25th Manga Division Social Impact Award
ONNA NO SONO NO HOSHI
This gag manga depicts low-key incidents around Japanese language teacher HOSHI, who is also a class teacher of junior class 4 at Narimori Girls’ High School. In volume 1, HOSHI tries hard to decipher the students’ e-shiritori (Japanese doodle-word game) in the class journal, takes care of a dog in his classroom, and gives advice to an aspiring manga artist. In volume 2, rumors of an urban legend are generated from HOSHI’s photo in his middle school yearbook, and math teacher KOBAYASHI, who is also a class teacher of junior class 3, shows his talent when being entrusted by the parents to create a commemorative gift. The story mainly develops around dialogues among the people in the school, including HOSHI, the students, and KOBAYASHI, who sits next to HOSHI in the teacher’s room. Delicately drawn lines accentuate subtle facial expressions and movements, and even the choice of words in the dialogues brings laughter.
Reason for Award
Last year, its first volume was nominated by itself for the award, and later won different awards one after another. The second volume is also so funny that other manga artists (myself) are awestruck. I can only take my hat off to the momentum of being nominated for and predictably winning a variety of awards. The drawings are realistic yet charming. The story develops in a way that can happen in real life, drawing readers into its world. The gags arising from there are formidably powerful. The work presents scenes that are so realistic and convincing that it directs the readers to believe that school life in a girls’ school is so much fun (even if they had never been to one). Every single movement of the characters is depicted in detail, making the readers believe they are alive. The artist’s unique and appealing drawing style urges readers to “favor” all characters, and this seems to have captured the hearts of readers and many manga award judges, resulting in sweeping numerous awards. In light of its influence, this work was selected for the award. (SHIMAMOTO Kazuhiko)