Anime Manga.Storie di maghette, calciatori e robottoni, curated by Francesca Fontana and Enrico Valbonesi, uses materials housed in the Museo della Figurina collection, donated in 1992 by Giuseppe Paninito the municipality of Modena and today managed by Fondazione Modena Arti Visive.
The exhibition focuses on the bond between manga and anime, highlighting how in most cases the Japanese cartoons are spin-offs from publishing products, despite there being no lack of examples the other way around, i.e., of famous animes inspiring the creation of corresponding mangas. The exhibition illustrates how these forms of entertainment came about and the typical ways in which they have spread. It also teaches how to decipher its distinct language and graphics and explains the main genres into which mangas are divided, from the ones for children – so-called kodomo – to the sports-themed spokon, through the World Masterpiece Theater cartoons drawn from western works of literature. Some sections are dedicated to the female genre shōjo, with its famous witches and love stories, and shōnen, adventure stories for a male public, with a focus on legendary robots such as Mazinga and Danguard Ace. And it is anime that became firm favourites for the trading cards published from the 1980s onwards. To give just some examples: Love Me, My Knight, Creamy Mami, Cat’s Eye and Captain Tsubasa. Subject to a censorship which often changed them radically, these cartoons were bitterly criticized by pedagogues, parents and commentators. Instead today, even in academic circles, studies have blossomed that recognize anime’s important place in international animated film as well as giving it credit for reinventing genres such as science fiction, feuilleton-style light entertainment and sitcoms, and being able to develop a new language within low budget restraints.