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Kumamoto Manga Fes. & Manga Camp THE REPORT – Day 2

Enrico Croce Enrico Croce 08/10/2018 11 min read



52 international manga creators have been invited to Japan to attend a very special and pioneering event… THE KUMAMOTO MANGA CAMP 2018!

Among the 52 Masterclass members, 8 award winners from the latest SILENT MANGA AUDITION ® Extra Round were honored at the prestigious Kumamoto International Manga Festival for their outstanding entries. To learn about this celebratory day, read on for DAY 2 of the “Kumamoto Manga Fes. & Manga Camp REPORT!”


With the sun not yet fully risen over Fukuoka, the sleepy Extra Round award winners gather in the lobby. Among them, Ichirou from Brazil and Italian manga creator Massimo Dall’Oglio (destined to join the Masterclass this very trip) exchange opinions about manga creation. As if to give to weight to his own descriptive style, Massimo gifts a copy of his latest published work to Ichirou. As the young Brazilian creator leafs through the manga in awe, a passing Vivi stops short and exclaims “MAMMA MIA!” in response to Massimo’s impressive creation.  😲


The Kumamoto Round 2018 (EX3) award winners pose in front of the hotel entrance.

The Vietnamese manga creators, Zevania, Nattorin and Jeet can barely contain their excitement with the prospect of winning an award! Zevania and Nattorin (consecutive winners of 2 Grand Prix of the Kumamoto International Manga Festival) are looking particularly smart for their big day, as their “Senpai” Jeet adds to the celebratory mood with his infectious excitement!

Europe is represented with the inclusion of Kenkyo Studio from Spain and Luis Eloi from Portugal. With this their first trip to Japan, the three talented manga creators nervously muster with anticipation. More so with Luis, the latest invitee to the event, thanks to his award from the prestigious Sojo University!

With everyone together, it’s time to go… TO KUMAMOTO!

With everyone ready and stifling the odd yawn, the group made their way to the station and an unexpected surprise. The mode of transport to Kumamoto will be by the iconic Shinkansen, or as the award winners know it… The Bullet Train!

Emotions running high, the early morning start soon begin to fade as the supersonic train picked up speed. Cheering the group along is the ever cheerful Vivi, flashing her winning smile for the camera!


The Bullet Train pulls into Kumamoto station in record time, with the first order of business being breakfast! With a deliciously traditional Japanese meal, the once weary “pen and ink warriors” are soon recharged and ready for this important celebratory day. Time to go! 



Here’s the gang posing with, quite possibly the most “WASAMON” manikin in the world!


The moment has arrived! After countless hours and days spent making their award winning manga, not to mention the equally grueling trip to Japan, the SMAC! Masterclass award winners can finally see the fruits of their labour!


From the beginning the boys are fascinated by the quality of the show, which is much improved compared to last year. Detailed information on all the SILENT MANGA AUDITION® rounds, the explanation of the “Wasamon” theme and how this has linked the world of the manga to Kumamoto and finally many, many images of the event over the years, the faces of the MASTERCLASS and their messages for the Japanese public … AND THIS IS ONLY THE ENTRANCE!!!

The gang stare in wonder at the exhibition before them. Eyes gleaming, they marvel at the work on display. From beautifully presented examples of every SILENT MANGA AUDITION® round to a detailed explaining of the “Wasamon” and its use in manga, the exhibition also offered the chance to show off the work of the Masterclass, accompanied by each member’s message to the people of Kumamoto.


In a delightful, yet unexpected turn of events (even for Enrico, who was busy photographing everyone’s reaction to the show), Horie-san and Hojo sensei made a surprise visit to greet the gang personally and congratulate them on their hard work. The heartfelt words of encouragement from the CEO and Manga legend left their mark on the stunned award winners, making the Kumamoto Manga Festival even more special.

Arigato, Horie-san and Hojo sensei!


A very special photo indeed. Our beloved SMAC! mascot Penmaru and CITY HUNTER characters, on display with Masterclass members for the first time all together. SAY CHEESE!!


Now it’s time to let the photos do the talking! Please dive into this gallery and enjoy the fun of the day. Just click on each image to read the caption.


Don’t forget, you can read the award winning manga from all the Masterclass participants by following the link below!


Finally the proud moment arrives, the winners of the EX-3 Kumamoto Manga Festival receiving their certificates, along with some invaluable words of encouragement from the SILENT MANGA AUDITION® judges…

“Manga that is less MADE IN JAPAN and more INTERNATIONAL is the way forward!”


So this most eventful of days draws to a close. After such an emotional day, filled with wonder, excitement and encouragement, the best way to unwind is great food and unmissable KARAOKE! With our own MOCCHI and Massimo leading the musical extravaganza, they begin with the theme for “Uchuu Senkan Yamato!” How did they do, you ask? Well, watch this video and judge for yourself!


With all this excitement in Kumamoto, you will be forgiven for wondering what the other 40 Masterclass members go up to! Well, the verifiable army of international manga creators were making their way to breathtaking Takamori, to take part in the pioneering Manga Camp!

In the next article, DAY 3 we will see the whole Masterclass untied as they embark on three days off intensive manga study, manga discussion and manga fun – starting with the coveted Masterclass induction ceremony!

Don’t miss the next thrilling installment of “Kumamoto Manga Fes. & Manga Camp REPORT!” 😉


Read the previous article by clicking in the box below

Kumamoto Manga Fes. & Manga Camp 2018 THE REPORT

“Day 1 : Arrival of the Winners”
“Day 2 : International Manga Festival”
“Day 3 : MC2018 Award Ceremony”
“Day 4 : Kumamoto International Manga CAMP”
“Day 5 : The last day of the Manga CAMP”
“Next stop... Tokyo then homeward bound”
Enrico Croce

Enrico Croce