25th Manga Division Critiques

Excellent, Attractive Perspective in the Present Era

The expansion of the base of manga seems apparent. The techniques of manga, as well as of many
other forms of expression and arts, always continue
to evolve with the times. Some entries seemed to me
that they were aiming for the height of expression, while
many others surprised me by using familiar subjects as
a theme.
About 50 years ago, weekly magazines were exclusively occupied by big-name manga artists, and
I hopelessly thought “I have no talent or ability good
enough to join them,” feeling hard-pressed because
“one can’t be a professional without drawing skills like
them.” Today, with more flexible approaches available
in terms of theme and expression, the times are more
kind to artists aspiring to publish their works. Numerous works, almost too many to search, are available for
reference. There are endless past bestsellers to read.
In fact, we live in a world where “we already have a lifelong manga supply without getting new ones.
” Even so,
we still need “new manga reflecting this era.” Being
up-to-date is extremely important for the manga genre—
the work quality depends on how well it depicts the
current time.
The entries of the Japan Media Arts Festival are hard
to evaluate since their target readership and age group
are unclear, but this in turn makes the themes of the
entries diverse far beyond what one can imagine. Some
works overwhelm readers with their powerful drawings,
some are impressively well researched even though demand for such works is doubtful, some simply depict a
melancholic reality, and some are lighthearted fictions
that readers wish to become true. In all of these works, a
fresh perspective of the “current” time is important, and
I saw a variety of such standpoints this time. In order to
present an excellent perspective, I think accumulated
skills, momentary determination, and of course, “generosity to harness people power” are essential.

Manga Artist and CEO, Aibic Co., Ltd.
Born in the town of Ikeda in the district of Nakagawa in Hokkaido Prefecture, and lives in the city of Sapporo. His real name is TEZUKA Hidehiko. He debuted in 1982 with Hissatsu no tenkosei (Killer Transfer Student), and his most important works include Blazing Transfer Student, Gyakkyo Nine (Nine in Adversity), Moeyo pen (Burn, Pen), Hoero pen (Roar, Pen), Chokyuu! Kido buto den G gundam (Heavyweight Mechanical Militant Legend G Gundam), and Anime tencho (Animation Store Manager). His ongoing serial manga include Aoi Hono (Blue Blaze) and Hero Company. Aoi Hono won an Award in the General category at the 60th Shogakukan Manga Awards, and the Excellence Award in the Manga Division at the 18th Japan Media Arts Festival. He presently serves as the president and representative director of Aibic Co., Ltd.