15th Manga Division Critiques

Expressions that transcend boundaries with other fields

I also served on the jury for editions 6, 7, 8, and 9 of the Japan Media Arts Festival. Things have changed completely since then and I was taken aback by the tremendous diversity. The development of new media has led to a growing number of web-based manga that cover a broad spectrum of publication styles and expressive methods.
There was quite a bit of unevenness in the initial screening after value judgments made by selection committee members, but a thorough review of individual criteria during the course of jury meetings ultimately led, through a series of votes, to a final selection. L'INCAL by Mœbius (completed in 1988) has already earned a certain measure of acclaim; given that its submission this year was occasioned by the much-delayed publication of the entire story in Japan, it was dropped from the list of finalists during the selection process.
The Grand Prize-winning Saturn Apartments picked up votes from the very beginning.The near-future premise of the work seems plausible, and the creativity and persuasiveness with which it connects to people's everyday consciousness deserves applause.
The author's ability to spin together a truly realistic tale of small-bore emotion in a science fiction setting without becoming overbearing suggests a bright future. Two entries from overseas---Fun Home -A Family Tragicomic- and Arrugas / el Faro---were selected for the Excellence Award. Fun Home, in particular, has a literary power that transcends comics, and in adopting the comics format has blurred its boundaries with other genres. HIMITSU THE TOP SECRET, the work of a highly regarded veteran, maintained a firm hold on its position all the way through to the final selection. Among New Face Award winners, the web-based Mustard-Chocolate has created something convincing in the smooth process of clicking through frames one-by-one.

Manga Artist / Professor, Kyoto Seika University
Born in Tokushima Prefecture in 1950, TAKEMIYA was attending the University of Tokushima when she began the serial Mori no Ko Toru (Toru, Child of the Forest) in Shogakukan's weekly girls' manga magazine Shukan Shojo Comic. Her best-known works include Terra e (To Terra), Kaze to Ki no Uta (Song of the Wind and the Trees), and Izaron Densetsu (Legend of Izaron). In 1980, she won the 25th Shogakukan Manga Award. In the same year Terra e was made into a theatrical animation. She became a professor in the Department of Manga at Kyoto Seika University in April 2000; in 2006 the Department became the Faculty of Manga. As part of her university research she developed the Genga Project to preserve and exhibit precious original manga drawings. Since 2003 she has worked with many artists in setting up an annual summer Genga Exhibition. In 2012 she received the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Award of the Japan Cartoonist Association Awards.