Joe, the son of a family of dentists, has been thoroughly trained to keep his teeth immaculate since he was little. His father also wants him to grow up to be a dentist; but Joe does not want to be forced. One day Joe decides his teeth are the source of his problems, and he tries to pull them out…
When I heard the news that I won the grand prize, I was in the process of drawing a picture. Although I thought I felt very calm upon hanging up the phone, excitement built up within me little by little until eventually I couldn't hold still. I consider myself an ordinary person, but I couldn't stop imagining what would happen to me after the competition! I felt pressure at the same time, and that stimulated me to work even harder!
I take this honor as a great encouragement to my creative activities, appreciating the opportunity Kodansha has given me to have many people read my work. I’ll do my best and keep creating new stories. In addition, I would like to thank my dentist, who pulled a few of my teeth and inspired me to draw pliers advancing toward one’s mouth.
The story and drawing style are so well-matched that they combine to create a heartwarming world. Like picture books, the plot develops through narration. Even though pulling teeth can be extremely painful, it would be considered a good feeling in this work because the boy only attempts to do so after giving serious thought to his problem. The composition of story is great/quite impressive; whereas the first half depicts the boy’s concern in a straightforward manner, the second half is full of energy and fantasy. We, the judges, want to see work from this artist where dialogue helps the story develop.