Vietnamese fans of Japanese anime and manga art will have a chance to enjoy an exhibition entitled Japan: Kingdom of Characters.

Star characters including Astro Boy, Ultraman, Hello Kitty and Doraemon, popular amongst local children and adults, will be put on display as standing figures as well as via panels and DVDs.

"We hope that visitors will gain a better understanding of the sub-cultural and historical background behind Japan's love for this type of art and its significance in modern society," said Norihiko Yoshioka, from the Japan Foundation that set up the exhibition.

In Japan, characters are found on bank passbooks and train passes alongside the regular and seemingly natural presence of stuffed mascots at local police boxes, Yoshioka noted.

"They have permeated everyday life in Japan to a degree that would be unthinkable in most other countries".

Visitors will have a chance to discover how characters such as Pokemon, Mobile Suit Gundam and Sentokun have infiltrated and affected modern culture.

Through the exhibition, its organisers want anime and manga fans in Vietnam to gain a panoramic overview of the art from the 1950s to 2000s and its future scope.

The exhibition will kick off at the Vietnam University of Fine Arts in Hanoi on Oct. 6 and run until the 23rd before it visits the Ho Chi Minh Museum in Hue from November 2-13, and the HCM City Museum between November 25 and December 4./.