Asagaya animation school turns city into ‘anime gallery’

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

The Asagaya district in Tokyo’s Suginami Ward, as well as nearby areas, has long been popular among writers and artists who enjoyed its comfortable lifestyle.

Now, it is the focus of “Art Map Asagaya: Animation to Manga Ten” (Art Map Asagaya: Exhibition of Animation and Comics), an event that runs through April 3.

Well-known manga artist Shinji Nagashima (1937-2005) once lived here. Anime companies Tokyo Movie Shinsha Co. and Madhouse Inc. were also located here. Today, the area is the location of anime studios such as Satelight Inc., A-1 Pictures Inc. and Gonzo K.K.

In the city’s north are the Laputa Asagaya movie theater and Laputa Art Animation School. Aiming to spread the news about Asagaya’s history, the school created the art project to turn the whole area into a “gallery.”

Works and materials related to anime and manga are displayed at 71 spots around the district, including cafes, restaurants, galleries, companies and even a shrine.

On display are dolls, background scenery, drawings, key animation frames and other materials created by students of the animation school in their works.

Works by instructors at the school–Fumiko Magari, Yoji Kuri, Nizo Yamamoto and Yury Norshtein–are also featured. In addition, works by professional manga artists such as Jun Hatanaka, Oji Suzuki and Yoshiharu Tsuge are also on display.

Each exhibit contains a QR code, an image readable by certain mobile devices, which when captured, links to an Internet video clip related to the exhibit.

A map highlighting Asagaya facilities and spots with exhibits is available.

With cellphone and the map in hand, visitors can walk around the culture-rich district of Asagaya and learn about anime and manga exhibits.

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