In honor of the 100th anniversary of Shueisha's Tezuka Manga Contest, Shueisha is teaming up with Japanese company MediBang Inc to reach out to creators around the world for a chance to win the contest and be published in the pages of Weekly Shonen Jump. It's a big opportunity for any up and coming artist, and it's especially important because the creators of One Piece, Dragon Ball, Slam Dunk, and more will be part of the judges panel for this iteration of the competition. Each creator spoke about their role as judge in the contest, and this of course includes Eiichiro Oda.
Speaking to his role as judge for the Tezuka Manga Contest, One Piece series creator Eiichiro Oda opened up about the kind of manga he's looking forward to. Above all else, Oda is looking for unique stories that don't seem to closely inspired by other series, "If the story you want to draw is similar to something that is already popular, find something else to draw. I prefer to read a manga that is bad but something only you can draw, more than something good but similar to another artist's work!! Just try!!"
Oda isn't the only one who spoke about the kind of manga he's looking for in this contest either as Slam Dunk creator Takehiko Inoue noted how he'll be looking for unique characters, "If I were to choose one important aspect of a good manga, my answer would be a manga that has a unique character. I want to see a captivating character. It is also better if I can see some level of reality in the world that the character lives in."
Blue Exorcist creator Kazue Kato mentioned how she's excited to see creations from all over the world, "Lately, I feel like there is a lot of posts from Asian countries. Now that we are focusing on "International", I would love to see creations not just from Asia, but from all over the world. I am looking forward to judging the works!"
This contest is not only going to be full of strong competition from around the world, but will have a stacked roster of prominent creators making the final decisions. Are you going to be submitting a manga to the contest? Which type of new series are you hoping to see as a result of all of this? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or talk to me directly about all things anime and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!