sma21 swa1 sma21

Young Ukrainian Artist’s Magical Manga Takes Top Award!!

SMA Editorial Dept. SMA Editorial Dept. 30/08/2023 9 min read
Young Ukrainian MasterClass member nemuisemi received the TOP AWARD in the 26th edition of the “Comic ZENON Manga Taisho” Japanese manga contest! nemuisemi’s first-ever Japanese one-shot manga won the Excellence Award Runner-Up (with a value of ¥100,000) which makes her the THIRD international creator to be published in the prestigious Monthly Comic ZENON manga magazine!!

Manga Taisho is Comic ZENON’s oldest manga contest where new and upcoming creators can prove themselves DIRECTLY to their future fans with an up to 39-page entry. It’s not only judged by manga legends such as Tsukasa Hojo-sensei and Tetsuo Hara-sensei, but also by booksellers and the general public.

The following are the comments from Comic ZENON’s 26th Manga Taisho special judge Yaeko Ninagawa-sensei (TOUKEN RANBU GAIDEN AYAKASHITAN, etc.) and TSUTAYA BOOK STORE (Kawasaki Station branch) regarding nemuisemi’s entry:
“I felt the creator’s high level of skill in her style that caters to the needs of the readers and the meticulous artwork of characters and backgrounds. In the future, I hope she can focus on creating a setting that satisfies readers by clearly explaining what the magic or abilities in her manga can and cannot do.”  -Yaeko Ninagawa-sensei
“The art style, story, and world-building are all nearly at a fully fleshed-out level in this work. The meticulous attention to detail in the setting is also captivating, and upon reading until the end, the meaning behind the title of this work became clear.” TSUTAYA BOOK STORE (Kawasaki Station branch)
After receiving the SMA18 Grand Prix Runner-Up award, nemuisemi once again won the hearts of both professionals and readers with “Marmoris,” which follows Olivia, a girl tormented by the sea with no memory of her past, and Adelia, a member of a mystical race of fox-people who have a unique gift for magical potions’ creation and medicine. Will their fateful encounter bring them happiness, or will the trauma of the past and wounds too deep to heal tear them apart?

In the latest Monthly Comic ZENON, an exclusive interview with nemuisemi was featured in the issue, which we have translated!

1. What are your feelings towards your award?

When I found out that I was a finalist, I couldn’t help myself jumping from happiness. I am unbelievably honored to receive this award.

2. What inspired the creation of this work?

I love the sea and I love soft, bittersweet fantasy stories. Because of my love for these things, “Marmoris” was created.

3. What are your favorite parts of this work? Could you tell us about the creative process behind it?

My favorite pages are those with water and splashes. I really enjoy drawing cute faces and sea waves. Writing scenario and creating name is also so fun, but it was difficult for me in the same time, because I did not have any experience.

4. What challenges did you face while creating this work?

It was the first time I had to draw so much in such a short amount of time, and it was quite difficult for me to meet the deadline. But the editors supported me and I could not let them down!!

5. Were there any specific aspects you focused on when designing the characters?

Creating designs, I mostly focus on the clothes worn by the characters, as well as hairstyles and some special facial/body features. I really like to search different folk costumes and get inspired by them.

6. What is your favorite manga?

My favorite manga are Mushishi and Monster. I like Mushishi because mini-story format and learning more about Japanese folklore gives me so much joy, and Monster because of the exciting plot and unreal emotions I get.

7. What kind of works do you want to create in the future?

 I want to create manga in which I can show my love for the world. Feelings and emotions are more important to me than actions and exciting plot, so I want to create manga about people and their life’s challenges.

8. What’s the thing you’re most interested in lately?

I’ve been watching a lot of anime and playing games lately. I started watching Pokemon for the first time in my life and now I really want to collect some plushies haha.

9. Lastly, please share a final comment!

 Finally, I want to thank the editors and my friends for supporting me. It may seem like a small thing, but without your kind words, It would has been emotionally difficult. I am very happy that I took part in this competition and I will try my best to become a professional mangaka in the future!!

nemuisemi’s work is only one of the manga masterpieces created by the SMA MasterClass that won an award through Comic ZENON and COAMIX; with the support of the SMA Editorial Department, the MasterClass members are showing year after year their potential to the Japanese audience and working towards their professional debut by joining SMA exclusive projects such as the “Artists Village Aso 096k!”

Learn more about the MasterClass

Learn more about the Artists Village Aso 096k


For your chance to change your working life and come work with us in Japan, JOIN SMA20 TODAY!

SMA Editorial Dept.

SMA Editorial Dept.