Browsing through a shop which specializes in manga, Manga-Thé is more than a book shop, it’s a concept: Both a library and a bookstore, one can enjoy a cup of tea whilst reading manga for an hour.
Or, even better: If you buy 3 books, your tea is free. Isn’t life grand?
Open for more than three years, the mission of Manga-Thé was and is the popularization of these strange little Japanese comics for children, which also happen to be full of naked women. It’s a somewhat paradoxical vision that isn’t yet shared by many Quebecois.
What’s more, these kinds of publications were poorly regarded by comic book stores.
The difference between European and North American attitudes toward Manga is amazing. Manga is 40% of comic sales in France against only 15% in Quebec.
While we’re considering the statistics, here are some more incredible numbers to ponder concerning all published books sold per year per capita:
- Japan: 14 works/year/capita
- France: 7
- United States: Only 0.7!!!
And considering only manga, France is the 2nd largest consumer after Japan, of course. And though the U.S. is 4.9 times more populous than France, France sells 10 times more manga than the U.S. – That’s a ratio of 49 times more manga sold per capita! Unbelievable, right?
In short, to fight against the idea that manga is only hentai (erotic manga), Manga-Thé offers a wide selection of manga according to the tastes of all those who are curious to try it out. For example. “Drops of God” is good for those in their 50′s, as this manga won a grand prize from a wine magazine in France.
Since all the volumes are available for reading inside the shop, one might fear their condition when making a purchase, but again the answer is simple and sensible: the readers are respectful.
Indeed, you don’t have to hide yourself to read the manga in the shop and put it back quickly on the shelf when a security guard passes by.
And, of course, as the most-read manga are therefore the best-selling manga, one usually buys what they read.
A large community has formed around Manga-Thé, so for the past 2 years, the shop’s regulars came to celebrate an anniversary of their own. A beautiful example of friendship. Numerous events are held there, such as designing parties, Magic card games, board game nights, or even release parties (for highly anticipated volumes, of course). Some new activities should be added soon, like the game called Go.
In short, you can see for yourself if you like manga and tea. Do not hesitate to visit yourself.