Translation, Proofreading and Content Production for Cool Japan

Creator Stamp Battle

Feat. Naoto Tsushima, Madoka Akanuma & Yoshihiro Iwamoto

The battle of creativity is ready to begin!

SNS stickers have become a facet of daily life.
In greetings, conversation, work… stickers are everywhere.
But people demand increasingly new and unique designs.
Answering this call are three manga artists: Naoto Tsushima, Yoshihiro Iwamoto, and Madoka Akanuma. They’ll each use their skills to their fullest to create original LINE stickers.
But they will not only create… They will battle, to show who is truly innovative.
The judge of who can create the greatest stickers… is you.
YOU will be the judge of who is the greatest creator.

Who will emerge victorious in this battle of imagination?!
The curtain rises on the Creator Stamp Battle!

Manga Artist

Yoshihiro Iwamoto graduated from Ibaraki University, and made his debut in the 1992 summer special issue of Comic Bom-Bom. He is known for works including “Rockman X,” “Mushrambo,” “Transformers: Galaxy Force,” “GunPla Extreme,” “GunPla Builders A,” and Kadokawa’s educational mangas. Recently, he has been hard at work on what he says are “top secret jobs.”

Final Rank:

1st place

Naoto Tsushima

@naototsushima
Pixiv

Manga Artist

Naoto Tsushima began his career in 1992, when he was awarded the Big Step Award and Encouragement Award in Enix’s 2nd Big Rookie Awards. Since then, he has written numerous series for a young male readership, spanning magazines such as Comic Bom-Bom and Gundam Ace.
His most renowned works include “Goemon,” “Monster Human Bem Returns,” “Fighting Culinary Legend Bistro Recipe,” “Transformers: The Stargate Battles,” “SD Gundam Sangokuden,” and many others.

Final Rank:
2nd place

Manga artist and illustrator

Madoka Akanuma graduated from the art department of Aoyama Gakuin Women’s Junior College with a major in oil painting. In 2007, she made her debut on Kodansha’s manga website MiChao! with “Pithecanthropus.” She currently works as a manga artist and illustrator on Kawade Shobo Shinsha Publishers’ Tom and Jerry educational comics. She participates in the artist alley of the International Comics Festival at Tokyo Big Site every year. In 2015, she began working on shojo manga through a Spanish publisher, and seeks to create manga that transcends nationality.

Final Rank:
3rd place

The battle has come to a close on Sunday, November 20th!

And so was crowned the Creator of Creators…

Yoshihiro Iwamoto!

Yoshihiro Iwamoto

Naoto Tsushima

Madoka Akanuma

Creator Interviews

Creator Interview:
Naoto Tsushima

stamp-battle-tsushima

Mangaka
“Battle Spirits” Spirit design
“Buddy Fight” Selected character design
Also recognized for his work in IDW’s Transformers comics, such as “Revolution: Till All Are One.”

csb-interview-saltron


Saltron:
NAOTO TSUSHIMA SENSEI. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE WORKS?

Tsushima:
I’d watch a lot of robot-related shows on TV, so I was happy when I got the chance to work on the comic versions of them. But when I draw a manga, I really do my research, so all of my works are very memorable to me, robots or not.

csb-interview-tsushima

csb-interview-saltron


Saltron:
WHY DID YOU WISH TO BECOME A MANGA ARTIST?

Tsushima:
Since I was a kid, I had this vague admiration for manga artists. That admiration became a reality when, back when I lived in Osaka, I brought some of my art in to show a Tokyo publisher. I was fortunate enough to meet a good editor there, who encouraged me to move to Tokyo if I wanted to go pro. They connected me with a job as an assistant artist, and a year and a half later, I made my debut at age 20. That was how it started.

csb-interview-tsushima

csb-interview-saltron


Saltron:
HOW DID IT HAPPEN THAT YOU JOINED CREATOR STAMP BATTLE?

Tsushima:
More than the battle aspect of it, I was interested in making SNS stickers, so I thought I’d give it a try. LINE stickers are something I use every day, so I worked on mine with the hopes that people would find them handy and fun to use. Being that I like robots so much, I considered using them in my designs for the stickers, but I thought that on a small smartphone screen, a clear design would be better than something with a lot of fine details, so I went with the ninja.

csb-interview-tsushima

csb-interview-saltron


Saltron:
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE OTHER CONTESTANTS’ DESIGNS?

Tsushima:
Since the stickers haven’t been fully revealed yet, I’m not sure, but I’m curious what they’ll come up with. I’m a little wary of them, but also simply excited to see how they turn out. This is a battle, though, and I’d like to win it.

csb-interview-tsushima

csb-interview-saltron


Saltron:
FINALLY, PLEASE DESCRIBE THE APPEAL OF YOUR STICKERS.

Tsushima:
I often text, “Don’t wait up for me” (when I’m late to a meal). I think a lot of people could use a sticker for that? I squeezed in as much as I could from stickers I thought people could use, so I hope they’ll play around and have fun with them.I especially recommend the “Lonely Me” sticker!

csb-interview-tsushima

csb-interview-saltron


Saltron:
I DOUBT THAT “LONELY ME” WOULD BE OF MUCH USE IN CONVERSATION…?

