Japan is famous for its mangas and dramas. Each literary and cinemagraphic work is a summary of what Japanese culture can evoke in us, each anchored in a unique setting. So let’s discover together 3 Japanese Manga & Drama works that take place in Matsumoto!
TAKANO Ichigo’s Orange manga
Published in 2012, this work tells us a very human story, where love, friendship, hope and regret are intertwined. It all starts when Naho, a young high school student, receives a letter. It is from her “future-self” who expresses remorse for failing to “save” her friend Kakeru. Then a race against the clock begins! But as Naho strives to use the precious advice of her “future-self”, the threads of fate become tied and untied according to her interventions… with each small change of the present, the future is swiftly altered from the one described in the letter she received.
Throughout the manga, we see the characters evolve amongst different landmarks within the backdrop of Matsumoto: the district of Arigasaki near the Jōyama Park, Yohashira Shrine (to make a wish there), Nawate Street (where the characters enjoy the Bon Bon dance festival), Mount Kōbō (magnificent panorama to admire the sunset)… Could the title of this manga evoke the warm color of sunset that stretches across the horizon or from the bittersweet juice that Kakeru offers to Naho? It may be a bit of both!
During their musings, our protagonists express their desires to unite among the reddening trees of Alps Park in autum, within the green forest of Kamikōchi in the summer or even Matsumoto Castle covered with the snow of winter…
ARUGA Rie’s Perfect World manga
This literary work deals with a taboo subject even today: Disability. The heorine Tsugumi is reunited with Itsuki, the boy she secretly loved in high school, but who now is confined to a wheelchair following an accident. Through the passage of time we see the dark thoughts that can reside within people whos lives have been disrupted by fate, but somehow finding happiness is still possible. This theme is even more relevant today, since Matsumoto became host city for the French Paralympic Cycling Team in the month of August of 2021!
Anyone who reads this manga will get the opportunity to see a magnificent illustration of Matsumoto Castle when Tsugumi returns to see her parents!
The Hakusen Nagashi Drama Series
Begun in 1996, this series exposes us to the dreams and angst of young people living in a rural town. With the natural landscapes of Hida-Takayama and Matsumoto as the backdrop, we witness through each episode the growing love between two students: Sonoko, a young woman passionate about the stars, and Wataru, a young man who works all day and studies all night. What do they have in common? They share the same classroom in high school. Yet swiftly fate will bring them together!
To find out more about these 3 Japanese Manga and Drama
Special Thanks & Photos Credit
Many thanks to Cynthia Kanaie of Freaky Family History* for giving us permission to use her photos.
*Links are only available in French