• Japanese
  • English



Winners of International Comic/Manga School Contest 2023 Announced! Selected from 1,481 schools in 89 countries

日本語 / English / Français / Español / Deutsch / 한국어 / 繁體中文

Celsys today announces the winning entries of the International Comic/Manga School Contest 2023, a contest for students worldwide organized by Celsys in collaboration with leading comic organizations from around the world. This contest has been held every year since 2018 with the cooperation of domestic and foreign companies that support the comics and manga industry. A total of 1,481 schools in 89 countries/regions registered for this year’s contest, and more than 1,900 comics and illustrations were submitted for consideration for the Grand Prize and category awards.

Open for entries from December 2022, this year’s contest had the theme of “Light and Darkness”. Entries were accepted in any language in a total of 6 categories: comic, manga, webtoon, bande dessinée, illustration, and storyboard. Many unique entries were submitted this year.

International Comic / Manga School Contest 2023 Winning Entries

Video Award Ceremony

The Overall Grand Prize was awarded to the comic “Inside the Shadow” by VIIIN of the School of Visual Arts. Judges praised this story with comments such as “The worldview was well illustrated and the storybook-like style was very charming” and “it makes you think about the good and bad of human beings.”

As the contest is aimed at students aspiring to become professionals, judges and sponsors offered detailed critique on the winning entries to help improve the skills of the winners as well as those who read the entries. Critiques from judges and sponsors will be published on the contest site going forward. The contest is also a place for contestants to connect with sponsors, and this year, a total of  21 contestants received offers from sponsors.

Successful contestant stories

This contest has provided a platform to many creators worldwide who are currently active as professional artists. Celsys plans to hold the contest again next year, with the aim of supporting talented students to make meaningful connections with the world’s comic industry.

YEONIEST (Winner in Comic Category, 2019)
Publishing “The 0th Wizard” webtoon on Kakaopage in Korea, Tapas in France, and Piccoma in Japan.

XGreen (Entered in Manga Category, 2022)
Publishing “Krymsoul,” an action-romance manga, in Planeta Manga (Spain)

Winning Entries
Please see the announcement site to read the winning entries in full.

Overall Grand Prize

School name: School of Visual Arts
Artist: VIIIN (China)
Title: Inside the Shadow

Comic Category Award

School name: Virtual University of Pakistan
Artist: BlueBird0202 (Pakistan)
Title: The Circle of Life: memento mori

Manga Category Award

School name: Nihon Kogakuin College
Artist: Daiki Tomi (Japan)
Title: Lucia

Webtoon Category Award

School name: Information and Communication Technology High School
Artist: Bactewia (Philippines)
Title: Lost

Bande Dessinée Category Award

School name: ESA Saint-Luc Liège
Artist: Felizs_art (Belgium)
Title: Sa couronne

Storyboard Category: Grand Prize

School name: Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Audiovisuales
Artist: JOHEN (Mexico)
Title: Estimada persona con vida

Illustration Category: Grand Prize

School name: Universidad Tecnológica de México
Artist: minsik.tea (Mexico)

International Comic/Manga School Contest 2023 Summary
Submission Categories

・Comic Category (color)
・Manga Category (black-and-white/color)
・Bande Dessinée Category (color)
・Webtoon Category (color recommended)
・Storyboard Category (black-and-white/color)
・Illustration Category

Light and Darkness (All categories)

Awards and Prizes
Overall Grand Prize (1 Winner)

・US$3,300 cash prize
・The new Wacom Cintiq Pro 16 (DTH167) for creators who want a user-friendly tablet
・Cross-platform painting app, Clip Studio Paint EX (single-device, 3 years)

In addition, prizes are given to 1 winner and 3 to 5 runners-up in each category.

Gold sponsors

SHUEISHA is a Japanese publisher that specializes in manga, fashion magazines, and literary books. They publish a variety of comic magazines from Weekly Shonen Jump and Weekly Young Jump to Ribbon in Japan. As well as being the publisher of the worldwide smash hit, One Piece, SHUEISHA also provides manga fans with the Shonen Jump+, Manga Mee, and YoungJump! apps.

