Japan Media Arts Festival  
21st

Manga Division

New Face Award

BAKU-CHAN

Online comic

MASUMURA Jushichi [Japan]

© masumura17 Photo: masumura17

Outline

Baku-chan, a little tapir from the planet Baku, immigrates to Earth and comes to live with Hana, a human girl who has come from Nagoya to live in Tokyo. Baku-chan comes into contact with new and different things in everyday life and encounters discrimination toward immigrants. However, he also gets support from Hana and other friendly Earthlings, and also from his immigrant friends, and lives a cheerful and robust life. MASUMURA’s experiences as an immigrant in Canada are reflected in a story depicted through colorful and fantastically designed drawings. While heartwarming, the story also depicts immigrant situations and feelings that could come about in the real world, including thoughtless violence, pressure to conform, and the difculty of adapting to a new land. It is an adventure that poses questions for society. 

Reason

If you begin this story thinking it will be a fairy tale-like manga story with impressive pastel colors, then you will be surprised to find it has been written on the theme of immigration. You will see beings that have gathered in Japan from many places out in space and for various reasons, and who have no other place to go. The little tapir who eats dreams fills the space between harsh reality and hope. A child can’t live without dreams, even if he no longer lives in the land of his birth. The homesick scene where Baku-chan gets just a bit closer to his home planet is unforgettable. (SHIRAI Yumiko) 


back to top