Japan Media Arts Festival  
21st

Manga Division

Excellence Award

Ulna at the Emplacement

IZU Toru [Japan]

© IZU Toru
Outline

Save for a few sunny days a year, the island of Rizul is always covered in wind and snow. The story begins with Ulna Tropp Yonk, a sniper from Rezmore, a country that has seized global hegemony, taking up her assignment. The island has been designated as the living place for the Zoods, a grotesque barbarian tribe whose members look like walking gums. Ulna’s mission is to ght the Zoods, who come from out of the snow to attack. However, biology researcher Latofuma, who has also been sent to the base, has a secret connection with the Zoods. Ulna witnesses these secret meetings and, as she battles, gets closer to the secret behind the Zoods’ grotesque appearance and Rezmore’s national conspiracy. This science ction piece by IZU comes on the heels of wild popularity gained through works such as Mitsubachi no kiss (Kiss of the Honeybee) (2008-09) and Aiming for the ace (2012-14). The rich texture of white snow and powerful images of the Zoods on the attack and other effects are used by the manga artist to intensely draw in the reader, vividly depicting a war zone in a strange world through sophisticated illustration techniques. 

Reason

It’s hard to kill a person. It’s hard physically, but you also need a graceful excuse to be able to sleep at night. One that comes up with the idea that if you stop considering your target as human, then it should be easy to kill, loses the title of human being. This evil influence simplifying the world causes dark red blood to flow in a remote region. Two women fight together―one to save her hometown, the other to abandon hers. In both cases, they are thrust into the story by a situation their nation created. One time, the day will come when Ulna fires her weapon in a world where she has become aware that this is her own story. And what will be her target then? IZU Toru’s manga has a worldview, yet he is not looking down on it like a god. I believe that creativity is the quest to pursue the elusive truth to the very end, by creeping around in the depths as well as atop the towers and in the dirt. This manga is an otherworldly testimony to war. I hope that the world IZU has been seeing continues to be shown to its fullest. (MATSUDA Hiroko) 


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