Manga Realities at the Ayala Museum

The traveling exhibition Manga Realities: Exploring the Art of Japanese Comics Today opened two weeks ago. Organized by the Ayala Museum and the Japan Foundation in cooperation with the Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito in Japan, the exhibition is an experiential, three-dimensional presentation of the worlds depicted by this art form. It features nine mangaka and their works from the 2000s, including Tomoko Ninomiya's Nodame Cantabile and Harold Sakuishi's BECK.

Aian and I planned to visit during its opening week, though we weren't able to push through with the plan because of our busy schedules. Luckily for us, Groundbreakers Studios, the company that Aian works for, is affiliated with Japan Foundation and were asked to give a series of art workshops throughout the duration of the exhibit. Aian was tasked with lecturing on Digital Coloring, which was held yesterday (though it was initially scheduled to be the very last one). I wasn't able to attend because of the extreme rain and the traffic that it brought with it, so I don't have any photos of the stuff shown during the lecture. I arrived a few minutes after the workshop ended, but it turned out to be perfect timing because the museum was almost empty at the time so I got to enjoy the exhibit to the fullest. A lot of geekery ensued between Aian and myself, and we also managed to snap some photos! With the staff's permission, of course. I took a ton of photos, but I won't post all of them. Please visit the exhibit, it's much better if you experience everything for yourself.

Ninomiya Tomoko's Nodame Cantabile. The European-style set-up is very reminiscent of the Paris Arc, no?

Actual pencils from the manga. Aian made sure I got a decent photo of this one.

Sakuishi Harold's BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad.

A painting and pages from Matsumoto Taiyo's Number Five.

Igarashi Daisuke's Children of the Sea.

Kyo Machiko's Sennen-Gaho. One of my favorites from the exhibit. Must see!

Anno Moyoco's Sugar Sugar Rune.

Bookshelves with various manga; two more paintings by Matsumoto-sensei.

Wakaki Tamiki's The World God Only Knows. Haven't read the series, but I found the set-up to be similar to what you'd typically see in most school-life manga.

Asano Inio's Solanin. Easily our favorite out of all the set-ups. So much attention to detail! We spent the most time here, looking closely at everything. Amazing how much it looked like the one in the manga.

Excerpts from the manga on the walls outside the room.

Aian then showed me what the room actually looked like in the manga. I only read one chapter and watched the live-action movie so I wasn't very familiar with Solanin.

After spending maybe 30 minutes to an hour just enjoying the place, we had to leave, sadly. Good thing Aian's going to be teaching again at another date. I really want to go back and live inside the Solanin set-up, if only I could lol!

If you haven't checked out the exhibit yet, I suggest you find the time to! The exhibit is open until the first week of October. Be sure to attend the workshops as well! The experience was so fulfilling, especially for Aian and myself, who are both bonafide manga and anime geeks. Reading manga is one thing, experiencing it is a whole different thing. I can't really put it into words but once you go there you'll know what I mean. I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as we did. :)

For more information about the exhibit, you can visit these pages on the Ayala Museum's website.