stop to learn more was Manga-Thé, situated at 2011 St-Denis. Robert Louis Milin, the owner, welcomed me and agreed to talk about this culture that
He is originally from France, where mangas are very popular, and he therefore discovered this art form at a very young age. When he moved to Montreal, he wanted to create a place where “those that know tea can discover mangas and those that know mangas can discover tea.”
Although he considers himself more a bookseller than restaurateur, Robert Louis Milin offers around twenty teas (including 5 from Japan) and many little pastries prepared by a Japanese woman who lives in the area at Manga-Thé.
When I visited, I ordered a green tea with Pomegranate & Magnolia flavours as well as a Daifuku, a little pastry. For my discovery of mangas, he offered me two choices “Le Journal de mon père”, a sad manga about a son who’s lost his father, and “Drôle de père”, a rather amusing story about a sheepish man in his thirties who decides to take charge of his grandfather’s illegitimate daughter (…his 6 year old aunt, in other words!)
He promises me to eat the books if I don’t like them (!). Thankfully for him, I loved “Drôle de père”, the one I decided to read.
A sure sign that Japanese cartoon art is getting more popular, la Bibliothèque Nationale is celebrating Manga Year this year.
The Web site announces, “the manga universe is vast and fascinating. During its Manga Year, the Grande Bibliothèque invites you to discover certain aspects that will, we hope, make you want to pursue your exploration of the manga culture.”
Two exhibits, one for adults and a family one, will be presented. Also, conferences, panels and workshops will be held. For the complete schedule, visit http://manga.banq.qc.ca/en.html.
FESTIVAL AND EVENTS
Since September 7, and until October 9, la Cinémathèque Québécoise is offering a month of Japanese cinema. To know more, go here.
Otakuthon is an annual anime fest. The 2011 edition, from August 12 to 14, drew in about 9,000 people. A 2012 edition is already planned from August 3 to 5 2012.
Those that want to know more about the cartoon universe, including mangas, can listen to "Les Mystérieux Étonnants", a podcast on Choq.fm (in French).
A short while ago, a friend went to Otakuthon, a japanese anime festival. My first réaction was, “isn’t that for geeks who like to play dress up?” (the friend in question is a legal translator). Oh, stereotypes! ...