Award-winning Works
Animation Division

Grand Prize

Excellence Award

Jury Selections


  • NOMURA Tatsutoshi
    Animation Artist
    NOMURA Tatsutoshi
    I would like to comment on the recommended works, mainly on the short animations that came close to winning a prize. HAND SOAP, which perfectly depicts the turmoil and pangs of puberty in the most unpleasant manner, received a large number of votes because of its completeness and originality. However, after a heated discussion of its artistic merit and decency, it ended up not being selected. a formula of forgotten planet, too, is a powerful piece of work, which depicts an inner journey almost equal to a return to the womb in aquarelle from a woman's viewpoint. Whether its narrative and sentiments appealed to the jury's sympathies or not split the vote in the final screening. Both Lizard Planet and the only one room are pleasant works with high-quality finish, which reached the final stage of voting. I personally enjoyed the comically malevolent family in Fuji-log. The jury members try to eliminate personal likes and dislikes from their deliberations, but admittedly, the final decision is likely to reflect one's own preferences. Yet, works created with great devotion and with no attempt at flattery are admirable and moving. I have been re-inspired to persist my own quest.
  • IKUHARA Kunihiko
    Animation Director
    IKUHARA Kunihiko
    This is an age when the "heart" has become important. Sweet Blue Flowers, though not selected, skillfully reflects the spirit of the times. In our lifetime, most people hear the phrases, "It's not you," or "You're wrong," uttered again and again. Sweet Blue Flowers, however, presents us with a miraculous encounter whose message is, "You can stay just the way you are." The jury disagreed in judging HAND SOAP. It has a grotesque style, which has already become apparent in contemporary art, and which, I thought, has started to appear in animation representation. The discussion centered on whether the jury considered the style as interesting or unpleasant. Though not selected this year, it is an outstanding piece of work in terms of a broadened expression. Many short animations create a "movie-like" impression after they have been viewed, which could be an influence of The House of Small Cubes, last year's Grand Prize work. Will this improve the quality of short animations or lead to the production of similar works? The trend in short animations from this point on is worthy of great attention.
  • SUZUKI Shinichi
    Animation Director
    SUZUKI Shinichi
    There were 473 entries to the Animation Division this year, the largest number of entries to date. Characteristically, we received more short animations than long animations, TV animations and OVA's. The trend could be connected, to the spread of animation production software for PCs and an increase in the number of young people studying animation in institutions. Considering that China and South Korea encourage the development of the animation industry, the trend might be a good sign also for the Japanese animation industry, whose position as forerunner in the field has become rather precarious. Even a work that already enjoys high public regard needs to go through the regular application procedure for Japan Media Arts Festival in order to be judged. SUMMER WARS, the Grand Prize winner, was one of the topical works this year, and was worthy of the prize both in terms of content and production technique. The director, HOSODA Mamoru, unanimously won the Grand Prize for a second time. After a lively exchange of opinions in selecting the Excellence prizes, the opinions of the jury eventually converged on works that showed distinctiveness in expression and content. Among those selected were two works from overseas, underscoring the fact that the festival is now well known internationally. The three Japanese works are all characteristic: an experimental one; a work that deals with the tragedy of an unpredictable mega-quake and involves a warning message; and a love story developed in a nostalgic setting. Lastly, there were also quite a few other fine works that were unfortunately unable to earn places due to the limited number of prizes.