“The most curious thing about all this is that a little over a month ago we didn’t even know what we were going to do,” laughs Antonio Álvarez, director of Murcia se Re-Manga, the Manga and Japanese Culture Hall of the capital of the Safe. “We wanted to wait until the last moment because, in June, we thought it could be celebrated as usual.
But in August we began to doubt and at the beginning of September we were practically clear that we were not going to be able to carry it out as in previous years … », he explains. And it was a real shame because we are talking about days with more than ten years of life and that, in that time, have become one of the most important events in Spain for lovers of comics, anime, video games, animation … you know, everything that some still disparagingly qualify as geek and that, for many, has already become a happy way of life.
Well, the reality is that, despite everything, despite the major difficulties that the organization has encountered and despite the fact that the head surely said that it was better to leave it -as many others have done-, tomorrow the eleventh edition of Murcia begins It is Re-Manga. And it does it online, yes, but with all the guarantees. «At first I was a bit skeptical- confesses Álvarez, knowing that, a priori, they did not have the resources that something like this required-, but they [su equipo] they were clear that we had to do something, “says the Murcian, who also knew deep down that in a way they” owed “it to the thousands of otakus that fill the Víctor Villegas Auditorium and Congress Center in Murcia every year.
“So 24 hours later we got together and decided to move forward, but without half measures, with a complete room, well done and with the best possible technology; a room in which the only thing that is missing is human contact, but that for everything else is as it has always been, ”he explains. And not only have they fulfilled at the content level? With a wide program of activities that includes talks, workshops, exhibitions, market, concerts …, but on a technical level they have exceeded any expectation, making the XII Murcia se Re-Manga the «Most powerful online congress that has ever been held in the Region».
And it is that they have created for the occasion a virtual space through which fans can move freely between six stages: the concert hall, the chat room, the workshop room, the ‘Game Zone’, the commercial area (with discounts exclusives) and the «jewel in the crown», the main stage, strictly live.
There you can follow, for example, the salon cosplay contest, with a jury that will see and evaluate the videos sent by those who want the crown of this twelfth edition. In addition, an information point has also been set up in the hall of this online auditorium (where, for example, the schedules of each activity can be consulted), direct access to the virtual spaces of the artisans and artists present in the market and a window for exhibitions.
Thus, for example, the program includes Japanese cooking workshops with Layn Cano, a watercolor masterclass given by Sonia Matas and contests to show who knows more about reference sagas such as Harry Potter, Star Wars or Dragon Ball. Talks will also be offered, such as the one on how to travel to Japan, one of the Asian destinations most in demand by Spaniards, and four video game tournaments: League of Legend, Valorant, Fortnite and Tekken 7, in which you can participate. (or simply continue) hand in hand with Fangames.
Furthermore, and to make up for the absence of a space in which to play freely, rooms will be created that users will be able to access to test their skills at the controls with other users without the pressure of the competition. Similarly, Murcia se Re-Manga will feature karaoke, dance and poster contests; some of the best artists in the Region such as Kenneos, Daniel Acuña and Fernando Dagnino, and seven or eight concerts that are, according to Álvarez, the most powerful of this edition: «They will be exclusive performances for those attending the hall; two of them arrived from Japan. We are talking about well-known people like Fàtima Ayats, who was one of those in charge of giving voice to the songs of Los caballeros del zodiaco in Spain and who is now covering Disney songs. Or from Ruki, a highly respected artist in Japan. But also emerging talents, singers who have already been here and who were very excited to be able to participate in this very special edition “, says the director of the hall, who has also organized a violin concert.
In short, a program with nothing to envy from previous years. “We are aware that the most important thing about an event like this is that, for many, it is a meeting place, a space in which to see each other and enjoy together this passion for manga and Japanese culture; and we know that this is lost. But our objective is to try to minimize the damage by giving people the quality to which they are accustomed, so that they miss that face-to-face room as little as possible, “insists Álvarez, who recalls that the ‘forum’ of debate in which each year becomes the environment of La Fica will be maintained, albeit virtually.
“As everything will be published on networks, we will open threads of conversation that will surely later continue in private chats. We do not know how far we can go », acknowledges the Murcian, who points out:« In live activities we will have a presenter who will be able to collect users’ questions to ask them live, and even in talks, workshops and concerts we will have the protagonists operations in networks to answer the comments of the spectators ».
And it is that one of the obsessions of the team of this Murcia se Re-Manga is that the public participate, relate; that this eleventh edition is not a mere screening service: “People will meet again at the show, even if it is virtually.” And all of this will be absolutely free. “Obviously it is the year that we have had the most difficulties at all levels, but what were we going to do, charge people a euro or two per talk? Our payment is the illusion; that of the people and ours. Being together, getting back to work on this and keeping the machine running is tough, stressful and laborious, but it’s a challenge that we like to tackle together. In addition, we almost felt obliged to stand up for this public that is our engine. We owe everything to them; they are the ones who have put us where we are. They are responsible for us to continue doing this show year after year, so this is for them, “concludes Álvarez.
Now you just have to wait until it is four in the afternoon on Friday, click on www.murciaseremanga.es and enjoy until Sunday