According to Japan Times, Foreign Minister Taro Aso is urging French Presidential Candidate Segolene Royal, who view manga as being violent and pornographic, to read manga:

As the French presidential election campaign enters its last days, Foreign Minister Taro Aso gave advice to one of the highest-profile candidates in the race: Read more Japanese comics.

Via: Precocious Curmudgeon

PARIS (February 28, 2007) -- On the heels of the recent announcement regarding Hachette Book Group USA's graphic novel imprint Yen Press' first acquisitions comes another exciting announcement from Hachette's parent company Lagardère. Today, Lagardère announces that Hachette Livre is acquiring PIKA, the third largest manga publisher in the French market. The acquisition of PIKA will also contribute to manga businesses across Hachette Livre, including Yen Press.

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liberationGengoroh Tagame is a manga artist who specializes in BDSM and erotic manga. His works include G-men, Gunji, SM-Z, and more, most of which contain graphical violence and sex scenes. Recently one of Gengoroh Tagame's manga, Arena, was reviewed by the French newspaper Libération. In his blog, Tagame writes about his surprise when he found out Libération included with the review uncensored illustrations from his manga, most of which would have never made it to print media in Japan.

*Note links in this article may contain explicit materials that are NSFW, you have been warned.

Review and Illustrations Appear in French Newspaper Libération

A few days ago, I received an English email that read:

"I'm the writer of a French newspaper called Libération. I'm planning to write a review of your manga "Arena," which will include some of your illustrations. Could you send some of the high-resolution images on your website to me?"

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The Comics Reporter reports that Non Non Ba by Shigeru Mizuki became the first manga to win the prize for Best Album (Prix du Meilleur Album) at the Festival International de la Bande Dessinee in Angouleme, France.

Source: MangaBlog

The Comics Reporter and looks at the nominees for the Angouleme Essential Awards, the prize of which will be handed out at the Festival International de la Bande Dessinee. Manga nominated for the award are:

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The French Association of Comics Critics and Journalists (l'ACBD - Association des Critiques et journalistes de Bande Dessinée) has released its annual report of on comics and manga in France.

The list shows interesting informations about how styles and name-recognition affect manga sales in France. The Japanese manga with the biggest success was Naruto, with 130,000 units printed for each edition. Below is a list of the graphic novel that were printed. All information are from the PDF archive on the Association website.

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In his latest Flipped column, David Welsh looks at popular manga released in France.

Thursday in Paris, a press conference was held announcing award candidates for next year’s Angoulême Comics Festival. ActuaBD (Google translation) has the report. The Angoulême Comics Festival, which takes place each year in the town of Angoulême, France, is Europe's biggest comics event, and its prizes are the most prestigious awards on offer in the continent.

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On Sep 10th, Segolene Royal, a popular member of the French congress, announced her candidacy for the coming election for the President of France.

Despite the dissenters inside her Socialist Party, Segolene Royal is one of the top presidential candidate according to most French opinion polls. Segolene Royal's opponent in the upcoming election in the May of next year will be Nicolas Sarkozy, the Minister of the Interior from the "Union for a Popular Movement." There is a possibility that France will see its first female President.

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France, one of the world's largest manga market, now has its own manga cafe. "Manga Kissa," orginally started in 1979 in Japan, is now a chain of 300 stores. The new manga cafe in Paris has in stock over 8,000 manga in the French language, according to the cafe, "This is the ideal source to find some peace, and not only can you find the latest releases, but also many rare and collectors items."