The main meetings of the Otaku Summit Preview at the Manga Barcellona were held between October 31 and November 1.
"The Road to OTAKU SUMMIT 2020 - Global Otaku Events and Otaku Culture" is the title of the panel which was held on Thursday 31 October, a really interesting meeting that in its first part has introduced the Festivals making up the Board of trustees of IOEA: Romics, Comiket - Japan, Sakuracon and Otakon - USA, Anicom - Hong Kong, Manga Barcelona - Spain. Despite having different plannings and geographical contexts, these events definitely share many elements. The Otaku subculture and the interest for the contemporary Japanese culture take on a primary role. The second part of the panel focused on the success of Otaku culture in the world and analysed the reasons of the growing public interest for this type of convention. In the digital age, the conventions remain a key opportunity to share passions, enjoy the special events, a place where to meet and feel at ‘’home’’. All these aspects will be deepened and extended at the Otaku Summit of Tokyo 2020.
During the Academic Session “The Past, Present, and Future of Otaku Culture”, held on November 1, some University Professors coming from all over the world, analysed many aspects of Otaku culture and the reasons of its widespread in the world. Ian Condry, Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology - MIT (USA) talked about the great importance of OTAKU culture as a Pop expression and a connection that oversteps geographic barriers and pre-established models. Paola Scrolavezza, Professor at University of Bologna stressed the importance of an active fruition in Otaku culture, where the creativity of fans has a central role. Masako Furuichi, Professor at University of Beijing told us how Otaku culture is an important element for the students’ community where a large space is devoted to creativity and inventiveness. Ichiya Makamura of Keyo University, who has also coordinated the meeting, stressed how the image of Japan has significantly changed over the last 40 years. A path that has gradually created awareness about the importance of that culture established through the production of animes and mangas and how it has already spread all over the world. This cultural phenomenon has also given rise to the Cool Japan project and concepts like "Pop Power". All these interesting suggestions will be deepened at the Otaku Summit of Tokyo 2020 where Romics will be among the main protagonists.