Award-winning Works
Animation Division

Grand Prize

Excellence Award

Jury Selections


  • KIFUNE Sonoko
    Animation Artist
    [Critique by work category] Short Animation
    The maturation of digital technology has enabled both professionals and amateurs to meet on the same ground, and animation has become rich and varied. Few of the 223 short animation made a strong or conspicuous impact, but it was easy to select 22 fine works. However, it was surprising that the Grand Prize, three Excellence Prizes, and the Encouragement Prize went to short animations. The House of Small Cubes, which was unanimously selected for the Grand Prize by the jury, is a work in which artistic aspects and a moving theme are perfectly fused, and it is clear that the artist put his heart and soul into the work. In KUDAN, the artist has constructed an inventive world with his excellent use of CG technology. DREAMS gives the audience feeling of a hand-embroidered work. We also encountered many notable young talents. A Child's Metaphysics attempted to visualize philosophy, while knyacki! Heaven and Hell and Little BIRD IN GINGHAM present a tender world with high technical capabilities. I would like to give my warmest congratulations to those professional creators who continue to have love, tenacity and a spirit of challenge for animation.
  • IKUHARA Kunihiko
    Animation Director
    [Critique by work category] Long Animation (Movie, TV, Original Video Animation)
    In the final screening process, a rather harsh view emerged that no piece of work from this genre was worthy of a prize, but after the audition, I paused and realized something. KAIBA, The Sky Crawlers, HELLS ANGELS, SOULEATER, the Garden of sinners, and HAKABA KITARO. Believe it or not, these works are all set in "higan" (the other shore, where the dead live). The river that divides the dead and the living seems to be a keyword in 2008. The suggestion may be that "higan" is the world where we live now or that we do not know whether we are living or dead. Someone once said, "To be conscious of death is to feel truly alive." Now, does animation stick with that point? The jury members were divided over whether we should give an award to the Garden of sinners, and whether we should consider it as a new work or as merely a citation of a previous work. Debate raged over the issue but we eventually decided that we should wait and see next piece of work, and decided not to award a prize. The auditions for those "higan" works seemed to be taking us jury members to the other shore but left us with the feeling that we were stuck halfway.
  • SUZUKI Shinichi
    Animation Director
    SUZUKI Shinichi
    There was a total of 346 entries to this division this year. We had many fine works in the Short Animation Genre this year whereas there was no outstanding piece of work in long animations. As a result, a short animation, The House of Small Cubes, was selected as the Grand Prize winner with no objections. A man lives in a house amid an eerie silence that skillfully suggests global warming: this is a fine work and an impressive portrayal in which he quietly recounts memories of his family who left the house. The Excellence Prizes and the Encouragement Prize were decided after thorough discussion, and short animations commanded a majority again. KAIBA, which was selected from among the long animations, is a work by OVA with a surrealistic content and a fresh picture plane that feels to me to be close to a short animation. In the short animations, there were many fine works even among those that did not get a place. I hear that it is not easy for young Japanese people to stay in the field of Japanese TV animation industry because of financial considerations. However, the entries this year made me realize that there is undoubtedly a growing number of young artists in the independent short animation field.