Japanese comic book author Mimana Orimoto arrived in Taiwan yesterday on a 10-day trip to travel throughout the nation on a motorcycle and gather inspiration for a Taiwan-based spin-off of his Bakuon!! series.
The visit is a collaboration between Future Digi Ltd, Kwang Yang Motor Co (KYMCO), the Taipei Department of Information and Tourism, and Akita Publishing (Akita Shoten), which handles Bakuon!!, Future Digi manager Han Ching-yueh (韓京岳) said.
Orimoto is to travel to the four “poles” of Taiwan in the north, south, east and west, Han said.
The motorcycles or scooters in the spin-off series would be KYMCO models, Han said, adding that Orimoto would ride a KYMCO motorcycle on his trip.
Taiwan has been voted the top location for overseas travel by Japanese and the city government rates the Japanese tourism market highly, Taipei Department of Information and Tourism Director Liu Yi-ting (劉奕霆) said.
This collaboration would hopefully teach more Japanese about Taipei, making them want to visit the city, Liu said.
The original series was a comedy based on a high-school motorcycle club for girls and was popular among motorcycle enthusiasts, Akita Shoten chief editor Takuo Meiji said, adding that the new series would portray a different sense of allure for its readers by incorporating Taiwanese culture.
Over the next 10 days, Orimoto would experience the sights and scenes that are familiar to Taiwanese motorcycle and scooter riders, Meiji said.
These sights include the so-called “scooter waterfall” — referring to the density of scooters on Taipei Bridge; the “longest” and the “straightest” road, referring to Provincial Highway No. 9 on the east coast; and the “loneliest” stretch of road, referring to County Road No. 102 in New Taipei City, Meiji said.
Many readers of Bakuon!! have expressed an interest in visiting Taiwan, Meiji said, adding that Japanese are drawn to Taiwan because of the nation’s railways or after being inspired by comics.
“We hope this spin-off adds to the trend and inspires more people to visit Taiwan,” Meiji added.
The Taiwanese spin-off is expected to be serialized in Young Champion Retsu magazine.
Separately, a Future Digi artist named Hayasi plans to publish a serialized comic based on Taiwanese delicacies and snacks under Akita Shoten, Han said.
Hopefully, the Hayasi comic also entices Japanese to visit Taiwan, Han added.
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