Competing events describe upcoming editions

Tokyo– Two competing toon trade fairs have unveiled details about their upcomIng editions in March.

Held annually since 2002, Tokyo Anime Fair last year recorded 132,492 visitors and 244 exhibitors, including 59 foreign companies. However, this year 161 companies will participate March 24-27 at the Tokyo Big Sight event space. Also, the number of booths will decline to 480, compared with 615 in 2010.

The event has been hit by a boycott led by major Japanese comics publishers and toon makers, protesting a law tightening restrictions on sexual content in comics passed the Tokyo city legislature in December, with the support of the city government and Gov. Shintaro Ishihara. The protesters complained that the law violates freedom of expression. The city government is also a sponsor of TAF.

Meanwhile, protesters have unveiled 66 toon titles to be presented their own competing event, Anime Contents Expo, which is skedded for March 26-27 at the Makuhari Messe event space. Among the offerings will be the latest feature entries in the superhit “Naruto” and “Gintama” franchises, as well as new titles for the “Haruhi Suzumiya” and “Lucky Star” series.

Nearly 40 companies are expected to present product at the Expo, including Kadokawa, Aniplex, Animate, Amusement Media, Dentsu, TV Tokyo and Osaka Broadcasting.

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