Team Name: YUKIRA
Manga: The Playful Guardians
Award: EXCELLENCE AWARD RUNNER-UP
Favorite manga: One Punch Man; Ajin; Oyasumi Punpun; Kuroshitsuji
Favorite movie: Interstellar
Favorite band/musician: The GazettE; Dir En Grey
Favorite manga: D-Gray Man; Bleach; Innocent; Saiyuki
Favorite movie: When the Promised Flower Blooms
Favorite band/musician: The GazettE; Dir En Grey
About the SMA
1. How does it feel to win a SILENT MANGA AUDITION® award?
We are very honored and thrilled to win this award! It is a rare chance for us to be able to portray the culture of our country to the world. We also feel excited that more people will be exposed to the beauty of our hometown, Penang, and appreciate it while reading our manga. This is also a recognition for our hard work and the realization of our dreams.
2. What was the inspiration behind your winning work?
We live in a multiracial country, Malaysia, where from a young age we were greatly influenced by all kinds of cultures from different ethnicities. The story of our work is greatly inspired by Chinese legends that we often heard from the elders which included mysteries, beasts, gods and temples. Most of the stories were used by the elders to warn us when we were naughty. Although we were scared, we all loved the interesting stories passed down from generation to generation. Thus, we would like to incorporate all the elements and feelings into the story we created.
3. What challenges did you face making your manga? How did you overcome them?
At first, we were worried that the readers might not understand the story, since all of us are definitely not from the same country and share the same culture. So, we tried our best to make the story simple and cut out the complicated settings or back stories that might confuse the reader. In fact, the story was corrected and rewritten multiple times.
4. How and when did you start making manga? Any advice for beginners?
Manga has been with us since childhood and it has encouraged us to draw from the very beginning. We were both impressed and moved by many manga stories and we thought that the best way to channel our emotions, or to tell a story is by drawing manga. Since we are also beginners, we don’t really have any advice to give except “believe, keep going and never give up”.
5. What was the first manga you picked up?
To be honest, both of us already forgot which one was the first manga we picked up. When we were around five years old, our relatives would borrow manga from old book shops and we read whatever they borrowed.
6. Which manga changed your life?
For us, it is very hard to pin point only one or two manga that changed our life. As we read a lot of manga, some inspired us to draw or follow the artist’s drawing style, some exposed us to an imaginative world setting while some taught us life lessons through the stories and characters.
7. Which manga character do you most identify with? Why?
AKIRA: The manga character who I am most identify with is Garou from One Punch Man. He has his own sense of justice and refuses to bow to any stronger parties which. I can most relate with this.
YUU: The manga character who I am most identify with is Uchiha Itachi from Naruto. Although I am not a genius or an outstanding person like him, I can relate to his circumstances and understand his thoughts and actions, especially his love for his brother. Thus, he is always a role model since I was a teenager.
8. What kind of manga do you want to make next?
We want to make manga with stories that show the reality of life.
9. What do you do when you’re not making manga? How do you relax?
AKIRA: When I’m not making manga, I resume my job as a freelance illustrator. During my free time, I draw stuff I like alongside watching movies.
YUU: Normally I create stories and apply screentones throughout the whole manga making process. I work as a freelance illustrator as well, and provide assistance to AKIRA from time to time. I read manga, watch anime or movies and play games to help my creativity while relaxing.
10. What industry do you work in (If manga making isn’t your primary job)?
We both work as freelance illustrators.
11. Where do you see your manga career in 5 years’ time?
To be honest, we are not sure how our manga career will advance in 5 years’ time. Currently, we are developing our careers as illustrators, or honing our drawing skills. However, we will never forget our passion and excitement for creating a manga, and we wish to continue doing it as much as possible.
12. What advice would you give to people entering the SILENT MANGA AUDITION®?
As we mentioned before, we were also beginners in the industry as well, so we haven’t much to give. However, we would still like to encourage those who are entering the SILENT MANGA AUDITION® to hold on to your dreams and keep moving forward! Believe, keep going and never give up!!