Chronicle of Manga Barcelona, ​​Saturday: A ‘president’, a minister, ramen and wigs

  • The rain does not discourage the legion of ‘otakus’ willing to literally devour the most colorful fair in Barcelona, ​​with such success that even politicians want to be in the photo

Whether measured in figures or in proper names, Manga Barcelona lives a tremendous edition back to the presence that not even the copious rain nor the queues with umbrellas and ticket resellers have been able to fade. Under the gray skies of October, this Saturday shows a whole rainbow of colored hairs, bizarre costumes, Japanese culture and passion, good vibes and a dose of genius based on pencil and paper. For some the magic was in a plastic saber on the back, a symbol of the iconography that is experiencing a real ‘boom’ in Catalonia, for others, in the power of a drawing. The power of the room is such that for the first time has mixed a legion of ‘otakus’ with top-level politicians such as the ‘president’ Pere Aragonès, in the afternoon, and hours before the Minister of Culture, Miquel Iceta, who this time has not danced, but has done a small sake tasting.

The ties that populate many calls for Fira de Barcelona have been swept away these days by the sensational aesthetics of the ‘cosplayers‘vehemently deployed – with a large roster of’ guardians of the night ‘- among the halls of editorials, video games, clothing and accessories or food without borders. The sink is reminiscent of a Halloween nightclub; on the ground they spread out, recovering their strength, adolescents and young people, sandwich or yakisoba in hand – depending on the budget -; and they all carry bags overflowing with collector’s gadgets, multi-colored wigs – the blue ones are best sellers, according to Luciko Paris, from 20 euros -, and garments sometimes impossible, but exhibited with fervor.

It is certified by Marc López, 23, who, as he has a job this year, comes in with 250 euros and sweeps the Bandai stand. Dress up the character’s mask Kaneki and proudly displays a keyblade from an unpronounceable video game, while his friends Roger and Dídac emphasize that although these figures are not played with, they drool just by looking at them in their room.

Immersion and shopping

Worth beholding they advance too Diana, Karatta, Bea y Yuna, 15 and 16 years old, anime fans and dressed as’maid‘, like four maids coming out of a manga comic, ready for an unforgettable day of’ selfies’, ‘shopping’ and laughter. By his side passes, without them noticing, the Minister Iceta. Until this 27th edition, chefs with stars, mayors and some ‘councilor’ are remembered, but the socialist and, later, the ‘president’ represented new milestones.

Iceta was entertained with sleeves (like the best-seller ‘Haikyu !!’ on Planet) and dolls, while in the adjoining pavilion Roger Ortuño, founder of Comer Japanese and head of the gastronomic culture section, had organized in record time (when it was confirmed that the show would not be virtual) a fragrant agenda for ‘foodies’, with continuous classes of ramen, omosubi, mochis and other temptations. This year there cannot be piece-rate tastings, for health reasons, but the fun is provided by contests such as sipping ramen, he explains. “Kevin, sorbe, sorbe, sorbe... “, the public cried out to one of the participants, who indulges in the art of swallowing the tough noodles.

A dozen Japanese cooks break gender imbalances this edition, giving flavor to those onigiris, ramen or doriyakis that many discovered through Son Goku, Muscle Man, Doraemon o Oishinbo.

Some aspire to create their own character in situ, in the school space Joso, which already has a thousand students, although only a part are manga meat. Josep Maria Polls, Head of Studies, admits that “it is the fashionable sequential narrative format, so emotional” that it has connected with new generations with catapults such as anime resized by Netflix, or the strength of national authors.

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Some of them wage a creative duel in the school ring before an attentive public, as in endless activities, which cannot help but look at the incessant parade of characters from ‘The Squid Game’ or ‘Dragon Ball’. Leaving the universe of the League of Legends video game, Estibaliz and Iris, 26, dazzle, transformed into Qiyana and Darius. They have been brought by car from Rubí, because they only allow themselves to take out their alter ego on designated dates.

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