17th Manga Division Excellence Award

Hikidashi ni Terrarium (TERRARIUM IN DRAWER)

KUI Ryoko [Japan]


Af ter the serialization in the web literary magazine, this comic, a collection of very short one-act stories (shortest; two pages, longest; eleven pages) is KUI’s third comic anthology. It includes 33 stories: Ryu no Gekirin, about people eating dragon cuisine in a village which has a custom of hunting dragons once a year, Kotei no Haru, which features a young man who lives in a village with long winters walking through a forest searching for spring, Kigo wo Taberu, describing the process of cooking and eating “round”, “triangle” and “square”, Short Short no Shujinkou, about a world in which every person lives as the main character of a different story, Tooki Risoukyo, a discussion between junior highschool students about a fictional country, Ikinokoru tame, in which the evolution process of a certain creature is described, and many other stories. This is an ever-changing collection of short stories featuring a variety of ideas from comedy, folk tales and fables to SF, with a mixture of graphic forms such as girls’ manga and gekiga-styles.

Reason for Award

Two collections of short stories, Ryu no Gakkou wa Yama no Ue (Dragon’s School on the Top of the Mountain) and Ryu no Kawaii Nanatsu no Ko (Seven Lovely Children of a Dragon), were published in 2011 and 2012, through which the author surprised readers with her technique to bring fantasy to reality and the everchanging location and time in her scenes. Her third comic book, Hikidashi ni Terrarium (TERRARIUM IN DRAWER), which includes 33 short stories was published in 2013. In this work, she gave readers a pleasant surprise with very short but incredibly rich and creative contents as well as flexibly changing styles of picture according to the theme of each story, answering questions such as “What if symbols such as ○△□ were food?” or “What if one draws an essay manga in two different styles, where the author’s perspective is depicted with humorous pictures and the reality is depicted with serious pictures?”. Readers can get delightful excitement from such stories. Although KUI had been engaged in her creative activities before her debut in doujinshi (self-published comic), on her own website and the drawing SNS, “pixiv”, she deserved the New Face Award given her stellar career with three commercial books being published. However, the very “excellence” of all three books published in sequence was judged as a reason for instead awarding her the Excellence Award. (YAMADA Tomoko)