© Naoki Yamamoto / Kodansha

14th Manga Division Excellence Award


Story manga [Japan]



The story takes place in Japan between 1969 and 1972, when high economic growth has given rise to distortions in society, such as the Vietnam War and the pollution problems.
In the form of ensemble drama of young evolutionists, this work portrays how ordinary young people who unquestioningly joined student movements would eventually throw themselves into radical revolutionary movements to “overturn the regime full of contradiction,” and what would become of them from a cool-headed perspective.

Reason for Award

Truth in fiction questions today’s Japan
The series depicts one of the most infamous activist movements in postwar Japan – the United Red Army incident. We wonder what it was that pulled these once idealistic youngsters, fighting for revolution and for the freedom of the people, to murder their own allies. In Red, YAMAMOTO sheds all subjectivity from the narrative and commits to a detached port rayal of the characters’ daily lives. This bluntly puts forth how the line between the real and the unreal can waver. The series does not attempt to pass judgment on the movement through any ideology. Nor does it attempt to justify it. It leaves the quest ion unanswered. Today’s readers, who have not witnessed a revolutionary war in their time, must seek an answer for themselves. YAMAMOTO’s previous, more erotic works were highly acclaimed, poignantly addressing the sense of void in the daily life of an adolescent. He takes a different style this time, and with meticulous research. Yet he does not attempt to create a documentary or fiction. Rather, it is a fictional reality which can only be created through manga.