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SMA Editorial Dept. SMA Editorial Dept. 04/10/2021 9 min read
PROFILE Name: Nalu Country: Philippines Favorite manga: I’m currently into “The Ancient Magus Bride” (Mahō Tsukai no Yome) and “The Girl from the Other Side” (Totsukuni no Shōjo). Favorite movie: I’m still being haunted by the anime movie “Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms” (Sayonara no Asa ni Yakusoku no Hana wo Kazarō). Favorite band/musician: I listen to any music I come across and enjoy. Entry title: “Childhood Railway” Round: SMA15 “Moments of CRYING, SMILING, or LOVE” Award: Grand Prix Runner-Up
“…Do not just simply enter the audition, be prepared. Gather the necessary information and take the provided advice to heart.
  About SMA
  • How does it feel to win a SILENT MANGA AUDITION® award? It feels like a thousand needles have been plucked out from my chest at once and turned into flower petals. It feels like the moment during the unbearable dead-heat of summer, when your face is hit with the last cold breeze from the fridge during the power outage.
  • What was the inspiration behind your winning work? Whenever I think of ideas, I stare unfocused at nothing in particular and try my best to concentrate. In the case of SMA15, I was waiting for the moment of inspiration to strike, and in that moment I heard the trickling sound of rain. As it grew louder, it caught my attention and I looked outside. I realized it was not a downpour nor a drizzle, just a gentle rain. I decided to take a coffee break to calm myself and embrace this blissful moment. But as I sat down on my chair, a ray of warm light came from the very same window. It was the afternoon sunshine slowly manifesting itself. For a brief time, silvery droplets through the sunlight could be seen. It was short and sudden, but I’m still glad I noticed it. Sipping my coffee, I was thinking about it, and then I started thinking of an idea about possible farewells.


Childhood Railway

  • What challenges did you face while making your manga? How did you overcome them? The two challenges that I had to face were the disturbing noises and a lack of time. Because I am also busy with other projects, I was only able to work on my SMA entry merely a few days before the deadline. So that left me with no choice but to sacrifice my sleep. At that moment, I only had passion, madness, coffee, and 3 cans of Monster Energy drink.

  About your Manga
  • How and when did you start making manga? Any advice for beginners? If I remember correctly, I was in 6th grade when I started drawing manga on the back of my notebook. Back then, I wasn’t fully aware of the existence of “manga” itself yet, I only knew about comic strips in the newspaper. Ahhh, how innocent I was back then! The only advice that I can give to beginners is to gather experience, observe and feel. Only then you can create a story that may touch the hearts of many.
  • What was the first manga you picked up? I can’t fully remember if it’s the first or not, but the manga that left a huge impression on me was “Gosick” by Sakuya Amano-sensei, adapted from the light novel series, written by Kazuki Sakuraba-sensei. I first watched the anime adaptation, but it didn’t leave me quite satisfied. Which is why I searched for the story’s origin and consequently discovered the manga version.
  • Which manga changed your life? It’s “Gosick. Thanks to it, I was able to discover many more works and it even encouraged me to create my own manga.
  • Which manga character do you most identify with? Why? I’m sorry, I can’t find a character that I can identify with.
  • What kind of manga do you want to make next? A simple one but with an unexpected turn of events.


  About Nalu
  • What do you do when you’re not making manga? How do you relax? frequently draw illustrations, read, observe, and sometimes I go for a walk. But mostly my relaxing time is spent by peacefully drinking coffee during the full moon.
  • What industry do you work in (if manga making isn’t your primary job?) I’m currently helping my family by taking care of our farm.
  • Where do you see your manga career in 5 years’ time? hope to be working on my own published manga, to be happy, and in good health.
  • What advice would you give to people entering the SILENT MANGA AUDITION®? Do not just enter, be prepared. Gather some information and take the provided advice to heart. Do not be afraid to fail; learn from it, so you can win the next round!

Thank you Nalu for the interview and for your great advice! We’re eagerly expecting your future masterpieces and hope that someone’s SMILE inspires your entry for SMA17!

To our readers: take Nalu’s great advice to heart and don’t forget that you have until January 31st to WOW the judges and get the opportunity to develop your potential as a manga creator with us in Japan!
SMA Editorial Dept.

SMA Editorial Dept.