Tsushima:
Don’t knock it till you try it!

csb-interview-tsushima

Creator Interview:
Yoshihiro Iwamoto

csb-interview-saltron


Saltron:
HOW DID YOU BECOME A MANGA ARTIST?

Iwamoto:
I was interested in youth comics, so one day I brought my work into the Comic Bom-Bom office. Apparently amateurs like me were pretty rare, so the Bom-Bom staff were surprised. They probably spoiled me a bit.

When I went to their office, I told them that I was a fan of the Kamen Rider series. Upon hearing that, they were nice enough to give me editing jobs on the SD Rider series. After a while, I received an honorable mention in the New Face Award, and I made my debut on the Comic Bom-Bom special issue.

Wait a minute… Did I debut before I received an honorable mention? I can’t recall…

csb-interview-saltron


Saltron:
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR MEMORABLE WORKS?

Iwamoto:
It’s a bit difficult to say. They’re all pretty memorable for me. If I were to choose, I would go with Rockman X (Megaman X), my first continuous series.

csb-interview-saltron


Saltron:
HOW DID IT HAPPEN THAT YOU JOINED CREATOR STAMP BATTLE?

Iwamoto:
A person I met an event asked me if I was interested.

csb-interview-saltron


Saltron:
DID YOU TRY ANYTHING NEW IN THIS PROJECT?

Iwamoto:
I don’t use LINE, so the whole concept was new to me. I first needed to look up what sort of situations these stickers are commonly used.

There appeared to be no definite rules, so I decided to think of a character and imagine his reactions to certain events.
I may have ended up with a few stickers that kind of don’t fit into normal conversations.

csb-interview-saltron


Saltron:
DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE TO SAY ABOUT THE EVENT OR TO OTHER CONTESTANTS?

Iwamoto:
Anything else… Let me see.
A few of the stickers I made introduce characters other than the main hero. If people become interested in who they are and what they do, that would be great. I guess that’s not exactly what someone would expect of a set of LINE stamps.

Dear Madoka Akanuma,
Hi!
Your art is so cute!

Even though our first work together is a battle, I hope we can both do well!

Dear Naoto Tsushima,
Good to see you again.
Wow. You look great in that samurai outfit!
What? That doesn’t matter? Oh sorry, just got carried away.

The ninjas are so cool!
I can’t wait to see all of them!

csb-interview-saltron


Saltron:
FINALLY, PLEASE DESCRIBE THE APPEAL OF YOUR STICKERS.

Iwamoto:
I designed these stickers the same way I draw manga: I wrote a story first. As for the characters in featured in the stickers, they maybe clumsy, they may not be super-awesome, but they’re nice and give it their best. I hope people will view and like them.

It’s very rare for me to work on something completely original, so it would be wonderful if the characters could also appear in other work outside the stickers.

Creator Interview:
Madoka Akanuma

madoka

csb-interview-saltron


Saltron:
WHY DID YOU WISH TO BECOME A MANGA ARTIST?

Akanuma:
I wanted to be a manga artist since I was in junior high school.
I had looked up to the manga artist Naoko Takeuchi, who is famous for Sailor Moon.

I first found work when I applied to Kodansha’s online manga contest, and I was chosen out of 100 contestants. I had a series called Earth Ranger.

csb-interview-saltron


Saltron:
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR MEMORABLE WORKS?

Akanuma:
Something I’m really fond of is Rainbow Star, which I’ve revised several times and have been drawing since my debut in 2007.
It’s an important work for me, as it allows me to think about what is so important for me, enough to continue drawing for eight years.

csb-interview-saltron


Saltron:
HOW DID IT HAPPEN THAT YOU JOINED CREATOR STAMP BATTLE?

Akanuma:
When I read Fancy Mate (Mana Takemura, Yukashinamon, publisher: Gambit), I had a creative inspiration. I thought, “I want to do that, too! I want my character to leave an impression, and I want people to have an interest in it!”
That’s how “Super Retro-Gumi” was born.
I got several tweets from people saying that they want LINE stickers of the character, so when I was offered the opportunity, I thought the timing was perfect, and I jumped right in.

csb-interview-saltron


Saltron:
WHAT DID YOU PUT A FOCUS ON?

Akanuma:
・Don’t copy and paste!
・Don’t get sloppy!
・Make sure all 40 are interesting!
・Don’t give the same impression!
These are some things I was particular about.
Previously, when I made LINE stickers of my original character “Kyoryu no Mogu,” there were some points I wanted to refine afterwards, so by keeping those in mind, I think I was able to make some great stickers.

Kyoryu no Mogu:
https://store.line.me/stickershop/product/1173882/en

csb-interview-saltron


Saltron:
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE WITH THE STICKERS?

Akanuma:
I hope that my stickers remind people of the 80s, and that they get hooked on the era. I really look forward to seeing the other artists’ stickers, what they’re saying, and to see their ideas.

csb-interview-saltron


Saltron:
WHAT IS THE APPEAL OF YOUR STICKERS?

Akanuma:
I think that they can be easily sent to friends, and just sending them can be a joke, and people can say things like, “I remember these from back then! These bring back memories! That’s so nostalgic!”
Please enjoy the stickers.

Madoka Akanuma will be bringing her American comic-style touch to the “Kaigai Manga Festa,” held in October. The event will be a prime opportunity to read Rainbow Star, which she has been working on for eight years! Please go visit her at the event.