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.