Award-winning WorksManga Division
- FUJIMOTO YukariAssociate Professor, Meiji University[Critique by work category] Frame Manga, Independent Manga, On-line Manga, OthersThe number of entries to the Festival has grown steadily every year, but, sorry to say, the number of Frame Mangas was unchanged, and the number of On-Line Mangas and Independent Mangas decreased by almost half. In fact, there were only 2 entries from abroad this year. Admittedly, there is a problem in how we assess a piece of work in a foreign language, but I would like to invite a wide range of entries from abroad by taking various measures and increase the number of submission of works from abroad as much as possible.
Speaking of the contents, the works of OnLine Ma nga including Independent Manga which had impressed readers by using distinctive digital methods attracted our attention. However, it was a shame that they all stopped at the point where they produced the "method" but somehow they were not accompanied by interesting aspects of content. At the same time, there was a work which was overall not really special , but nonetheless created a favorable impression and it reminded me that "an On-Line Manga has an aspect which can be kept going in color." Also, in Frame Mangas, including Independent Manga, I had an impression that there were many works making skillful use of CG and moving images. I would like to hold out hope for the emergence of a new talent.
- WATANABE MasakoManga Artist[Critique by work category] Story Manga CritiqueWe saw many works surpass by far last year's in number and quality, of entries, perhaps because it was the 10th Anniversary of the Festival this year. For the Grand Prize Winner, which is fitting to the milestone of the Festival's 10th year, a great work by an expert--big-boned and spectacular--was chosen by unanimous consent . For the Excellence Prize, there were many works from various genres such as those with a fantastic or "healing" flavor and we saw the richness of presentation, amusingness of ideas and a breadth of scope which was unique to story manga, or graphic novel.
There were many original and dynamic works among those left out of the final screening, including controversial ones where the writers tackled squarely the world of Intersexual or gender identity issues, and we also hold a large expectation for them as a new genre in the future. The distinctive style of story mangas is regarded as a unique feature of the culture of Japan which has been developed since World War II. The tree of story mangas stretches out in many branches from the large trunk of TEZUKA Manga and produces many fruits of manga-artists and it will keep growing and spreading its arms into the sky full of hope with possibilities for the future. It was a shame that there were not so many entries from abroad this year. I hope many wonderful works with the original flavor of each county will enter the Festival in the future to compete with Japanese manga and provide a rich cultural interchange. It is a great pleasure that the number of applications to the Japan Media Arts Festival has grown over time. I hope that we will have many entries of works with unique aspects of story manga next year.
- MONKEY PunchManga ArtistThe number of applications hit a record high this year. It was indeed the bane of the judge’s life to have to decide which was better than the others.The Japan Media Arts Festival celebrates its 10th Anniversary this year. The number of entries has been increasing year after year and the number of applications hit a record high this year. More than 80% of submissions were published manga, followed by Independent Manga, On-line Manga then others. Story manga reached more than 70% of the total. It seems natural to say it, but about 90% of entries were works by professional manga artists.
A Spirit of The Sun gathered the highest points from all the Jury members and was acclaimed the Grand Prize winner to the jurists' satisfaction. However, it was indeed the bane of the judge's life to have to decide which was better than the others among the short-listed works which had survived the careful screening. There were among the entries established best-selling works which are highly regarded by their readers, but this time, those works had to pass in front of the eyes of the professional manga artists in the screening session and be re-evaluated, then selected for the Grand Prize, which is, for the Jurists, an agonizing decision.
Such being the case, I feel extremely sorry for the works which were not selected. I do hope the artists will try again the next time around.