HAKUSENSHA provided its detailled critique on "Life's Yearning", one of the entries to the International Comic/Manga School Contest 2021.
Pen name: Jack Zhen
School: Nanyang Technological University
1. The peaches look delicious.
The cover is lovely and elegant, but it seems more suited for a picture book rather than a manga.
In manga, it's the "characters" that readers want to see the most, so it would encourage them to read your manga more if you displayed your characters more clearly on the cover.
2. We like the contrast between the angel and the man, even though they are perhaps too similar visually.
On first reading, we thought it was the man on the left who had become an angel.
It would be easier to understand at first glance if their hairstyles, faces, or clothing were a little more different.
3. The use of pastel orange to depict the angel to differentiate it from the man is a good idea!
4. Thanks to the scene on the first page where the angel's hand passes through the man, it is easy to understand that he is not human.
5. Is this a rooftop? Or a balcony?
The recessed view on page 2 is good, but the layout of things is a little hard to understand.
It would have been even better if the view had been further back or if there was another image shown from a different angle.
6. What kind of book is he reading? Is it a philosophical book?
We would have liked to know what genre he likes to get a better sense of the character's personality.
7. It would have been cute to show the face of the cat.
8. The contrast between the two characters is well done.
However, it would have been easier to understand who appears in the panel ① if the order of the characters had been aligned with the picture above.
9. Is it a sentence spoken by someone when the man falls?
Or someone talking about the peach falling? It is not clear what it's about.
10. Since it appears that some time has passed since the previous frame, it would be better to insert a frame representing the passage of time or to move this frame to the next page.
11. It would have been nice if the book the man was reading had been about philosophy, because this philosophical dialogue seems a bit sudden here.
12. I was surprised to see that it was written in Japanese. So the story takes place in Japan then.
It is nice to see that even the small objects are carefully drawn.
13. This is the scene where the angel makes his decision. It would have been nice to show more of the changes in his expression.
14. Great execution!
The angel becomes human in an impressive way as night turns to morning.
15. Overall, the character of the angel is not very expressive which does not help the reader to relate to him.
You don't have to change his expressions frequently, but we think it would have been better to change them from time to time to understand the changes in this work.
For example, you could have kept his face neutral when he is an angel, and draw him with a bigger smile at the end when he is human to create a bigger impact on the reader.
16. We would have liked to see more interaction between the man and the angel in its human form.
We can imagine the angel becoming more and more human and forming a beautiful friendship with the man. This could serve as an idea for your future works.
17. The last sentence is touching!
Thank you, we enjoyed your work.
International Comic/Manga School Contest 2021 Winners