12th Manga Division Excellence Award
SHIORI TO SHIMIKO
Story manga [Japan]
In a town called INOATAMA-CHO, strange things are happening, and two high school girls, Shiori and Shimiko, fight against ghosts and monsters. A strange world populated by weird people and mysterious events make for a fascinating story.
Reason for Award
The ayakashi (ghosts or specters) that the artist draws are totally fascinating. It is as though they have always existed there, naturally and from time immemorial. Although it cannot be said that each line drawn is individually elegant, the pictures that they form bring those ayakashi out of fantasy and into the real world. The artist does not limit himself to drawing only ayakashi, but also depicts many other fantastical things, such as dreams, delusions, and the uncanny. The power of his illustrations creates a feeling of indescribable reality in the whole of his work. The setting for all this strangeness is not a foreign country nor a time long time ago, but a contemporary town where the main characters, two ordinary high school girls named Shiori and Shimiko, are living. The strangeness is sharpened for the reader by the contrast, and when the ayakashi begin roaming about the town, the border between here and there becomes increasingly ambiguous. The artist’s work is attracting more young readers.