Award-winning Works
Animation Division

Grand Prize

Excellence Award

Encouragement Prize

Jury Selections


  • Rintaro
    Animation Director
    A sense of stagnation and passion on the edge of turbulence
    Led by The Tatami Galaxy, which spectacularly won the Grand Prize in the Animation Division of the 14th Japan Media Arts Festival, the four works that won the Excellence Prize and the work that was awarded the Encouragement Prize, add up to an impressive lineup of brilliant animation works. All are truly wonderful works born from the unique talent of the artists, who freely make use of sophisticated composition and powers of expression to create them frame by frame while anchoring their passions on the edge of turbulence in today's creative environment plagued by a sense of stagnation.
    The other Jury Recommended Works, which regretfully did not win any award in this year's edition of the festival, are also brilliant examples of the animation that create a rich variety of imaginary worlds.
    It is a well-known fact that Japan is the world's preeminent power in the animation field, and yet I would like to cheer and applaud Japanese animators for the maturity of their work.
    Film will live forever!
  • HIGUCHI Shinji
    The importance of animation experienced through the ear
    Thanks to digital technologies, the power of expression has expanded dramatically not only in commercial works, but also in independent animation productions. The technological barriers that in the past stood between the passion for creation and the results have vanished, and many works submitted from art universities are a must see and fill us with expectations and hope for the future. What creators must not forget is the audio element, which comprises voice acting, music and sound effects. Even more important than the benefits of digital technologies are the elements achieved through cooperation and collaboration among creators of the same generation. The Tatami Galaxy, which won the Grand Prize after a spirited debate, is impressive with the flood-like dialogue; in Fumiko's Confession, the story would be incomplete without the screams of the protagonist Hina; in Mai Mai Miracle, the expressiveness of the leading actress FUKUDA Mayuko enhances the sparkle of the imaginary world. Against the backdrop of the general improvement in the quality of drawings, the screening in this year's festival highlighted the exciting future possibilities ahead of animation that is experienced through the ear.
  • HIKAWA Ryusuke
    Animation Critic
    A milestone year from the perspectives of culture, expression, and generational diversity
    From the moment I was appointed to the jury, I knew that this year the selection would be very difficult. I had seen many ambitious and unique works through my work alone, so I was aware that there would be a rich variety this year. Just as I expected, the screening process was fierce. We narrowed down the award nominees with much regret. The selection of the Grand Prize winner, in particular, caused intense discussion. Package sales have now reached a turning point, and commercially they are entering a harsh period. In the field of theatrical release animation, however, we saw the fruition of numerous unique projects whose groundwork took three to five years. 2010 should be recognized as a milestone year for animation from the perspectives of culture, expression, and the generational diversity of both creators and audiences. In the short animation genre, the wide scope of expression and diverse themes in the works submitted from various countries were interesting. The expert use of CG in some works was truly amazing, while the hand drawing in others was very impressive and prioritized a soft yet powerful dynamism close to the origins of animation.
  • A sense of stagnation and passion on the edge of turbulence
    Hopes for evolution to the next dimension
    Participating in this jury was a stimulating experience, which allowed me to take a panoramic view of the vastness and evolution of Japanese animation and its unbalanced status. In the long animation category, we saw many original animations marked by the touch of true professionals: powerful challenges, meticulous research and production, and high standards. The Tatami Galaxy is the first TV series to win the Grand Prize. The synergy of powerful narration and fascinating visual effects raises great hopes for evolution to the next dimension. MIDORI-KO, a work entirely and single-handedly created by its artist, also sparked discussion among the jury with its unique pictorial expressiveness. We have entered a new era that demands proper evaluation of such long works that can trace their roots to short animations. Short animations, whose preliminary review I was in charge of, are an excellent opportunity to challenge the potential for expression through animation. Increased number of entries from overseas impressed me that the jury is expected to grow with its original perspective. However, the number of entries for this genre has declined. I strongly encourage creators to submit their works to the festival.
    Animation Artist
    Need for a more fulfilling environment for production
    There were 425 entries to the Animation Division including works from overseas. One of the characteristics of this year's entries was that the number of feature length animations such as movies increased, while the number of works in the short animation, TV animation, and Original Video Animation (OVA) genres was about the same as the previous year. There was a slightly higher number of entries from overseas, especially the number from France sharply rising to 56 from 21 last year.
    Japan Media Arts Festival only screens the entries, which means that works that are not submitted will not go through the screening process. We hope to see continuous cooperation of those who involved in this festival.
    While we hear voices that TV animations are losing their vigor these days, The Tatami Galaxy by director YUASA Masaaki has an overwhelming development of the story backed by dynamic movements and unconventional graphics. It is a new and highly amusing entertaining work with a good plot.
    Mai Mai Miracle by director KATABUCHI Sunao and Colorful by director HARA Keiichi were also the masterpieces of this year. In the genre of short animation, works of great variety were entered into the competition from around the globe, which spoke of the many creators behind the works.There were many works among entries from overseas dealing with social themes, which were produced with subsidies. This may be an indication of the difference in production ability between Japanese and overseas works. For better or worse, Japanese short animations have more personal themes, and it is difficult to find a good arena to take advantage of this feature.
    The situation has not changed much since the time we experienced 50 years ago except that artistic short animations are produced independently nowadays. The majority is TV programs for children or TV commercials. Maybe we have seen an increase in the number of promotion videos and web-related works. I wonder if there are any good ideas to change this situation.
  • OYAMA Kei
    Producer and CEO, CALF Co., Ltd.
    Originality,Completeness,and Necessity
    Thanks to this screening, I've become acutely aware of three aspects of an animated work: originality, completeness, and necessity. Excellence Award-winning MARONA'S FANTASTIC TALE had a compelling design born of innovative ideas as well as unique motion and production not often seen in long-form animation. The other three winners in the category were less innovative but showed extremely advanced techniques in illustration and a sense of completeness as finished works. The exceptionally high degree of originality and completeness of Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! seized unanimous votes for the Grand Prize, a satisfying result. What makes Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! exceptional is its diverse presentation of original ideas, like illustrations resembling imageboard or setting or character sheet drawings that have leaped unfinished off the page. These are not gimmicks; they're essential to making the story easier to understand. YUASA is the only director I can think of who has produced such varied and entertaining animated works so rapidly while incorporating experimental techniques and direction. Haze Haseru Haterumade represents the trend of indie animation that has captured widespread attention on the Internet and thus merited the Social Impact Award, and I look forward to seeing what it kicks off and where it goes from here. The Man on the Shore won one of the New Face Awards for abandoning superficial notions of realism in favor of a unique vividness and verisimilitude. The Jury Selection Just a Guy is a very strong piece depicting an interesting theme through various animation techniques, but what I failed to interpret from the work was the necessity of its techniques and design, which felt at the end of the day like mere preferences of the artist. Animation can't captivate a significant audience without originality, completeness, and necessity. There are, however, times when an unbalanced and misshapen work grabs a single viewer by the throat. It's truly disheartening to have so many exciting submissions that broadened the possibilities of animation production and the opportunity to select only a spare few of them.