21st Entertainment Division Critiques

The Future of Entertainment, Integrating into Everyday Life

Following the award winners of last year's celebratory turning point, I wondered what kind of explorations in the current era would begin in this year's art festival, which raises the curtain on a new period. This was my first time participating on the jury, and I faced a myriad of media entries while personally being strongly con- scious of this quiet run-up period coming immediately after this new beginning.The turning point, of course, does not simply refer to the Japan Media Arts Festival being held on more than 20 occasions. There was a tremendous impact in 2016 when a collection of contents brought about a suc- cession of social phenomena that achieved innovation in the span of post-war cultural history, including the Grand Prize winner, SHIN GODZILLA, the Excellence Award winner, Pokémon GO, and in the Animation Divi- sion, Your Name.Therefore, in contrast to the previous year, I felt that assessments needed to carefully consider the latent value behind the work and evaluate based on criteria that is as pluralistic as possible without relying this year on easy-to-understand topicality.Consequently, I feel that this year's winners showed a tendency toward both ends of the spectrum.While there is no significant transformation in the framework of conventional expression, the contents are of a type that attains a unique "style" of perfection by mastering the refinement of subject matter and tech- niques. This includes the Grand Prize winner, The Last Guardian, the Excellence Award winners, INDUSTRIAL JP and FOREST LUMINA, and the New Face Award win- ner, The Blind Fish.On the other hand, although some pieces lack refinement and intensity as isolated contents, they in- spire the possibility of transforming existing expression frames through new utilization of slightly polished tech- nology in the form of a general tool or platform (rather than as a possible, art-like imaginary world). The Excel- lence Award winners, Pechat and PaintsChainer, and the New Face Award winners, Dust and MetaLimbs fall into this type.The major directionality of entertainment history in the 21st century is basically evident. It is a trend in which the simultaneous enjoyment-type/mass distri-

Critic, Editor
NAKAGAWA Daichi was born in Tokyo in 1974. After earning credits in the doctoral program at Waseda Univer- sity's Faculty of Science and Engineer- ing, he withdrew from school and went on to publish various commentaries that bridge reality and ction by widely reading fields including Japanese thought, urban theory, anthropology, and information technology with a foundation in areas such as games, animation, and drama. He is the asso- ciate editor of the cultural review jour- nal, Planets, and his writings include Toukyou Sukai Tsuri-ron (The Tokyo Sky Tree Theory; Kobunsha, 2012) and Gendai Ge-mu Zenshi Bunmei no Yugi Shikan Kara (History of Modern Games: A Historical View of Games in Civiliza- tion; Hayakawa Publishing Corporation, 2016). He has also co-wrote or edited publications including Shisou Chizu vol. 4 (Atlas of Ideas Vol. 4; NHK Publish- ing, Inc., 2009) and Amachan Memori- zu (Ama-chan Memories; PLANETS/ Bungeishunju Ltd., 2013). He partici- pated in the script/series composition of the animated work, 6HP directed by MURAKAMI Takashi.