17th Manga Division New Face Award
Alice to Zouroku （Alice and Zouroku）
IMAI Tetsuya [Japan]
The opposite of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, this fantasy story centers on a little girl who has supernatural powers and got thrown into the real world. This girl, Sana, has been locked away in a laboratory to be studied, since she has the powerful ability to turn imagination into reality. She escapes from the laboratory and sees the outside world for the first time in her life, but she is too young and immature to know how to handle her ability. She becomes hopelessly lost and meets a typical stubborn old Japanese man named Zouroku. This encounter with Zouroku who, without regard to her supernatural power, candidly lectures Sana about what is unacceptable behavior, profoundly changes her fate and that of the world.
Reason for Award
It’s worth noting that both the vigorous imagination required to depict supernatural powers or aliens and the descriptive ability to portray a daily life in detail are achieved in this work. Both of them align with the main theme of this work that two different people who encountered each other try to reach a mutual understanding. The potential of manga is demonstrated by the act of depicting a SF-like setting, which tends to be regarded as a cliché, in a contemporary way. Moreover, the apparently mismatched combination of pictures drawn with the author’s accurate spatial perception and the roughly drawn lines signals another future potential of manga representation, in which flowing lines are usually considered extremely important. (ITO Go)