21st Manga Division Excellence Award
AI no idenshi ((Gene of AI))
Manga published in book form, in magazine
YAMADA Kyuri [Japan]
This science ction omnibus depict- ing a doctor who “treats” robot and humanoid problems takes place in the near future, when humanoids with arti cial intelligence account for 10% of the population. The main charac- ter, Dr. SUDO Hikaru, also has the undercover name Moggadeet, under which he secretly takes on illegal medical procedures. For example, for a man who inadvertently infected his humanoid wife with a computer virus when illegally backing up her data, SUDO proposes an operation to re- write her memory using backup data. Could an existence replaced by back- up data truly be said to be the same as it was before? YAMADA depicts a theme that has been probed by many science ction works over many years—the ambiguity that arises in the difference between humans and non-humans—from a doctor’s point of view. In today’s world, where AI is rapidly gaining attention, this story stimulates inquiry into the state of humanity and society. YAMADA also puts his knowledge from his past ex- periences as an IT journalist to good use in this book.
Reason for Award
AI no idenshi is at once a science fiction story and a drama about the subtleties of life. The two are linked through necessity and never sep- arated. It is incredible that this was achieved as a complete single sto- ry published in a weekly series. One would think such a premise would exhaust new story ideas, but one ju- rist was so impressed as to suggest adding another volume would make it even more interesting. Many jurists supported the selection of this story for an award. Each installment of this story deals with various social and domestic issues, but the adult spo- ken lines and panel layouts that keep a little distance from principles and opinion make it possible to read be- tween the lines in various ways. The story can be read as a depiction of a future that has passed the point of AI singularity, and one can also see the sadness of we humans who live as a part of society in the form of the hu- manoids who have been obliged to live “like humans” with restrictions placed on their normally working functions. This is a science fiction manga that I believe should be read widely. (SHIRAI Yumiko)