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Yves Schlirf worked in a bookshop before becoming one of the very first to import mangas into France. This true pioneer has become publishing director for Kana, a subsidiary of Dargaud dedicated to Asian comic strips and the Made in Japan collection. He dreams of exporting Franco-Belgian comic strips to Japan. The Made in Japan collection debuted in March 2004 with two series, Le Sommet des Dieux, by Jirô Taniguchi and Baku Yumemakura, and Number Five, by Taiyô Matsumoto. Yves Schlirf explained that (loosely translated) “from the very start of the Kana label, our goal has always been to show the various aspects of Japanese comic strips, which are much more fragmented than the Franco-Belgian ones and are not aimed at the same readership.” Focusing on Japanese productions, (loosely translated) “our goal was to fill a niche that didn’t even exist at the time, the Shonen manga. Apart from the Dragon Ball series, there was no other Shonen manga available in French. So we introduced Saint Seiya, Les Chevaliers du Zodiaque, Yuyu Hakusho, Détective Conan, Yu-Gi-Oh ! Kana has recently diversified even more with two Shojo publications and more adult mangas like Dark and Big Kana.

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