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Anime & Manga Japan / Kobe to host Kobe Pop Culture Festival in July

A giant statue of Tetsujin 28-go (aka "Gigantor") robot in Shin-Nagata district, Kobe city (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
(A giant statue of Tetsujin 28-go (aka "Gigantor") robot in Shin-Nagata district, Kobe city)

The Kobe city government will host the Kobe Pop Culture Festival on July 14-16 at various venues in the city's Shin-Nagata district, known as one of the most severely devastated areas in the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake.
Today, the district has recovered and has increasingly become more anime and manga-oriented in recent years. It is serving as home to a giant statue of the comic book hero Tetsujin 28-go (aka "Gigantor") robot, anime studio Anitus-Kobe and the Kobe Three Kingdoms Garden museum devoted to the great Chinese historical epic "Romance of the Three Kingdoms."
The Kobe Pop Culture Festival will offer a wide range of programs. In addition to a live performance by Kobe-based all-girl idol group KOBerrieS, veteran voice actor Akira Kamiya will make a stage appearance for students aspiring for a career in voice acting.
Cosplayers can receive a special item when they take pictures of themselves and collect all the printed stamps at designated spots.
In addition, a feature film adaptation of "Hetalia" and an episode from the "Detective Conan" anime series will be screened at the festival. The two titles were recognized at the 16th Kobe Animation Awards last year.
The festival will also hold a special exhibition featuring production materials from the "Hetalia" series, as well as a retrospective exhibition to honor anime director Osamu Dezaki.
A giant statue of Tetsujin 28-go (aka "Gigantor") robot in Shin-Nagata district, Kobe city (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
(Anime director Osamu Dezaki)

One of the leading figures in the country's animation industry, Dezaki died in April last year. Anime cels, storyboards and other materials used in the productions of "Ashita no Joe" (Tomorrow's Joe), "Aim for the Ace!" "Space Adventure Cobra" and other works will be featured. The late director was posthumously honored with a special prize for his lifetime achievement at the 16th Kobe Animation Awards.
Kobe has been making strenuous efforts to encourage businesses and nurture personnel in the anime industry. One of its focused efforts is the annual Animation Kobe event launched in 1996, the year after the Great Hanshin Earthquake struck the region. The Kobe Animation Awards are given as part of the event.
The city will also host Anime Fair Kansai 2012 in September at the Kobe International Exhibition Hall.
Visit the festival's official website at (http://www.kobe-pop.com/fes.html).

By AS on Jul 15, 2012
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