17th Manga Division Grand Prize
JOJOLION -Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Part8-
ARAKI Hirohiko [Japan]
This work is set in a town called “Morioh” in S City, M Prefecture. A young man who has lost his memory is found in a fault area upthrust by an earthquake, commonly called “Eyes of the Wall”. He is named as “Johsuke Higashikata” and he sets out to discover who he is, tracing various clues. He encounters many mysteries, among them the secrets and intentions of the Higashikata family, incidents which happened in the past in Morioh town, and a man called “Yoshikage Kira” who is the key person to trace Johsuke’s identity. Together with a tightlyplotted story and exciting battles between “Stands” – supernatural powers depicted as characters in tangible form, a concept which has revolutionized manga representation – this work has further improved the suspense story and thereby attracted many readers. JOJOLION is Part 8 of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure which marks the 28th year of the series.
Reason for Award
The latest episode of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, is both popular and entertaining, but can also be considered a masterpiece. Not only does it feature revolutionary panel layouts which maximize potentials of representation in boys’ manga, distinctive-looking characters (referred to by some as mannerist) and bizarre episodes filling a complex and intricate storyline, but the theme itself has been described as “the celebration of humanity”. For these very reasons, this work has long fascinated readers and also provoked controversy and critical comments in various fields beyond manga. This year will be remenbered as the year in which the Japan Media Arts Festival has awarded the Grand Prize to such a well-established work.
Furthermore, JOJOLION incorporated the recent Great East Japan Earthquake into the epic story world that ARAKI has created over a long period. He dared to take on the difficult challenge of representing this almost unimaginable reality through fiction and succeeded in bringing it to readers’ attention. This work has proven that new levels of expression can be reached by means of fantastical fiction and helped us realize anew the power of manga representation. (ITO Go)