14th Manga Division Critiques
Awarded work reflects the spirit of history
HISTORIE received the highest critical acclaim by most members of the jury and relatively smoothly was selected as the winner of the Grand Prize. In contrast, the manga works nominated for the Excellence Prize were uniformly superb, so it was very difficult to narrow them down to four recipients of the prize. This fact alone demonstrates the concentration of diverse manga works of the highest level at this year's Japan Media Arts Festival.
There were many elaborate works whose plot incorporates unfamiliar down-to-earth settings, and among the manga works on historical topics there were both classical history manga and modern history manga, so the selection of the prize winners reflects the maturity of manga culture.
The cat manga Ore to Neko-Nyan, which failed to win an Excellence Prize, stood out for the extraordinary affection demonstrated by the jury members, a fact that probably proves the chemistry between cats and manga artists.
I was also impressed by the way works with a plot set in the near future, such as Bokurano, Diaspolice, and WOMBS, reflect contemporary Japanese society, the various changes it is going through, and the ever growing sense of impending crisis.