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Christopher Tordoff Christopher Tordoff 08/05/2020 7 min read

SILENT MANGA AUDITION® MasterClass members Yoonmi and SIDEBURN004 celebrated awards in the 6th Japanese manga competition Itten Toppa, along with receiving praise from guest judge Paru Itagaki, creator of the hugely popular manga series Beastars!

Predominantly open to aspiring Japanese manga artists, Itten Toppa is a competition that focuses on the creator’s strengths. Whether it’s action, world-building, drawing skills or even dialogue, Itten Toppa is about identifying an artist’s strongest skill, that can then be developed into a successful Japanese manga making career.

Click the banner for the ITTEN TOPPA results!


Honorable Mention and Special Judge Award – “Subtle Abstract” by Yoonmi


“Subtle Abstract” by American SMA GP Runner Up winner Yoonmi delves into the world of the psychic! With the ability to read minds, Elliot uses his unique powers to help the lovelorn, with little thought for his own happiness. But when he is set up on a blind date, will his mind reading powers help or hinder his love life?!

Yoonmi’s Comment:

“Thank you very much for the opportunity! I will strive to do even better and learn lots. Please look out for more worldwide manga from me and my peers!”

Itagaki-sensei’s Comment:

“The girl is extremely cute! If there is a meaning behind the picture drawn in her head, I think it will lead to her charm. Please add more panels showing this.”



Honorable Mention – “Like a Fairytale” by SIDEBURN004


“Like a Fairytale” by Russian SMA Grand Prix winner SIDEBURN004 is an action packed Shonen adventure that merges fairytales with Japanese adolescence. An accidental hero is thrust into danger when his shadow takes on the guise of Koschei, a figure from Russian folklore while being chased by a certain red riding hooded maniac!

Sideburn004’s Comment:

“There are so many manga based on Japanese folklore! Fairy tales in general are an inexhaustible source of inspiration in a variety of stories. I wanted to use the famous character from the traditional fairy tales of my country, but tried to change their appearance to show them in a modern environment.”

Itagaki-sensei’s Comment:

“The drawing skills are good and the action scenes are gorgeous! However, the story is a little difficult to understand, so please don’t neglect to explain the world setting. The highlights will shine only when readers empathize with the characters and immerse themselves in the setting of the story!”



“You should be proud of yourselves!”

As for the all the works in Itten Toppa 06, special guest judge Itagaki Paru sensei had this to say…

“I got the impression that the ten works [in the competition] were made with serious intent. In other words, it is your strengths that built strong Ki-sho-ten-ketsu, from beginning to the end. Manga-ka should be serious. You have to meet deadlines so a serious attitude is needed from the very start. The more serious you are about creating manga, the more focussed your work. This is what I wish.

While anyone can publish their work on Social Media, you should be proud that you worked hard in submitting to a Manga Award and receive evaluation! It is a happy life to be able to make a living with the manga you created.  At the same time, it is also difficult, so keep up with that spirit and please brush up your work with your editor to make your debut!”


Yoonmi and SIDEBURN004’s achievements when competing against Japanese manga artists is a testament to their skill, passion and drive to succeed, and like you, they both started by entering the SILENT MANGA AUDITION®. So don’t delay, pick up your pencils and enter SMA14 and maybe you will have your work appraised by the manga industry’s best and brightest and secure your footing on the road to being a manga pro in Japan!

Christopher Tordoff

Christopher Tordoff