11th Manga Division Grand Prize
Mori no Asagao
A work which highlights the “present” of the capital punishment system through OIKAWA Naoki, a newly recruited prison officer, who faces condemned criminals everyday and agonizes. Based on close and careful research, the author tackles with the serious theme of the “capital punishment system” head-on.
Reason for Award
This work earnestly and stoically depicts the life of those who are imprisoned and condemned for committing serious crimes, facing their own death every morning and every day, and the prison guard who takes care of them, but will one day have to execute them with his own hands. The human mind is very unstable; people can be kind and honest citizens or violent and reckless criminals, and with but a little cause. Is capital punishment, therefore, right or wrong? This is a project that Mr. GOUDA Mamora has been working on and agonizing over for a long time, dealing with a difficult theme and seeking to answer his own question; he kept working on it, even though he wandered in a deep, dark, forest. The jury members felt that the attitude of the artist was laudable, being unswayed by popularity or the opinions of the readers, and that, although his manga was rather inconspicuous, the character presentation and story, which are based on sincere interviews and research, combined with the characteristic drawing skill of the artist, has resulted in a very serious work that provokes questions about important issues.