24th Manga Division Critiques
To Feel the Artistʼs Passion
As evident in the lineup of award-winning works and the Jury's Selections, the submissions covered many genres this year. To select from among them a winner was as excruciating a task as deciding the best among top athletes in different sports, like marathon running, swimming the breaststroke, tennis, and the triathlon. None of the submissions had unanimous votes from the jury for any given award, be it the Grand Prize or New Face Award, so we narrowed down entries in the selection process by listening to the other jury members' opinions about nominations for each award. Evaluating the submissions reminded me of my first year of high school, when I first took up an ink pen to draw manga onto paper. Fifty years later, I'm still drawing with pen and ink. More artists are using styluses, tablets, and computers to illustrate manga of late. We call these methods digital and the old-fashioned method analog. Among the submissions reviewed this year were many digitally illustrated manga. Some were instantly recognizable as such, while others that appeared analog were actually digital. Whether of digital or analog works by newcomer or veteran artists, however, the judging process is what it is. Only the manga before you, right then and there, can be judged. In the end, I think it's the artist's passion for manga that determines which submissions will make it to the final round. Younger artists are direct with their passions, while veterans reveal their own particular leanings built over a long period of time. This passion the artist has poured into the manga is what moves readers. Be it a manga with breakneck action or a quiet, relaxing piece, each is illustrated with passion. How well this passion makes it across on the page is what moves the evaluation. I want readers to pick up these award-winning works once again. I hope readers can experience the great individuality of each artist and feel the intensity and passion of their thoughts anew.