Vietnam Takes Second Place in Japan’s Silent Manga Audition Competition

Three Vietnamese writers were awarded second prize and two consolation prizes in the Silent Manga Audition. This contest is distinctive for its focus on "Silent Manga," where the narrative is conveyed solely through visuals without the use of dialogue.

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Thuy Linh, a Vietnamese author, secured second place at the Silent Manga Audition (SMA) international contest with her short story “On the Edge”.

Two other Vietnamese authors also received consolation prizes. The list of award-winning works was published on the contest’s website on February 29.

Thuy Linh, the author.

The Silent Manga Audition (SMA), organized by Coamix Inc., a well-known manga publisher based in Tokyo, Japan, is a manga competition exclusively for dialogue-less manga. This allows creators of all ages from around the world to overcome language barriers and share their love for manga.

SMA participants not only have the opportunity to win cash prizes but also the chance to work towards their manga debut in Japan.

In its 20th year, the theme of the contest was “Memorable Smile,” and a record number of 909 entries from 84 countries were received, making it the round with the highest number of submissions since the establishment of the competition.

In “On the Edge,” Thuy Linh, also known as Syoera, tells the story of a stray cat who receives help from a kind girl. The pages of the story evoke sympathy and are interwoven with humorous elements.

A page from “On the Edge”. Photo: SMA

Nobuhiko Horie, former editor-in-chief of two major comic magazines in Japan, Weekly Shonen Jump and Weekly Comic Bunch, mentioned how he laughed when he saw the expression on the cat’s face in the final part. In that sense, this work is the most manga-like because of the effective “punchline” at the end. The realistic and careful depiction of the interaction between the cat and the girl in the first half of the story makes the reader laugh when the final development exceeds their expectations. Horie would have loved to see the characters in a “smile-inducing moment” but there is no doubt that this work will make readers laugh.

Thuy Linh, the second prize winner, will receive a cash prize of JPY 300,000 (approximately VND 50 million), painting tools from sponsors, and the opportunity to participate in a master class led by renowned artists and experts in the Japanese comics industry. Additionally, the winning work will be featured in the Monthly Comic ZENON and the Mangahot comic reading app.

Prior to the Silent Manga Audition, Thuy Linh was known as a member of the author group for the historical series Van Nhan Ky – Noan, released in 2023.

Apart from Thuy Linh, two other Vietnamese authors received consolation prizes for their works: Lamv with “Familiar” and Boredgaylord with “Our Beginning – Our Farewell.”

SMA20 featured several remarkable prize-winning works, including the GRAND PRIX recipient, Plushelisa from France. Therefore, the organizers decided to exclusively introduce the GRAND PRIX and GRAND PRIX RUNNER-UPs to the readers of “Monthly Comic ZENON” and publish them in the April issue.

The judges were highly impressed with the overall quality of the entries, according to Shuichi “Mocchi” Mochida, Board Member of COAMIX Inc.; CEO of Kumamoto COAMIX Inc.; and Chief Editor of the Silent Manga Audition Committee.

SILENT MANGA AUDITIONĀ® aims to provide the best opportunity for manga creators aspiring to make their debut in Japan. This includes the SMA MasterClass, who work diligently at the Artists Village Aso 096k in Kumamoto, Japan, and continue to produce published works.

Hannah Nguyen