Just a few hours before the release of the new exciting Manga story, 100% Made-in-Monaco. Blitz Saga by Monaco-based Shibuya Productions continues to navigate on the wave of success, ‘checkmating’ Monaco with the Volume No. 4 which will be released on Friday the 25th June 2021. This story revolves around the intriguing world of chess and includes the involvement and supervision of a real character, Garry Kasparov, Russian chess best grandmaster, whose Manga avatar interprets his own identity. HelloMonaco had the privilege to assist to the preview conference in the presence of H.E. Ihara Junichi, Ambassador of Japan to the Principality, Cédric Biscay, founder of Shibuya Productions, and distinguished guests like Louis Ducruet and Gareth Wittstock. The event, set on Tuesday the 22nd June 2021 at Café de la Rotonde (Monte-Carlo Casino) was the right moment to discover some new features about the incoming edition, fruit of a global synergy of expertise.
Blitz, in fact, becomes even more Monegasque! The most iconic places of Monaco, like the Prince’s Palace and the Monte-Carlo Casino are transformed into ideal settings of this most popular international Manga, starting from the back cover. Conceived between Monaco, France, Japan and United States, it is being distributed worldwide through the most prestigious Manga editorial libraries, notably the Japanese Manga hubs which preserve the original artistic tradition begun at the end of the nineteenth century in that amazing Country. “I congratulate Shibuya Productions that this morning received the Certificate of Honour of Japan Minister for Foreign Affairs in the presence of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco”, outlined the Ambassador of Japan – “this acknowledgment was offered to praise Shibuya’s efforts in boosting cultural exchange and friendly human relations between Monaco and Japan through this traditional Japanese pop-culture” – “Blitz concretely represents the international link being the result of various screenwriters including Mori Tsukasa and Nishihara Daitaro, Manga illustrator”, he added.
The well-established Shibuya Productions shows how a personal passion about a very Japanese focal sector can be transformed into a leading entrepreneurial reality strongly rooted in the French Riviera. The company went far beyond Manga, animation and video games production. It has become a symbol of cultural integration. “I am really proud to receive this recognition that proves how the soft power can be relevant in each Country”, pointed out Cédric Biscay (C.B.) – “the new Volume of Blitz allowed us to make Monaco glow in the Manga universe” – he added.
HelloMonaco: Is there a direct reference to the Principality in the storytelling?
C.B.: Actually, in this edition we don’t find only the illustration of most popular Monegasque monuments. Despite the story takes place mostly in Japan, a key episode is held in Monaco where a great chess tournament is planned inside the Monte-Carlo Casino. All young chess players are being training and challenging each other in order to be qualified to this unmissable match. This Monegasque blink of an eye will give also the readers the exclusive chance to see the Sovereign Prince (His Manga’s avatar) playing a meaningful role to announce something of primary importance.
The Sovereign Prince accepted with great pleasure the proposal to become a Manga character and He received a special copy of the storyboard from the hands of Cédric Biscay at the Princely Palace.
HelloMonaco: Are you a chess fan as much as for the Manga?
C.B.: Yes, of course. I am really fond of this game as an amateur. I learned to play chess when I was attending the primary school. Thus, I have been really admiring the paramount skill of Garry Kasparov since I was a child hearing on the radio of his extraordinary victories. I was completely fascinated by him and I told myself I had to ask him to be part of my Manga series since he is still a true idol of that game.
Cédric Biscay had the chance to meet Garry Kasparov first in Paris and then at the Cannes Festival during a memorable encounter in front of a chess board at the Majestic Hotel Beach. Even if he was not very familiar with the Japanese graphic art, the chess master understood that his acting in a Manga could really communicate effectively his fondness for this clever game.
HelloMonaco: Are there Europeans in Shibuya’s operation team?
C.B.: Absolutely yes, our reality is bi-cultural. Besides my role as founder and screenwriter there are many other figures from the European area and both publishing and printing company (IWU = ‘the rock’ in Japanese language) are based in Monaco.
Blitz aims at making readers of all ages passionate about the game of chess contextualising it in an engaging story. So, what will happen to the main characters, Tom and Harmony, and their companions, wandering in the footsteps of ISS Chess Team? What difficulties will they face? The answer is now at hand. We just have to make the right chess move!
BLITZ: SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
Twitter: Blitz Officiel
To know more about Shibuya Productions please visit: www.shibuya-productions.com