An all-around entertainment company, KADOKAWA, runs a wide range of businesses in publishing, videos, games, web services, education, merchandising, intangible services, and inbound sales. The company’s free comic site, Comic Walker, features popular KADOKAWA manga. It boasts more than 4,000 titles ranging from mixed-media works to popular isekai comics.

Amassing a stock of over 1 million books since its establishment in 2011, BookLive has become one of Japan's largest comprehensive e-book stores. Striving for maximum usability for readers, BookLive offers over 10,000 titles available to read for free! The company also produces original e-books, aiming to create titles that capture the hearts and minds of the smartphone manga generation.

Ki-oon is a French publishing house founded in 2003 by two manga fans. It is currently the third largest publisher in France, publishing "My Hero Academia," "Jujutsu Kaisen," "Frieren", "BEASTARS," and many more. In addition to purchasing licenses, they also produce and publish original works in a variety of genres, such as "Tsugumi Project", "Léviathan", "Beyond the Clouds", "Outlaw Players", "Lost Children", "Outsiders" and "L'Éden des sorcières". These works are initially published in France and then licensed for Japanese and worldwide distribution.

A social network for creators that makes getting creative even more fun! With over 84 million users worldwide, more than 100 million illustrations, comics, and novels have been posted. New, fun projects for illustrators, manga artists, and writers pop up every day. We are also running an event to support your first contributions to pixiv! Join us!

Pioneer of pen and display tablets made for creatives, used to create the world’s most exciting digital art, films, special effects, fashion, and design.
Click here to learn more about educational use: https://www.wacom.com/en-us/education

Silver sponsors

MangaPlaza is one of the largest providers of digital manga in the U.S. Boasting over 76,000 titles from 40+ publishers, users can discover exciting works, including platform exclusives. We also offer a monthly plan that grants users access to 21,000 chapters for a great deal. Begin your journey on MangaPlaza and find your next favorite series!

A comic book publisher with a mission to "bring FUN to life through the power of stories,” FUNGUILD plans and edits original comics and webtoons that resonate with their readership of girls, women, and young men, making them available via various Japanese and worldwide online comic sites.

Planeta Cómic
Planeta Cómic (Grupo Planeta) was founded in 1982. We offer a wide range of the world's best shonen manga: Dragon Ball, My Hero Academia, Naruto, One Piece and Kaiju No. 8, as well as kodomo, seinen, shojo, yuri, and BL manga. We also have our own successful magazine: Planeta Manga.

As for North American comics, our Star Wars books and independent works deserve special mention. Both our collection of national graphic novels (Los pacientes del doctor García, Voces que cuentan, Cuatro poetas en guerra) and international graphic novels (From Hell, The Hunting Accident, The Eternaut) are all highly acclaimed.

Dupuis is a Belgian publisher with over 100 years of history, and the main creator of many great Franco-Belgian comic heroes, such as Spirou, the Marsupilami and Gaston Lagaffe, to name a few. It is also known as the publishing house with the most diverse library in Europe, with titles in teen & young adult comics, manga, webtoons, graphic novels, news and many other genres.

RED SEVEN is a company founded with the combined powers of REDICE STUDIO, creators of "Solo Leveling," and L SEVEN, creators of "Omniscient Reader." They aim to provide a superior media experience for our readers and set the full potential of both companies into motion.
With works such as “King of Excavation”, “The Great Mage Returns After 4000 Years” and “Lady Devil”, RED SEVEN aims to realize the potential of both and provide readers with an elevated reading experience.
They are looking for all sorts of manga works, beyond the webtoon genre they’re known for and look forward to your entries.

SORAJIMA Inc. is a manga studio with the largest share of Webtoons produced in Japan. What’s more, while developing its global and multimedia offerings, the studio is also taking on becoming a platform provider and putting effort into its new manga app, SORACOMI, all built in-house.

We are a Manga Artist Entertainment Production company with a vision to create the stage where the next generation of manga artists can be active and accelerate the evolution of Japanese manga. Working closely with manga artists' careers, we push the envelope on manga as an artform. For companies, we provide services such as the Original Story Advertising Manga "Orist" service, which produces manga for commercials. We also deliver manga to publishers through our Team-based Serialization and Comic Production "Manpro" business.


