Copyright text and illustrations © 2011 by Paco Roca. All rights reserved (Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions Co., Ltd.)

15th Manga Division Excellence Award

Arrugas / el Faro

Manga published in book form, in magazine [Spain / Japan]

Paco ROCA (Artist) / ONO Kosei, TAKAGI Nana (Translation)


Emilio is a former bank employee who is put in a nursing home by his son and daughter-in-law. While living out their twilight years, many of the residents face the cruel reality of “Alzheimer’s,” gradually losing their memories. After its publication in France in 2007, it was published in Spain and Italy, attracting a great deal of attention. Like the “wrinkles” that are increasingly carved on our faces the longer we live, the artist quietly builds up unselfconscious characterizations and wonderfully depicts the modern theme of “aging” using techniques unique to manga.

Reason for Award

Accepting one’s destiny of aging peacefully
This type of story comic from Spain is not yet well known in Japan; indeed, this is said to be the first such work properly translated into Japanese for publication. Emilio, a retired banker who enters an old folks home when he begins showing signs of dementia, sees the many ways its elderly residents age and must face the progression of his own symptoms. His roommate Miguel is a mischievous cynic but shows concern for Emilio, and the two open their hearts to each other. Miguel’s demonstration of friendship when Emilio is inevitably trapped in his dementia leaves a deep impression on the reader. The work also weaves within its simple layout of frames a number of brilliant techniques only possible in the medium of comics, such as drawing each of the characters at the age he or she remembers being or blanking out scenery and faces as the main character’s dementia progresses. Sometimes humorous, the work’s depiction of the serious topics of aging and dementia is always warmly compassionate.