25th Entertainment Division Grand Prize
Naoki Urasawa presents Manben neo -Yoshikazu Yasuhiko-
UEDA Katsumi / KURAMOTO Mitsuru / UCHIDA Aimi / TSUKADA Tsutomu / MARUYAMA Megumi［Japan］
This work is NHK Educational Television’s documentary program featuring the art of “manga.” It closely documents manga artists at work, especially focusing on their hands. Multiple cameras carefully record how Japan’s leading manga artists move their hands. URASAWA Naoki, who is also an active manga artist, discusses the production process with a guest manga artist while watching the video. From the perspective unique to manga artists, he points out the guest artist’s techniques and tendencies that the artist is even unaware of, and draws out their charm. The featured artist in this work is YASUHIKO Yoshikazu, who has been active in two fields: manga and animation. He worked on the storyboards and original illustrations for Uchusenkan Yamato (Space Battleship Yamato, 1974-75), and character design and animation director for Kido-senshi Gandamu (Mobile Suit Gundam, 1979-80). His manga works include Arion (Tokuma Shoten, 1979-84), which was made into an animated feature film in 1986. For three days, four fixed-point cameras captured him working on his final full-length work, Inui to Tatsumi: Zabaikaru Senki (Inui and Tatsumi: Transbaikal War Chronicle, Kodansha, 2018-). The documentary revealed a series of his marvelous techniques that differ markedly from typical manga production processes, such as starting a rough sketch without a drawing panel layout, drawing a complex overhead-view composition without construction lines, starting from the eyebrows when drawing a person, and using a brush to ink a pencil sketch.
Reason for Award
Japan’s leading manga artist URASAWA Naoki is known for his exquisite touch and descriptive style. URASAWA presents this long-running documentary program that began in 2014, which is for enjoying the creation process of many manga artists of different generations and genres. In the episode broadcasted on June 9, 2021, he welcomed YASUHIKO Yoshikazu, who has built an era as an animator as well. This episode made me speechless. In an action scene on a snowy night, falling snowflakes were made to appear by just painting a solid black “night” background without any rough sketch. Having a long career in animation production, YASUHIKO perhaps visualized the scene in his head, selected and depicted the most suitable frame as manga. This program records the manga artist’s production process using multiple cameras, and explores the artist’s techniques via various perspectives, including drafts, hands, and facial expressions. URASAWA and the guest manga artist dig further into the techniques while watching the video. This program has closely followed the superhuman feats of many manga artists. This episode is truly incredible, and worthy of the Grand Prize. (TOKITA Takashi)