“Moments of CRYING, SMILING or LOVE” is the theme for SMA15. With endless possibilities for stories covering each of these emotions, we’ll look at the work of Zenon’s own mangakas for inspiration. Each mangaka featured in this series started out just like you, by entering manga into the Japanese Silent Manga competition under the same emotional themes. From there, they have all gone onto professional careers with successful series in Monthly Comic Zenon.
Title: Pumpkin Head and 12 Nights
Author: Yako Gureishi
Award: Honorable Mention
Current Series: Somali and the Forest Spirit
Yako Gureishi is the creator of the hugely successful Somali to Mori no Kamisama (Somali and the Forest Spirit). But before he achieved manga stardom, Gureishi-sensei earned himself an Honorable Mention award, and the attention of the Zenon editorial team in 2011’s 6th Silent Manga contest with Pumpkin Head and 12 Nights.
“At 16 pages, this entry is longer than other works in the competition. I was instantly drawn to the frontispiece and powerful farewell scene, guaranteed to bring tears to the eyes of readers. The world-building and overall design is very impressive, making it hard to believe the author is a teenager! However, the characters themselves are a little work so with a little more development in this area, the work could easily be serialized in this magazine.”
It seems Gureishi-sensei took this feedback to heart with his epic fantasy, Somali and the Forest Spirit wowing the manga world. With an anime by animation studio Satelight airing from January 2020, Yako Gureishi proves that entering a manga competition is the first step on the journey to success!