The news is out- a bill targeted at restricting the anime & manga industry has passed. With controversial governor Ishihara heading the bill, there has been much criticism on the censorship. Several manga companies objected, canceling their participation in the Tokyo Anime Fair (TAF). Will the convention be held? Will there still be a tour?!
We’ve been getting lots of questions asking if the TAF tour will continue since news of the bill first came out. Even our travel agency partners have let us know their concerns!
Some of the biggest names in manga publishing have boycotted the convention, including Kodansha, Akita Shoten, Hakusensha, Shogakukan, and Shueisha. Though Shueisha (producers of weekly shonen manga magazine, Shonen Jump) does not directly exhibit at TAF, they have requested that anime studios not present the works based on their titles. That alone gets rid of many American favorites such as One Piece, Naruto, Bleach, and Dragonball.
Because of the boycott, many are lead to believe that TAF may be canceled, yet even the Prime Minister requests that this be prevented in order to protect Japanese branding on a global level.
Well, regardless if TAF is canceled or not, PJT is proud to announce that we’ll still be holding the Tokyo Anime Fair Tour. Unfortunately if it is canceled, we’ll have to change the name a bit, and also alter the itinerary a little, but we’ll get to that if it comes up. Rest assured we’ve already thought of backup. =)
So, why go on the tour if there’s no convention?
At PJT we’re all about adding value to tours through unique experiences that can’t be found anywhere else. That said, while TAF is a highlight of the tour, we’ve got a few very special arrangements that are on par with the convention (if not better!).
We can now officially announce that we’re revisiting Studio Pierrot (animators of Naruto, Saiyuki, Bleach, etc.) to take a look at how anime is produced! We’ll see artists at work drawing frames, go through the process of digital animation, and even get some free goodies at the end! Additionally, we’ll also have another special event on the tour that we can’t announce yet. BUT! We promise it’s just as valuable as the Studio Pierrot visit.
With those special inclusions, as well as all the sightseeing, anime shopping, and cosplay dining we’ll be doing in Japan, we don’t doubt that this will be one of the greatest tours we’ve had yet!
More information about the TAF Tour itinerary can be found here: http://www.popjapantravel.com/tours/group-tours/tokyo-anime-fair