25th Entertainment Division Critiques

With a New Normal

My impression of the last year was that there were
many entries with a quick response to the COVID-19
pandemic. For the Entertainment Division judging this
year, my personal focus was on finding trends different from the previous year. Interestingly, the entries that
placed a particular focus on the pandemic were not
highly rated as expected. The pandemic has become
a new normal, and we started to ask what can be done
with the premise.
In terms of “normal,” works such as Giant 3D Cat,
viewers:1, and HATACHI NO HANA, indicate that a
society on social media has also become our normal,
forming a (legitimate) environment around the works. I
am looking forward to seeing the future development of
works that go beyond cheap populism (e.g., “going viral”) and that are connected with information platforms,
just like Project Guideline, for example.

What kind of experience should be offered by a
work, while keeping technology as a premise? Looking back based on this question, I think there is a
common approach among Cyberpunk 2077, Dislocation, YAKUSHIMA TREASURE ANOTHER LIVE from
YAKUSHIMA, and the Grand Prize winner, Naoki
Urasawa presents Manben neo -Yoshikazu Yasuhiko-.
What they offer is an increase in the number of perspectives, or a departure from the idea of perspective.
Virtually numerous cameras can be used, and the
visual experience can be multilateral. That said, we already knew that such a group of works is technically
possible. Nevertheless, the question is what to present? It appears to me that this year’s highly rated works
are those that refine the idea and direction, have been
matured, and brought to fruition with an ideology.
Personally, I remember there were bountiful entries
in the game category last year, with many attractive
works from Japan and abroad. I expect to see more and
more coming up with amazing user experiences in the
future of this field.

Writer and Story Critic
Writer, story critic, and author of original manga. His writing on video games includes Bokutachi no ge-mu shi (A People's History of Video Games) [Star Seas Company], Bungaku to shite no Dragon Quest (Dragon Quest as Literature) [Core Magazine], and Game zasshi guidebook (Guidebook to Video Game Magazines) [Sansai Books]. He also authored Junendai bunkaron (Culturology of the 2010s) [Star Seas Company], Bungaku no yomikata (How to Read Literature) [Star Seas Company], AKB shoho to ha nan datta noka (What Was AKB's Way of Doing Business?) [Taiyohtosho], Kyara no shikoho (Ways of Thinking About Characters) [Seidosha], Meitantei Konan to Heisei (Detective Conan (Case Closed) and the Heisei Period) [Core Magazine], and more. He is the author of the original manga qtμt [LINE COMICS, drawings by FUMI Fumiko].