Mizuki's Opération Mort Wins Angoulême's Heritage Award

posted on by Egan Loo
Shigeru Mizuki, Mitsuteru Yokoyama, Yoshihiro Tatsumi, 5 others competed in France

France's Angoulême International Comics Festival has awarded Shigeru Mizuki's Sōin Gyokusai Se yo (Opération Mort /Operation Death) manga with the Heritage Award on Sunday. Sōin Gyokusai Se yo was competing with seven titles from several countries, including Mitsuteru Yokoyama's Au bord de l'eau (Suikoden/Water Margin) and Yoshihiro Tatsumi's L'Enfer (Jigoku/Hell). Mizuki was the first Japanese creator to win a major award at the festival when he won the Fauve d'Or: Prix du Meilleur Album in 2007 for his Nonnon-bā to Ore manga.

Mizuki based both of these manga on his own autobiographical experiences. "Nonnon-bā" was the old woman who taught young Mizuki the Japanese folk tales and ghost stories that would permeate his many supernatural manga, including his most famous work, Gegege no Kitarō. "Sōin Gyokusai Se yo" ("Let us all die honorably!") was the battlecry that indoctrinated Mizuki and other soldiers who fought on the South Pacific island of New Britain in 1945 during World War II.

As a veteran who lost his left arm during World War II, Mizuki has drawn other unflinching manga portrayals of the horrors of war and has criticized his country's conduct before and during the war. Mizuki also won the Asahi Prize in Japan this month.


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