It would be no overstatement to say that Studio MAPPA saved the anime industry in 2020. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, there was a real danger that the anime industry could grind to a halt, but MAPPA continued on. Putting together adaptations of The God of High School and Dorohedoro, original projects such as LISTENERS and Taisou Zamurai, and saving Attack on Titan: The Final Season from scheduling hell… the team has certainly outdone themselves these past twelve months, which is exactly why Ikebukuro’s MAPPA Showcase exhibition is so important.
Open from now until 14 December, this special exhibition collects production materials from five of MAPPA’s 2020 offerings (Jujutsu Kaisen, Attack on Titan: The Final Season, The Gymnastics Samurai, Mr Love: Queen’s Choice, and The God of High School) and features them alongside interviews with creators in themed rooms. It’s not radically different from any of the other anime exhibitions we’ve seen in the past, but does serve an important purpose.
In many ways, the MAPPA Showcase exhibition immortalizes the efforts of the studio in these trying circumstances, creating a space where fans and creators alike can mingle and get inspired. While it’s a shame that travel to Japan is severely limited right now, we can still look at the photos above and appreciate how much the studio has done over this past year, perhaps even seeking to apply that unrelenting philosophy in our everyday lives.
Alongside materials from completed projects, the MAPPA Showcase exhibition also carried some information about upcoming projects: namely, the Yuri!!! on Ice movie, Ice Adolescence.
By now, you’ve probably seen the above trailer online, but it was released on the same day that the MAPPA showcase exhibition opened in the interests of information parity (it is also being screened there). Unfortunately, the information that came with it was less than encouraging, but I’m sure we can all agree: MAPPA definitely already has quite a lot on their plate right now!
The MAPPA Showcase is open in Ikebukuro Parco from now until 14 December. Admission is 1600 yen. Please check out the official website for more information.