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Jump+'s World Maker, Netflix Announce Winner for Anime Short Contest

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Hikari wins with 'Kiichi no Ayamachi' story about oni boy who feeds on human emotions

World Maker, the storyboarding app service for Shueisha's Shonen Jump+ imprint, announced on Wednesday that Hikari's "Kiichi no Ayamachi" (Kiichi's Error) storyboard won the grand prize for the short anime film contest that it sponsors with Netflix.

Image via World Maker official blog

The story centers on cheerful and expressive middle school girl Aya, who encounters a young oni boy named Kiichi. Kiichi feeds on the emotions of humans, but as he spends time with Aya, he beings realizing the true depth of human emotion.

Hikari will receive a 500,000-yen (about US$3,300) cash prize, and their storyboards will be turned into an anime by Netflix.

Sydney Katonbo's "Uchūjin wa Bōshi o Kaburu Darō ka" (Aliens Wear Hats, Right?), Usagi's "Arisugawa-san to Arisugawa-san" (Arisugawa and Arisugawa), Gyūsuke's "CLOVER," Sanmonzake's "Zombie no Furi de Ikinobiru" (I'll Survive by Pretending to Be a Zombie), and Yokan's "Henshin Hero!" (Reply Hero) all won honorable mentions, and the creators will each receive a 10,000-yen (about US$65) Amazon gift card.

The World Maker app launched on July 12. The app lets users ("even those who can't draw") create thumbnail layouts for manga or storyboards for animation, live-action shows, movies, and commercials. To create a manga's draft thumbnails in the service, the user drafts the page layouts (or use the provided templates), adjusts and drops in the provided characters and other graphic elements, enters dialogue, adds effects, and then releases the final results.

The staff claims that the app can also machine-translate the thumbnails and storyboards into 17 languages including English, Chinese, Korean, and French. Users can then share the results online for others to follow and comment. According to the staff, over 20,000 users have created about 37,000 works in the first three months since the app's launch.

World Maker also held the "World Maker Manga Contest" for thumbnails created with the app. The contest accepted applications from August 1 to October 1 last year. The grand prize winner would have their manga drawn by Taishi Tsutsui (We Never Learn) for release on Shonen Jump+, and would also receive a 500,000 yen (about US$3,300) cash prize. Okari's "Gaming PC Mitai ni Hikaru Tako" (The Squid that Shines Like a Gaming PC) storyboard won the contest.

Similarly, World Maker is also holding a separate short film contest with TOHO, which is accepting applications from September 13 to November 12 last year. The grand prize winner received a 500,000-yen (about US$3,300) cash prize and their storyboards would be turned into a live-action short film by TOHO. Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kong: Skull Island, planned live-action Hollywood Gundam film) judged the submissions alongside the editorial staff of Shonen Jump+. Kitarō's "Kao no Nai Machi" (Faceless Town) storyboard won the contest.

Sources: World Maker official blog, Mantan Web

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