Puppets normally exist on stage solely to entertain their human audience. However, THESE puppets have neither strings nor puppeteers, and what enables their movement is magic in their eyes. Audiences, fascinated by these eyes made of precious stones, are entranced first by their charm, then by the puppets' performance. In time, one puppet begins to fancy himself human. The joy he feels is fleeting, however, and may end in tragedy...
I am extremely overjoyed as this is my first attempt in an international manga competition. I did not expect to win any prize, so this result has been a very pleasant surprise. I started drawing my entry after the conclusion of my secondary school final exams. I took a whole month to complete the manga, but it would not have happened without the support of my family and friends.
I started drawing at the age of 10 and I hope to inspire others like me to persevere in manga art. I have long dreamed of expressing my stories through art, and I hope this accomplishment will open the doors to allow me to fulfill that dream. Thank you Kodansha for giving me this opportunity!
Ms. Chong shows great artistic skill both in color and in black & white. Except for a few scenes where human beings appear, her story is narrated by the interaction of puppets that by nature should not have emotions and words. The puppets begin to gain emotion, and their faces that were once motionless miraculously become more and more expressive. The artist uses great technique illustrating the puppets’ mood shifts without dialogue, solely through movement and expression. Although the work depicts a love story told through the body language of puppets, it is also a story in which the oppressed stand up against the oppressors. We are impressed by the talent of a 17-year-old who creates this kind of story.