24th Manga Division Excellence Award
Kashikokute yukiaru kodomo (A Wise and Brave Child)
The hearts of a pregnant woman and her husband swell with anticipation for their first child. Believing the child will enjoy a promising future if raised to be wise and brave, the couple scour the Internet for anecdotes of exceptional children around the world and read books on child rearing. The mother-to-be is looking forward to giving birth when, one day, she learns on TV that a very young Pakistani activist for female education by the name of Malala YOUSAFZAI was riding a school bus when she was shot by extremists. Malala’s and the other children’s lives were threatened because they were wise and brave. The mother-to-be quails at this, and she begins considering more deeply the realities surrounding children around the world. What can she do for the child she will bring into it? The work depicts the joys of childbirth with charm, and questions the circumstances into which children across the globe are born.
This book brilliantly captures the anxieties held by people of today. Sara embodies the joyful anticipation of a mother-to-be, until an international story breaks and expands her list of hopes and fears in the information-flooded world. A modern audience can relate to her distrust in the times, and Sara’s anguish is universal in its resonance. The work devotes numerous techniques to express its intentions but remains accessible. Colored pencils bring the story to life, at different times injecting turbulence and warmth. Through a small but striking backlist, the artist has secured a singular presence in the industry. What does it mean to be wise and brave? How do we resist and reverse the cruelties of the world? The artist plumbs this fathomless question and offers a powerful response. (KAWAHARA Kazuko)