Participating in this jury was a stimulating experience, which allowed me to take a panoramic view of the vastness and evolution of Japanese animation and its unbalanced status. In the long animation category, we saw many original animations marked by the touch of true professionals: powerful challenges, meticulous research and production, and high standards. The Tatami Galaxy is the first TV series to win the Grand Prize. The synergy of powerful narration and fascinating visual effects raises great hopes for evolution to the next dimension. MIDORI-KO, a work entirely and single-handedly created by its artist, also sparked discussion among the jury with its unique pictorial expressiveness. We have entered a new era that demands proper evaluation of such long works that can trace their roots to short animations. Short animations, whose preliminary review I was in charge of, are an excellent opportunity to challenge the potential for expression through animation. Increased number of entries from overseas impressed me that the jury is expected to grow with its original perspective. However, the number of entries for this genre has declined. I strongly encourage creators to submit their works to the festival.
Animation director working widely, with a focus on clay animation.
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