14th Manga Division Critiques
Compete on the fun of interpretation
Like last year, the awarded works in the 14th Japan Media Arts Festival included many historical sagas. Some critics argue that "the great fiction" has been long lost, but isn't it possible that the evolution of human history and deeds are filled with more dynamism and adventure than pure fiction? Furthermore, calling historical facts into doubt is not a taboo anymore, and it is a known fact that policymakers distort history at their own convenience. In fact, manga itself owes its existence to invention and twisting of facts. In other words, the fun of interpretation is the main weapon of the manga art. The positive recognition of such subjective and challenging acts of creation is probably appropriate for the Japan Media Arts Festival.
In that sense, I felt that manga in new types of media, such as the Internet and mobile phones, is still in the trial-and-error stage. It cannot fully utilize the advantages of interactivity yet. The persistence and creative thinking of artists that stick to print media for their independent works were much more amusing and filled with promise.