at Suginami Animation Museum
in the Musashino, Tama area
This event has ended - (2007-08-28 - 2007-11-25)
Tensai Bakabon is a manga series created by Fujio Akatsuka in 1967. Debuting on television in 1971, it enjoyed three reincarnations in 1975, 1990, and 1999. The series features the escapades of mischievous Bakabon, Papa, Mama and child prodigy little brother Hajime-chan. With the series reaching its fortieth anniversary there is no doubting the popularity of this series, and in celebration the Suginami Animation Museum is holding the “Fujio Akatsuka & Funny Friends” exhibition.
Despite the grandiosity of the momentous anniversary, visitors should be aware the event is contained within the confines of the museum’s hallway, in between the anime library and the special viewing room. The most prominent figure in this modest exhibit is the big brass statue of Papa doing a hand stand. Heading further into the room, visitors are greeted by a huge picture of the creator dressed up as Papa, manga panels, billboards of the characters and a timeline of the author’s biography.
The exhibit also offers a diverse range of items on display, including samples of products created in conjunction with the series, such as lunch boxes and toys, and a tiny replica of the famous Tokiwa apartment where Akatsuka and other famous manga artists like Osamu Tezuka, creator of Astroboy and Kimba the White Lion, lived. If interactivity is what you’re after, there is a small workshop where you can use guides to trace their favorite characters from Tensai. For hard-core fans, there is a notebook where visitors can write a personal note to Akatsuka.
While there is a lot historical material and background information given about the series and its creator, unfortunately it is only in Japanese, so if this is a problem, it’s a good idea to go with a like-minded friend who can translate. Additionally the free admission and the attraction of the museum’s permanent exhibits, together with its anime library, theater and workshop, make traveling to this museum on the west side of Tokyo bearable, but it is probably safer to say the event is better suited to the real Tensai Bakabon fans, japanimation lovers, or people who are already in the area and want to kill time.