The Japan Media Arts Festival celebrates its 10th Anniversary this year. The number of entries has been increasing year after year and the number of applications hit a record high this year. More than 80% of submissions were published manga, followed by Independent Manga, On-line Manga then others. Story manga reached more than 70% of the total. It seems natural to say it, but about 90% of entries were works by professional manga artists.
A Spirit of The Sun gathered the highest points from all the Jury members and was acclaimed the Grand Prize winner to the jurists' satisfaction. However, it was indeed the bane of the judge's life to have to decide which was better than the others among the short-listed works which had survived the careful screening. There were among the entries established best-selling works which are highly regarded by their readers, but this time, those works had to pass in front of the eyes of the professional manga artists in the screening session and be re-evaluated, then selected for the Grand Prize, which is, for the Jurists, an agonizing decision.
Such being the case, I feel extremely sorry for the works which were not selected. I do hope the artists will try again the next time around.
Born in 1937 in Hokkaido, he made his debut as a manga artist in the rental comic Zero. In 1967, he began the Lupin the Third series in the inaugural issue of Shukan Manga Action (Futabasha). Lupin, which enjoyed great popularity for its American touches, was subsequently turned into a TV series and a number of movies, and continues to attract a multitude of fans spanning several generations.
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