18 Year Olds Receive Money For Arts and Spend it on Manga in France

The President of France appears to be a fan of manga, or at least sees the value in it. Manga sales are rising at a fast pace in France after the government launched a smartphone app in May that gives 300 euros (around $350 USD) to every 18-year-old to spend on the arts. The New York Times reported that, as of July, 75% of all purchases made through the app are books, about two-thirds of which were manga. The app is called the Culture Pass, but the French news media have been calling it the “Manga Pass.”

Earlier this month, Macron shared an illustration he received from One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda. In France, the manga’s first volume had reportedly sold over 1 million copies as of July. The series represents 8.3% of the French manga market, with 25 million copies sold since 2013.

Bookstore owners are extremely happy with the uptick in sales from teenagers, noting that there are teens who show up to buy dozens of volumes of manga at a time. “Getting young people who read but who are more used to Amazon or big-box stores to come to us isn’t easy,” says Naza Chiffert, who runs two independent bookstores in Paris.

One 18-year-old told Le Monde that they bought the entire set of Hirohiko Araki’s Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean manga “without breaking the bank.”

Although the program has drawn criticism for not sufficiently encouraging youths to invest in the less popular arts, a seller of the La Planète Dessin bookstore in Paris, which specializes in French comics (Bande dessinée) and manga, says that it’s a good thing for teens to be reading. “Don’t be sorry they read manga. You have to remember that before this, young people would stop reading altogether at that age.”

The Culture Pass was one of President Emmanuel Macron’s campaign promises. In a speech to commemorate the app’s launch in May, he said that it would be a “formidable victory” for France when young people stopped rejecting literature and film.

Last weekend, President Emmanuel Macron, met with the creators of Dark Souls, AKIRA, and Fairy Tail.

Source: ANN

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Sarah Leone
Sarah Leonehttps://sarahleone.com/
An independent artist who loves to mix things up between traditional and digital art. She has a love for all things anime, animation, and manga. Oh, and cats. Can't forget the cats.

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