Niigata Manga Animation Museum
Learn the secrets of manga creation.
The colorful world of manga (comic books) and anime has enticed millions of people to flock to Japan. However, many of them don’t know that Niigata Prefecture is home to so much of this creative energy.
In fact, numerous creators were born there. That most notably includes Yoshifumi Kondo, an animator at Studio Ghibli, Rumiko Takahashi, creator of Inuyasha and the Ranma ½ series, Nobuhiro Watsuki, who is known for Rurouni Kenshin, and Takeshi Obata, the creator of Death Note and Bakuman.
Luckily for anime lovers who are in the Tokyo area, Niigata is a cool side step to visit the Niigata Manga Animation Museum. Located in Bandai City (a shopping district in Niigata City), it was bulit in 2013 as a tribute and to share anime-and-manga culture to the world.
It actually features tutorials and simulations that are just plain fun but should be especially interesting for those who want to pursue a career in animation or comics. Check out various illustrations and videos about the procedure of creating manga and anime, a booth where you can try voice acting, a mini theater for screening anime related to Niigata or the feature exhibition, and of course, a souvenir shop.
Plus, there are also fun games involving different manga and anime characters. Visitors can run with Lum, from the comic Urusei Yatsura (1978), in an interactive room or play with a touch-screen table that allows you to make the characters from Tensai Bakabon (1967) and Osomatsu-kun (1962) do different actions.
All of the attractions are in Japanese but there are English, French, Chinese, Korean, and Russian signage. The Niigata Manga Animation Museum doesn’t only celebrate renowned animators and comic book artists, but it’s also a place that supports and inspires the future generation of this industry.
In the area
Niigata is famous for its lush nihonshu (rice wine), often just called sake, made from its high-quality rice. If you head out to this location, be sure to check out the sake vending machine theme park called Ponshukan! It is a really unique feature and lets you taste test tons of sake and even buy some to take home.