19th Manga Division Critiques
Manga of Love, and Love for Manga
My manga career spans only 20 years, but I have halfa-century of experience reading them. I accepted the offer to become a juror since I thought it was enough to love manga.
However, I shouldn't have rationalized by love so nonchalantly. I learned from manga that love is an uphill battle. To describe the reasons to love, and of the need to separate if confronted with reasons otherwise is unapologetically difficult. We can collapse under its heavy load.
As one has to choose a mantra to carry, so too I persevered to choose mine. I noticed that many of the works that came up for consideration concerned love. From Kakukaku shikajika (So-and-so, Such-and-such) with master-and-pupil combo of two powerful characters, to Otouto no otto (My Brother's Husband) that depicted the state of homosexual relationship and family, the unwavering reason and motivation to create these works can only be described as love. Awajima hyakkei (A Hundred Scenes of AWAJIMA) is filled with talented beautiful girls born to be loved, or the sadness and cruelty of the "humanity-machine relationship" captured in Kikai jikake no ai (Machinework Love) that is pure ironically because machines are heart-less. How one is loved and expresses love in Machida-kun no sekai (The World of Machida-kun) is heartwarming. Machida-kun no sekai was playfully wonderful and we cannot help but to love the lively characters.
When the winners for the Japan Media Arts Festival were announced, I was touched by the "Congratulations!" exchanged on SNS from not only applicants, but by publishers and bookstores. Everyone supported the jury's decision and lifted the heavy load off us. As I felt joyous as love was overflowing from manga, simultaneously I was reminded that my love for manga still has yet to develop, and there are many challenges ahead. Next year, I need to improve my ability to draw, read, judge, and the sales figure.