Reeling from pandemic, Kyoto manga, anime fair turns to crowdfunding for Sept. event

This screenshot shows the crowdfunding web page for the Kyoto International Manga Anime Fair.

KYOTO — Organizers of the largest manga and anime fair in west Japan are seeking 3 million yen (about $22,000) through crowdfunding to hold this year’s event in September.

The call for funding comes as organizers face financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Kyoto International Manga Anime Fair, dubbed Kyo-MAF, was launched in 2012 in a bid to create a new tourist event, and has been held every year by the Kyoto Municipal Government and the executive committee. This year it is due to take place in Kyoto on Sept. 17 and 18.

Voice actors’ talk shows have been popular among young people at the event, along with the manga and anime goods sold there. The fair attracted some 47,000 visitors in 2019, a record high.

Since 2020, however, the fair has been scaled back due to the pandemic. The number of visitors more than halved to roughly 17,000 in 2021, and organizers have faced financial difficulties.

The collected funds will be used for various purposes including the operation of Kyo-MAF 2022. Donors will receive gifts in return, such as original clear plastic file sleeves and Kyoto-style folding fans manufactured by a specialized shop, depending on the amounts they donate.

Donations can be made until Sept. 11 through the crowdfunding website at (in Japanese).

(Japanese original by Kotaro Chigira, Kyoto Bureau)

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