Long-running manga magazine Weekly Shonen Sunday’s special fan event, the ‘Sunday Cultural Festival (Sunday Bunkasai)’, will move online for 2021, promising ‘rare goods’ and ‘plenty of unmissable projects.’ This offers a rare opportunity for both domestic and international fans alike to participate in this event from the comfort of their own homes, without having to make any costly journeys. (Not that you can at the minute, anyway.)
The Sunday Cultural Festival was actually held for the first time in 2019, taking over a local gymnasium and featuring special live drawing sessions, talk shows, and exclusive goods. That event was extremely limited to official fan club members and family/friends of serialized authors only, but there was the aim of expanding it next year to include more of the general public. Alas, then the pandemic came and messed everything up.
For 2021, however, Weekly Shonen Sunday wants to revive the Sunday Cultural Festival and finally fulfill their aim of opening it up to the general public in the most accessible way possible: holding the entire thing online, including the live events.
Running from 26 March to 23 April, the Sunday Cultural Festival Online 2021 will consist of special videos featuring serialized authors uploaded to the official Sunday YouTube channel, exclusive goods available for purchase via the Shonen Sunday Premium Shop, and an ‘infiltration’ of the editorial office in VR.
Some of the goods have already been previewed, such as these Detective Conan reproduction manuscripts and series keychains:
It wouldn’t be at all surprising if Sunday publisher Shogakukan got this idea from their sister company Shueisha, given that Weekly Shonen Jump’s annual fan event Jump Festa also moved online for 2021 (both companies operate under the same parent company, the Hitotsubashi Group). The only difference with the online Sunday Cultural Festival 2021 is that overseas fans can easily take part, considering that it will be mostly conducted on YouTube.
How the Sunday Cultural Festival fares online for 2021 remains to be seen, but one thing’s for sure: it’ll be easier than ever to find out. Keep your eye on the official YouTube and Twitter channels for more information.
Update: The official website is open now.