18th Manga Division New Face Award


IKEBE Aoi [Japan]


An ensemble drama depicting with deep emotion the dreams and reality of an old woman. This is a work squarely confronting the question, “What is happiness?” Four sisters who live in a magnificent castle sit around a delicious feast as they enjoy chattering with one another, but before long it becomes clear that this is the delusional world seen in the dreams of an old woman. In reality, the old woman lives quietly at the edge of a bad-smelling river beside an affluent residential area. Obstinate, poor, and lonely, she has never actively taken interest in her surroundings. While appearing to live alone, she is connected in some way to those around her, their lives mutually influencing one another. As a simple depiction of the lives of the townspeople ensues, subtle change and happiness come to call on the personage…

Reason for Award

The dreams seen by the old woman are intertwined with her reality and all its misery. Having deepened the world depicted in her work through Saudade and Nui tatsu hito, IKEBE has taken a challenge with this piece. A discussion about the “beauty” of its portrayal of reality took place among the judges, but it won due to the skillful manner in which it was constructed as a series, and for its remarkable ending. For its creator, dreams and imagination are also real. Here IKEBE has offered up everything as reality to her readers. (SAITO Nobuhiko)