© Satoru Makimura / SHUEISHA

12th Manga Division Excellence Award

Real Clothes

Story manga [Japan]



Kinue, a woman of 27, works for a major department store in Shinjuku, a very competitive environment. Unexpectedly, she is transferred from the bedding floor, where she loves to work, to the women’s clothes floor. This is the story of her search for meaning in dressing, working, and living, and also of her personal development through her work and dealings with devious new coworkers.

Reason for Award

I was not only captivated by the artist’s outstanding drawing skill and sharp, effective lines, but also by the clever storytelling, and healthy elegance and liveliness of the heroine, who almost seemed as though she were coming out of the picture. Although the same can be said of her other works, the exhaustive research into the thematic subject matter is amazing. This story is set on a women’s clothes floor, one of the topliner sections in a department store. She lives positively and energetically. However, her romance begins to hinder her work, and she must choose between them! It is the sort of life-changing turning point that all working women have to face once in their lives. The artist faces this matter squarely, portraying the naked soul of humanity. The heroine eventually chooses her work, and breaks up with her beloved boyfriend. The expression of her intense feeling of loss is strongly conveyed and the reader cannot help but feel deep compassion. This modern heroine’s way of life is very interesting, and I hope that women currently facing similar decisions in the workplace have the opportunity to open the pages of this manga.