Award-winning Works
Animation Division

Grand Prize

Excellence Award

Jury Selections


    Animation Artist and Professor, Tokyo University of the Arts
    [Critique by work category] Short Animation
    The criteria for selection of this year are as follows: Whether or not the work was convincing as an independent piece of short animation; whether or not there were expressions unique to animation; and whether or not it had interesting content. While applications increased in number this year, there were many works that had not reached the required quality level, which, to our regret, made the screening process not as exciting as it could have been. However, to have found several impressive works was a great relief when screening such a large number of submitted works.
    To cite some examples from among those that missed a prize, small LAND JAZZ was a traditional, experimental movie that had a brilliant idea in places, but the author could have worked more on the integration of concepts and musical composition. While FANTASTIC CELL dealt with a classical animation theme, it was an interesting piece that well displayed the monomaniac features of animation. However, it was unfortunate that it had not reached the level of Oscar Fischinger and McLaren in terms of unification of music with images, and that there was no ingenuity in musical arrangement. Although RED CATERPILLAR was not fully satisfactory in terms of quality, it was short-listed for the prize, because in the midst of so many works with a pathological approach, it clearly reflected, though we were not sure if it was a conscious attempt or not, the sense of insecurity existing in the modern society.
    KOMANEKO won the Prize for Excellence for its high techniques and a good balance as doll animation. However, the content was really poor, which is a problem common to many of today's short animation works.
  • KAMIMURA Sachiko
    [Critique by work category] Full-length Animation
    We evaluated 60 TV/OVAs, 24 theatrical films, and 10 others as full-length works, though they were mainly works for commercial use, except for the short ones. Among theatrical films, there were some large-scale works created by using lots of time, money, and talent, all of which were technically of the highest quality. It is nice to know that we can now produce a number of high quality films domestically in just one year.
    As OVAs are essentially commercial products, priority is placed on the creation of good sellers. Consequently, workmanship is stable and images are pleasing. However, most of them were all alike in using beautiful girls, and there was no prominently outstanding work this year. As many of them were part of a video series, it was undeniable that their contents, as part of a series, were not as substantial as an independent work. Technically, there were some works that attempted technical challenges that could be undertaken only with videos, but not with TV works where work time is fairly restricted. They were all successful, at least technically.
    The largest number of entries was in the category of TV series. However, it is difficult to make a fair evaluation of these works unless the entire series was available. Despite that, there were two pieces that fared relatively well and remained in the final review: One that was simply enjoyable as animation, and the other that maintained high quality all through the series.
    Lastly, it should be noted that there was an educational video that despite a low budget, achieved its purpose owing to the staff's concerted efforts. Although this work was not selected as a prizewinner, we enjoyed watching it through to the end.
    In the screening process this year, entries were first divided into two categories of full-length works and short works. They were then narrowed down to some candidates on whom we conducted thorough reviews and comparisons and finally decided on the final prizewinning works. While stable rendering techniques are required of more entertaining full-length works, originality and artistry are essential for individually created short works. As it is impossible to evaluate these two categories with the same criteria, the screening process was particularly difficult.
    While most of the full-length works more than fulfilled the technical requirements, they fell short of our highest recognition in terms of content and expression. Similarly, many short works were hardly satisfactory with respect to originality and artistry. It was truly regrettable. Winter Days is a very ambitious attempt, where a number of authors tried to relive via animation the Japanese cultural tradition of "collaborative" literature, which is a joint work based on free association and a linked series of poems by more than one author. This work was a remarkable feat this year in that it had successfully brought 35 authors with different styles and techniques together and had them collaborate in making such a wild scheme possible. It was, therefore, only natural that this work won the Grand Prize. We also took notice of its interesting feature as a department store of various techniques and of some artistic gems included, such as Norshtein who was allotted the first verse.
    TOKYO GODFATHERS is a voluminous and entertaining work created by a talented director who gave an unrealistic story a realistic touch through his ingenious presentation. With some juries recommending this for the Grand Prize, it was selected unanimously for the Prize for Excellence. We also evaluated highly the attempt to create character animation, where each of three exaggerated figures displayed their own unique characteristics through well-defined lines.
    While GA-RA-KU-TA Mr. Stain showed the possibility of telling an allegory using an imaginary small world and figures, FRANK displayed the pseudo-classical touch of the original manga. KOMANEKO was adorable and Child of Planet, which won the Encouragement Prize was carefully made. They were all pleasing, but unfortunately, none were able to win the sheer admiration of all the jury members.
    The reason why more short works than full-length works eventually won the prizes, which were all encouragement prizes, was because we wanted to encourage Japanese animation to further develop its potential into diversified fields, as well as to spur the area of full-length animation.