16th Manga Division New Face Award
Bokura no FUNKA-sai (Our “”Eruption”” Festival)
SHINZOU Keigo [Japan]
When a local volcano erupts, the depopulated town of Kanematsu suddenly thrives as a hot-springs resort. High-school student TOYAMA, a cool character, can’t accept this dramatic transformation, while his friend SAKURAJIMA enthusiastically embraces it. This is the story of how their friendship is affected by changes in their town. The freelydrawn, casual styl e the manga brings to its portrayal of the shifting emotions of high-school boys has earned it many fans.
Reason for Award
Recently, there has been an increase in low-key (or to be more precise, dull) stories depicting ordinary life (is this a sign that the Japanese manga world has grown richer?), and this work is not particularly flashy either. But I would like to honor this manga for its affectionate and amusing portrayal of an extremely limited world – namely, the unspectacular life of a high-school student. Although it is by no means a new theme or story, the relaxed and natural style of drawing harkens back to the happy-go-lucky, free-spirited approach that is at the root of the manga medium. This is a vote for the manga-esque ability of the work to take the reader to a place other than reality as it moves from climax to conclusion.