Amazing artwork from elementary school artist who some think is the son of a pro.

For many aspiring artists in Japan, their dream is to one day see their talent recognized by manga anthology Weekly Shonen Jump. That’s an aspiration only a handful will ever actually achieve, though.

So it’s understandable that Tsukito Akai (@akaitsuki2010 on Twitter) was very excited when Kaikoku no Kei (“Beast Hell Punishment”), a one-shot manga he created and submitted to Jump’s New World Manga Award contest in November, won an award. No, it wasn’t the grand prize, but instead a “Just One More Step to the Final Round Prize,” saluting those whose manga was almost good enough to make it to the last round of evaluations.

For some artists, being so close to the top prize might be frustrating, but Akai remains upbeat. Even the Just One More Step to the Final Round Prize is a big honor, and he’s also got a lot of his potential artist career still ahead of him, since he’s only 12 years old!

Yep, that (12) in the middle of the announcement is there to indicate that Akai is a 12-year-old, meaning that he’s still in elementary school under the Japanese educational system. “I’m happy that my artwork appeared in Jump for the first time!” tweeted Akai following his 44-page submission’s selection, for which he also pocketed a 10,000-yen (US$78) prize. “I’m going to keep working hard and hope that my next submission will make it to the final round!”

“Marvelous artwork for someone of this age,” the judges’ comments say, and other examples of Akai’s work, like the ones below, show he’s got skills far beyond those of an ordinary 12-year-old.

Obviously, you don’t become that talented, at any age, without a whole lot of hard work. There’s speculation, though, that Akai might not be the only amazing artist in his family. Tsukito Akai, especially with the kanji the artist renders it in, is a very unusual name, so much so that it’s pretty obviously a pen name. And while Akai’s real name is unknown, there’s a convincing theory that his dad’s name is Usamaru Furuya, as in Usamaru Furuya the professional manga artist.

▼ Usamaru Furuya’s artwork

Akai’s artwork bears a striking resemblance to the artwork Furuya shared through his Twitter account back in August, which he said was drawn by his 12-year-old son and can be seen on the right in the below tweet.

Along with praising Akai’s artwork, the judges’ comments for Kaikoku no Kei say “We’d like a storyline that’s easier to understand and enjoy. Furuya’s artwork, though, doesn’t necessarily conform to conventional manga styles, nor does Akai’s, so a straightforward narrative might also be a mismatch for his artistic sensibilities. Still, it’s always good to get feedback on your creative output, and Akai has plenty of time to take that constructive criticism and decide how best to apply it as he aims for the top prize.

Source: Twitter/@akaitsuki2010 via Jin
Top image: Pakutaso (edited by SoraNews24)
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!