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Jury Critiques

If an Artistic Expression That Opens Up This Era Exists

SAYAWAKA

Writer and Story Critic

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, I was strongly attracted to works in which the performers confronted reality. The work of the Grand Prize-winner GEKIDAN NOMEETS (HIROYA Yuki, Representive) was a prime example of this. Specifically, the work (as well as the name of the theater company) demonstrated increasing momentum in a recently popularized attempt to perform theater plays online. Even if the works did not intentionally use expressions with this context in mind, I often found myself looking at the works in this context, which gave me a strange feeling. There were many VR works to evaluate in the Entertainment Division in particular, such as Replacements and Canaria, so it was almost inevitable for me to consider the contemporary theme of interacting with people in reality. In the same sense, the Social Impact Award-winner AVATAR ROBOT CAFE was interesting, because it contained another contemporary theme of communicating with others, in addition to its excellent concept of supporting the employment of people who have difficulty going out. Needless to say, the work itself encompassed a potential to begin with. In other words, the expression in the work was derived from a critical perspective of what our reality potentially holds. Under the circumstances, it was great to see many works that resulted in gaining such awareness. The large number of entries from overseas was also impressive. It is unclear if it was because the world was in the midst of a global incident, but it was great that artists were aiming for global activities, even though the world under lockdown was being divided. In particular, I was pleased to see high-quality works from many different countries in the field of video games, which is my personal interest, such as New Face Award-winner Umurangi Generation. As for the overall trend of the Division, how artistic expressions that are forced to be divided maintain or regain contact with society through the use of technology was particularly impressive.

Profile

SAYAWAKA

Writer and Story Critic

Writer, story critic, and author of original manga. His writing on video games includes Bokutachi no ge-mu shi (A People's History of Video Games) [Star Seas Company], Bungaku to shite no Dragon Quest (Dragon Quest as Literature) [Core Magazine], and Game zasshi guidebook (Guidebook to Video Game Magazines) [Sansai Books]. He also authored Junendai bunkaron (Culturology of the 2010s) [Star Seas Company], Bungaku no yomikata (How to Read Literature) [Star Seas Company], AKB shoho to ha nan datta noka (What Was AKB's Way of Doing Business?) [Taiyohtosho], Kyara no shikoho (Ways of Thinking About Characters) [Seidosha], Meitantei Konan to Heisei (Detective Conan (Case Closed) and the Heisei Period) [Core Magazine], and more. He is the author of the original manga qtμt [LINE COMICS, drawings by FUMI Fumiko].

( 2021 )

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