Japan Media Arts Festival 2011

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Summary

Puella Magi Madoka Magica wins the 2011 Animation Division Grand Prize in the 15th Japanese Media Arts Festival. The Japan Media Arts Festival is an annual festival held by Japan's Agency for Cultural Affairs since 1997. The Animation Division competition includes theatrical animation, TV animation, other original animation, animated short films, with even some foreign submissions. This year, there were 425 entries submitted for the Animation Division.

From the 2011 press briefing (JP) announcing the awards

The chair is Kondo Seiichi, the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs. The Operating Committee is:

  • Hamano Yasuki, Professor, The University of Tokyo Graduate School
  • Hayashida Hideki, Director, The National Art Center, Tokyo
  • Tatehata Akira, President, Kyoto City University of Arts

The Jury for 2011's Animation Division:

The Grand Prize winner gets a Certificate from Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Trophy and 600,000 Japanese Yen. All award-winning works are scheduled to be on exhibit from February 22, 2012 until March 4, 2012 at the National Art Center, Special Exhibit Gallery 1E in Roppongi, Toyko. The awards ceremony is scheduled for February 21, 2012 at Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi. Announcements of results are made on the official site, TV, newspapers and magazines.

Reason for Award

The Japan Media Arts Festival video on the press briefing of the award decisions can be viewed here (Japanese), with the focus on Madoka Magica start at 58 minutes, beginning with a selection of clips from the anime that made an impression on the jury. Producer Atsuhiro Iwakami was in attendance at the press briefing, to speak on Madoka Magica's award win.

The following is the English summary of Puella Magia Madoka Magica and the reason for the award:

Summary
One day, Madoka Kaname, an ordinary junior high school student, has a strange dream. When she goes to school the following day, the girl she saw in her dream, Homura, has transferred to her school. Homura speaks some profoundly meaningful words to Madoka, who is perplexed. After school that day, Madoka strays into a "witch's barrier," and is rescued from the truth about the beings called "magical girls." What choice will Madoka make, now that she has discovered the truth amidst the complex tapestry of time and human relationships?

Reason for Award
The winner of the Grand Prize for a television series for the second year in a row. This year the work drew particular praise as an original work for anime, rather than being based on an existing manga or novel. The series continued to be an ambitious one, skilfully setting critical traps that shook the very foundations of the genre, leaving viewers unsure about the premises upon which this otherwise common theme of the “magical girl” is based. The seemingly adorable familiar Kyubey offers to grant a girl a wish if she will enter into a “contract” to become a magical girl and fight witches. Both the terror that lurks within “desire” and the emotional reaction to “miracles” that overcomes that fear...these are two sides of one coin, both born of the human heart. Putting the particular “media characteristics” of a television series--in which one must wait a full week to learn what happens next to their best use, the series maximized the tension within the viewers' minds even as they enjoyed the show’s beautiful images. The script is overflowing with the revolutionary energy that always strives to change things. With the hope that this series will become the necessary catalyst to change the world we live in, we award it the Grand Prize.

JMAF Eng.jpg

Trivia

  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica is only the second TV anime to win the Animation Division Grand Prize. This award has traditionally been dominated by films.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica is also the first (and only) original TV anime ever to win this award, as 'Tatami Galaxy' was based on a existing novel.

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