New York Comic Con 2023 had a wide array of unique experiences across its exhibit floor, but one that particularly stood out amongst the rest was Shueisha XR’s debut of MANGA DIVE outside of Japan. MANGA DIVE is an “Immersive Manga Experience”, utilizing a series of LED walls and surround speakers to create a one-of-a-kind visual presentation.
The MANGA DIVE exhibit showcased several popular Shueisha manga titles including Jujutsu Kaisen, Chainsaw Man, SPY x FAMILY, and Dandadan. In addition, the exhibit also included a special SNK Universe Project movie, which featured manga created especially for MANGA DIVE.
Manga Mavericks had the opportunity to talk with Masana Takahashi from Shueisha XR about the MANGA DIVE exhibition and its development process. Check out our full interview with Takahashi below:
Manga Mavericks (Varun): How did the MANGA DIVE concept come into creation?
Takahashi: It’s about a new experience using manga. So leveraging this experience, we wanted to use this as a way to introduce manga.
Manga Mavericks (Varun): Do you view this more as a form of promotional material or rather a different way to convey the story?
Takahashi: There are two aspects. One is to promote the manga, so that people can then buy it, but the second is that we would like to present MANGA DIVE itself as an exhibition.
Manga Mavericks (Varun): The MANGA DIVE experiences, such as the one for Jujutsu Kaisen, are based on chapters of the manga series, but they’re presented in a different format by using MANGA DIVE’s multi-screen format. How do you go about creating this immersive content while still staying true to the original content?
Takahashi: The Jujutsu Kaisen experience was in the second batch of production. The first batch of production was One Piece, Dandadan, and Chainsaw Man. Through the experience of these three comics, we gained some feedback. For Jujutsu Kaisen, its concept is that it’s not just going through the viewpoint of the main characters, but it is the experience of receiving the main expression the other way around. So, we wanted to create a new experience.
Manga Mavericks (Varun): How do you choose which titles to create next in the MANGA DIVE format?
Takahashi: Since we need to have the approval of the authors of the series, we start with the ones that we have approval for.
Manga Mavericks (Varun): Do the mangaka provide input on how their titles are presented?
Manga Mavericks (Varun): This is the first time that MANGA DIVE has been showcased outside Japan. How does it feel to bring this type of experience to an international audience?
Takahashi: We would like to actively go outside of Japan, but we would first like to see how people react to our content. So it could vary from country to country.
Manga Mavericks (Varun): I would love to see MANGA DIVE go globally, especially with how big Shueisha titles are in terms of worldwide awareness. I think it would be really cool!
Thanks again to Shueisha XR, Masana Takahashi, and New York Comic Con for making this interview possible.