Basketball manga Echoes has been awarded the Grand Prize of Takarajimasha’s ‘Kono manga ga sugoi!’ (‘This Manga is Amazing!’). The work is inspired by the real-life experiences of the author, Ayumi.
The manga shows the inner conflict of a transgender boy, Sei, and the struggles of the people who surround him. Among them is Asuka, whose past has made her unable to trust others, and team captain Kaneko, who is fighting her own feelings of guilt and shame.
The author began to experience gender dysphoria when she was 3 years old, and seems to have written this manga with the message that in a community there are so many different kind of people. It also expresses the hope that one day there will be a world where transgenderism will not be seen as a peculiarity.
However, the manga is not only about that. Echoes has also been praised for its lively images, its story-telling, and its integrity as a manga at a level that makes it hard to believe that it was written from brand-new author.
The list of previous winners of ‘Kono manga ga sugoi!’ include distinguished works as Dungeon Meshi, Koe no Katachi, Ansatsu Kyoushitsu, Oremonogatari, and Attack on Titan, among others.
We hope that this work will inspire people to see that the differences between us are things that can connect us and not divide us. The prize-winning author’s feelings should have the chance be spread to the world, if even just a little!