Numiscollect brings the exciting world of Japanese Manga to modern numismatics, with a seasonal pair of designs
An absolute cultural behemoth, Manga has spread rapidly from its original comic form to multiple media platforms, pleasing the hundreds of millions of fans around the globe. However, it seems the coin world has overlooked it. We’ve lots of issues featuring classic art from antiquity to modern, and tons of comic book coins encompassing both Marvel and DC, yet the gigantic popularity of Manga has passed it by.
No more. Dutch producer Numiscollect, one of the best around, in our view, has jumped in with the first pair in a four-coin series. The coins have eschewed the countless Manga series for direct inspiration, and applied the distinctive art-style to the four seasons. It’s a clever idea, allowing Numiscollect to test the market and see if it’s something collectors will take a shine to. We think they will – just look at the phenomenal success of Chibi, for example.
The coins are very much on point, with regard to design. The small chin, big-eyed look that exemplifies the style of women in this world, is very much in evidence, and they’re brightly coloured in both cases, sitting over an uncoloured Japan-themed background. Summer is filled with sunflowers and the blonde girl is depicted carefree, with Mount Fuji on the horizon. Autumn is set in front of a temple, and the girl’s hair has the colour of falling autumn leaves. She wears traditional Japanese dress. We imagine both designs appealing to Manga fans.
While Numiscollect releases a lot of multi-ounce coins, they’ve sensibly chosen to stick with the more affordable one-ounce format for this new endeavour. These are a great first step into a wonderfully unique cultural juggernaut, and we hope they’re popular. The coins come boxed, with a Certificate of Authenticity, and each design is limited to 999 pieces. Winter and Spring will debut in 2023.
WHAT IS MANGA?
The term ‘Manga’ comes from a Japanese word formed from two kanji, meaning, roughly, ‘whimsical pictures’. Manga is certainly that, drawing from a style popular in late-19th century Japan.
It’s hard to grasp just how popular Manga is, especially in its homeland, where in 1995 it generated almost $7b USD, with almost 2 billion copies (approx 15 issues per person annually!) sold. It remains a multi-billion dollar industry, more popular than ever, and has taken that popularity abroad, notably in the US, where it outsells other comics massively, and Europe, aided by the abundant selection on digital platforms.
Because Manga is produced in huge quantities (comics are like phone directories in many cases), they’re generally black & white, although colour remains popular. In Japan, Manga is read by people of all ages and walks of life. The themes are bountiful: action, adventure, business and commerce,
comedy, detective, drama, historical, horror, mystery, romance, science
fiction and fantasy, erotica (hentai and ecchi), sports and games, and
suspense, among others. Basically, if you can name it, Manga has it!
As well as comics, the genre has exploded on film, and on television, where global streaming platforms have made programmes easily accessible in other countries. Indeed, adaptations are being financed by Western companies regularly, eager to satiate the huge demand for it. Sometimes, original film/TV works in the genre go full circle, making the jump back to comic form.
Manga comics are an institution in Japan, where hotels and public buildings often having libraries of them for people to read. Issues can go from 200, to almost 900 pages in size, printed on cheap paper, and filled with self-contained stories, and latest chapters of ongoing stories. A single Manga comic can hold dozens of different stories, chapters, or strips, and are published monthly.
|SPECIFICATION PER COIN
|DENOMINATION||$5 Cook Islands|
|BOX / C.O.A.||Yes / Yes|
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