The exhibition itself is a fairly long winding path with the pages encased in plexiglass hanging on the walls. Music from the Kuricorder Yotsuba albums plays in the background. It was incredibly busy and you couldn't rush through the path even if you wanted to, which may have coloured my impression of the path's length, but it was regardless still a lot more than I was expecting from a department store exhibition.
The first and largest section consisted of the original manuscript pages, which are drawn on paper about 2-2.5x the size of the tankoubon. There didn't appear to be any particular order to them (at the very least, it wasn't chronological) but there were a few parts where a sequence of pages were on display, like the Ikebukuro Station bit.
I think one of more things of seeing the original drawings is that you can see where white-out was used. For example, in the panel where Yotsuba slides across a waxed floor with her lower legs, there were originally speedlines coming from her shoulders as well which made it all the way to the inking stage, but he later decided against that. You can also see some of the things that are evened out in the printed version, like solid black areas (beta); on the original drawings you can see that they appear to be filled with black marker.
While most of the pages were attached to the wall and you could only see the front, there was one where you could also see the back. On it was a drawing of Fuuka that was a mirror image of her appearance on the front of the page. This seems to suggest that Azuma feels more comfortable drawing characters from one direction than the opposite direction and so sometimes draws a character on the back of the page from his preferred direction so that it shines through to the front and can then trace it.
One thing I thought was interesting that the older pages had the dialog as printed text cut out from another piece of paper and glued onto the word balloons, while the newer pages only had Azuma's handwriting. This means that even as late as 2003, the editing process was still fairly analogue and they switched to a digital process later on.
Other than the actual pages, there were also a couple of video displays showing footage of Azuma drawing them. He spends a lot of time on particularly getting the faces just right, constantly erasing and redrawing them, but his inking is pretty fast and smooth. Fairly typical for a manga artist unless your name is Fujita Kazuhiro. Unfortunately I did not see his approach to drawing backgrounds.
After the manuscript pages there was a small section that had all of the cover art on display. Since the colouring is done digitally there are no original sheets of paper to display, so they were print-outs, but they were very nicely printed, uncropped (so you could see the ends of the "paint" strokes outside of the print margins) and uncovered by logos and text.
There was also a video display showing a screen recording of the poster of the exhibition being coloured. He uses Photoshop and mostly a weirdly textured brush.
After that there was an even smaller section displaying various promotional material used over the years. Stuff like posters and book stands for use in stores. Also a couple of photos of things too large to fit inside, like giant posters on the sides of buildings.
Following the promotional material was a display of all the various international editions of the manga, displaying both the books themselves (interestingly, ADV's volume 1 release was used to represent the US edition, though I can understand why since on the outside they look much nicer than Yen Press' releases) and a sample of a panel translated into the various different languages. Surprisingly, there's actually another English language version of the manga using a different translation sold somewhere in Asia (I don't recall where exactly - Singapore?).
The last section of the exhibition was a display of various objects that served as model for objects used in the manga. Toys, household items even a manga Fuuka was reading in one panel that you can barely see (which turns out to be Honey & Clover). This was accompanied by large collage of larger objects (the cars that appear in the manga, the original Danbo etc.) and locations as well as Duralumin, locked in a plexiglass cage with breathing holes which was chained to the table, that you could pick up and turn around so you could hear it go "Mweeeeh".
You describe it so well.
That's a skill.
I agree, and I greatly appreciate your report of this event.
Oooh I wanted to know more about this! (>>2789, but didn't want to start a whole new thread without being able to provide anything…)>>2835>Life-size cardboard cutouts next to the entrance
Hah! I should have figured that's what that was. Barasui posted this picture a couple of days ago: https://twitter.com/_barasui/status/1119470861214289921
>plexiglass cage with breathing holes
Lol, this is cute for some reason.
Also wow I wish they sold those t-shirts on their store online.
Anyway, thank you so much for this super, super detailed trip report with some cool pictures too. Really great to read and hear about.