25th Manga Division Critiques

Infinite Diversity of Manga Expressions

During the unfortunate year of the COVID-19 pandemic,
I read more manga than usual due to several stay-athome orders. However, what I read was certainly limited
to those that suit my own tastes, range of interests, and
research areas. Serving on the jury this time was a great
opportunity for me to reset my rather stiffened “view of
manga,” thanks to the applicants. I am honored to see
so many excellent works from Japan and abroad.
Diverse story settings and storylines, a wide range
of drawing styles, and high artistic quality—I was excited that so many engrossing works exist. After reading
the entries, however, this in turn caused serious distress
in the judging process when I had to select only a few
from such a wide variety of works. The entries were
carefully evaluated through consultation with the other
four jury members.
I am fully convinced by the results,
even though opinions were somewhat divided.
I hope many people will read the Award-winning
Works and the Jury Selections, and discover new manga. The Jury Selections are all interesting and drawn
in unique styles, including those with a completely fictional theme, and those addressing social issues such
as the pandemic, solitary death, sexual harassment,
child abuse, and hoarder houses. Even though social
issues are covered, the works are not preachy but enlightening, and can be enjoyed in many different ways,
as documentaries or entertainment. As an educator, I
would like to read some of them with my students.

Associate Professor, Department of Intercultural Communication, Faculty of International Studies, Ryukoku University
Specializes in sociology, cultural anthropology, and cultural studies. BAUWENS-SUGIMOTO came to Japan in 1997 as a Japanese-government-sponsored MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) Scholarship student and entered Osaka University Graduate School of Human Sciences in 1999. She became a researcher at the 21st Century Center of Excellence Program in 2002 and an assistant professor in the Faculty of Manga at Kyoto Seika University in 2006. In 2007, she completed her Ph.D. She became a researcher at Kyoto Seika University International Manga Research Center in 2011, junior associate professor at Ryukoku University Department of Intercultural Communication in 2014, and associate professor at Ryukoku University Faculty of International Studies in 2017.