14-Year-Old Manga Artist Wins Shogakukan's Newcomer Artist Award

posted on by Eric Stimson
Idol Kyūkō follows struggles of idol singer

Watch out, Nozaki-kun — there's a new shōjo manga artist even younger than you. Ran Tokiwa won the Shogakukan Newcomer Comic Grand Prize for her debut manga Idol Kyūkō ("Idol Bustle"), about the member of an idol group, which runs in the magazine Ciao. Tokiwa is only 14 years old and is a third-year middle school student in Aichi Prefecture (the Nagoya area).

Setona Mizushiro (Shitsuren Chocolatier), who serves on the judges' panel, says "She draws cute illustrations and makes characters' personalities easy to understand. I look forward to her future growth." Another judge, Keiko Notoyama (Owaru Sekai de Kimi ni Koi Suru), says she "zipped right through it thanks to the easy-to-understand story structure! The exciting scenes also uplift the reader." Tokiwa says she got into manga due to her admiration of Fujiko F. Fujio (Doraemon), and while she couldn't express her "true feelings" on receiving the award, she "wants to thank my family and friends, and most of all my mother, for supporting me. I will keep trying to make something that will remain in the hearts of my readers and myself."

Although unusual, Tokiwa's youth in the shōjo manga industry is not unprecedented. Anko Mochitsuki was also 14 when she made her debut with DORANEKO Theater in 1991, and Chinami Tsuyama was 15 at her debut (High Score in 1995). Megumi Mizusawa (Hime-chan's Ribbon) made her debut in the first year of high school at age 16 with Kokoro ni Sotto Sasayaite ("Whisper Gently in My Heart") in 1979.

[Via Man Tan Web]

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