SHOGAKUKAN is a general publishing company that publishes magazines such as comic magazines, children's magazines, information magazines, women's magazines, books and picture books. The comic magazine genre covers a wide range of readers from boys and girls to adults, such as CoroCoro Comic, Weekly Shonen Sunday, Sho-Comi, and Big Comic. The company also runs the comic app, Manga One, which has been downloaded over 20 million times.

BOOK☆WALKER Global is one of the world's most popular eBook stores and apps for reading over 29,000 digital Manga & Light Novels. Experience and enjoy the latest manga and light novels, mainly from Japan on your iOS and Android devices and/or the web viewer.

Founded in June 1991, Ever Glory Publishing Co., Ltd. has mainly had educational- and entertainment-oriented children’s books published and distributed. It once gained authorizations from SHOGAKUKAN, Kodansha, SHUEISHA, and Akita Shoten to issue Chinese versions of comics in Taiwan. As part of its recent focus on training manga artists and holding original manga contests regularly, the company also welcomes aspiring authors to submit their comics and novels whenever possible.

Pocket Comics is a manga app with a large selection of full color webtoons, known as comico in Japanese, Korean and Thai. In English, French, German and Traditional Chinese it is known as Pocket Comics and has been downloaded over 41 million times worldwide.

One of the biggest international manga competitions held in the world. It is created and organized by COAMIX Inc., a manga publisher founded by iconic creators such as Tetsuo Hara and Tsukasa Hojo. The competition aims to discover, nurture, and publish the next generation of international manga creators.

Minto Studio
Minto Studio is a webtoon specialist, which built up a unique production system through its vast global creator network and 10 years of content production knowledge. It produces works in collaboration with a number of platforms including Kakao Pikkoma, with whom it has a business alliance with.

Tokyo Name Tank
Our goal is to support everyone in creating their own manga while having fun drawing it. We have produced many award-winning and debut artists. In addition to storyboard lessons that cover how to structure a complete 32-page storyboard, we also hold individual consultations and storyboard exchange sessions to answer concerns about the creation of comics.

Cork, Inc.
A creator agency whose mission is to change each and everyone’s world through the power of storytelling. The agency aims to create a world where comics can shine brightly, where excitement is generated from creators and fans connecting directly and building a model for entertainment in the Internet age that goes beyond traditional publishing and distribution.

LINE WEBTOON is a new global digital comics platform available on both computer and mobile devices.  The Traditional Chinese version was released in July 2014 and is dedicated to providing readers with manga content that you won’t want to put down once you start reading!  LINE WEBTOON also strives to nurture Taiwanese creators.
For more information, see their official website: http://www.webtoons.com/zh-hant/

GA Bunko, which has produced numerous light novel masterpieces, has launched a new comic book label, GAComic! GAComic adapts a wide range of genres into comic book series, from otherworldly fantasy to romantic comedy. It has serialized many popular works from Piccoma, other e-bookstores, and manga apps.


Japan Cartoonists Association
The Japan Cartoonists Association was established in December 1964 as the only nationwide organization of Japan's manga artists at that time and became an Incorporated Association in 1985 before becoming a Public Interest Incorporated Association in 2014. It is engaged in a variety of projects, such as research on comics, efforts in popularizing comics and comics culture, and comics cultural exchange with other countries.

General Incorporated Association Manga Japan
Manga Japan is an organization that aims to promote the development of manga culture and artists, contribute to society through the manga industry, promote international exchange, and improve production environments for manga authors and others involved in the industry.

Digital Manga Association
The Digital Manga Association is an organization of volunteers established to explore creative technologies for the creation of digital manga and comics and research copyright issues caused by digitization.

Contest Partners


Operational Support

Graphixly LLC.

Toutlemonde Production Co.,Ltd.



About CELSYS, Inc.
Celsys, with a mission of “Creating a more passionate world,” provides solutions for creative activities through online Clip Studio  services and Clip Studio Paint drawing app for illustration, manga, webtoon, and animation production. Celsys supports people all over the world to enjoy creating more and all the experiences that come with it.


For media inquiries
Celsys Media Relations press@celsys.com