4-Koma (Yonkoma) Manga Competition


The AnimeGO! Japan Pop Culture Festival aims to promote and celebrate Japanese pop culture in Australia. Manga from Japan has become a worldwide phenomenon, and we would like to celebrate this through a 4-Koma (Yonkoma) Manga Competition.


Each year, a theme is introduced to encourage cultural learning and understanding of Japan. The focus of the competition is the incorporation of the theme and overall quality. We encourage everyone who enjoys drawing manga and story telling to apply with an entry.


This year’s theme is頑張る」”GANBARU”,  which means to do one’s best in any given situation. With 2020 being a year of global hardship, we would like to spread this ideology from Japan to help strengthen the hearts of people.

Register and submit a 4-koma manga, and be in the running to win a $300 cash prize.

Budding artists get creative and get seen! All 4-koma manga submissions will be reviewed by our judging panel comprised of industry professionals, and the top twenty entrants will be on display at the AnimeGO! Japan Pop Culture Festival in October.

Registration for the 2020 competition is now open!

Please read the latest terms and conditions to ensure your entry will be accepted.

Competition Theme:頑張る」”GANBARU”

Registration & Submission Deadline: 11:59pm ACST, September 30th, 2020


Results Announcement: AnimeGO! Japan Pop Culture Festival 2020 - TBC November 2020


Grand Prize

$300 Cash Prize

The winner(s) will receive a cash prize of $300, brought to you by the Japan Australia Friendship Association (JAFA).

Anime Sponsorship Pack (valued at $200)

A bundle pack including a Studio Ghibli Anniversary Limited Edition DVD/Blu-Ray box set, gift cards and more, brought to you by AnimeLab.

Runner-up(s) (2 winners)

$100 Cash Prize
The runner-up(s) will receive a cash prize of $100, brought to you by the Japan Australia Friendship Association (JAFA).

AnimeLab Sponsorship Pack (valued at $100)

A bundle pack including blu-ray's and gift cards to the value of $100, brought to you by AnimeLab.

Submission Criteria

  1. The manga must refer to the cultural theme ‘GANBARU’ and must be referenced visibly in the 4-koma manga.

  2. The manga must be of a single page traditional Yonkoma (four panel).

  3. The manga must be made specifically for the purpose of the AnimeGO! Japan Pop Culture Festival 2020.

  4. The manga must be written in English.

  5. The entry can be in either colour or black and white.

  6. The AnimeGO! Japan Pop Culture Festival 2020 must be the first public displaying of the manga.

  7. The manga and stories must be of original work. No copyright or fandom material allowed.

  8. The manga must not contain explicit or inappropriate material.

  9. The manga must comply with the technical specifications provided in the competition terms and conditions.

  10. Submission must be completed either online (pdf format) through an application form or be sent and received to a nominated PO Box, before the deadline at 11:59pm (Australian Central Standard Time) on September 30th 2020 

Entry Process

  1. Visit the official AnimeGO! Japan Pop Culture Festival website (animego.com.au/mangacompetition).

  2. Click the “Register” button, read and fill out the registration form carefully.

  3. Accept the terms and conditions on the registration form.

  4. Once this process has been completed, a confirmation email will be sent including ID for this year’s submission required for manga application. RETAIN YOUR SUBMISSION ID.

  5. Ensure the manga meets all the specifications outlined in the competition terms and conditions.

  6. The manga must be uploaded or sent with a name containing the submission ID and the name of the manga as written on the submission form in the following format [SUBID###-NAMEOFMANGA].

  7. Registrants will receive instructions on how to upload or send their manga entries via email before the submission deadline.

  8. Successful submissions will receive a confirmation email within 72 hours from the Japan Australian Friendship Association (JAFA).

Judging Criteria & Panel

JAFA will appoint a judging panel to judge the manga entered in the 4-Koma Manga Competition. This panel will be comprised of industry professionals to be announced at a later date.

The members of the panel will review the submissions and judge them between the 2nd of October and 13th of October  2020. The judges will decide the best twenty (20) submissions that meet all requirements (Top Twenty Submissions) and then determine the overall best submission that will be the winner(s) of the 4-Koma Manga Competition Winner(s). 


The winner(s) will be announced during the award ceremony at the AnimeGO! Japan Pop Culture Festival 2020. The top twenty submissions and the ultimate winner(s) will be decided based on judging criteria determined by the panel. 


The panel will be asked to consider the use of the cultural theme and the following categories: Originality, Storytelling, Character Design, Manga Artistic Ability and Style.

If there is no evidence of the cultural reference, then the manga will be disqualified.

The panel’s decision will be final and no communications in relation to their decision will be allowed.


The top twenty submissions will be on display during the AnimeGO! Japan Pop Culture Festival 2020 or an alternative date specified by JAFA.  The creators of these submissions will be notified of their selection within 12 days of the panel’s decision. The top twenty submissions upon selection may be placed into a people’s choice competition which will be conducted and announced during or after the AnimeGO! Japan Pop Culture Festival. 

For full list of judging crtierial, refer to the 4-Koma Manga Competition Terms and Conditions.

Short Anime Film Competition 2020 Judging Panel

David Blaiklock  - Program Director of the Bachelor of Design (Illustration and Animation) at The University of South Australia

David Blaiklock is the Program Director of the Bachelor of Design (Illustration and Animation) program at the University of South Australia, School of Art, Architecture and Design. He is a recognized Illustration teacher and practitioner with a Distinguished Teaching Award from the Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools (ACAUDS) and Australian Office for Learning and Teaching.  His practice is internationally recognized through invited representation at International Design Awards and exhibitions, including, 100 Typographic Posters, International Invitational Exhibition, China (2013) Graphic Advocacy: International Posters for a Digital World (2012), Hong Kong International Poster Triennial (2010), awarded Gold and Bronze. David’s academic research centers around the nature of Illustration expertise, education and professional practice.

Dr Aaron Humphrey - Lecturer in Media and Digital Humanities School of Humanities at the The University of Adelaide

Dr Aaron Humphrey is a lecturer in Media and Digital Humanities at the University of Adelaide. His research combines critical analysis with creative practice to investigate the relationships between images and texts, and between media and society.


His academic writing has been published in the International Journal of Cultural Studies, Media International Australia, Composition Studies, Digital Humanities Quarterly, The Comics Grid and The Conversation. As a cartoonist, his comics are currently used in digital rhetoric courses and for postgraduate medical education. As a filmmaker, his short films have screened in festivals in Australasia and North America.


His current research projects include the use of comics and “graphic medicine” for medical education, visual discourse about asylum seekers within Australia and early 20th century political cartoons.


He is a member of the J.M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice and co-founder and co-organiser of the ‘Inkers and Thinkers,’ academic conferences devoted to comics and graphic narratives.

Kirabunni - Professional Illustrator and Artist - @kirabunni

Kira is a freelance illustrator based in Sydney. They travel around Australia to different anime conventions to sell my art. Kira has worked on projects, such as illustration for SMASH!, personal kickstarter, and commissions in their own time. 

Previous Winners

2019 4-Koma Manga Competition

Winners are:

1st Place: 'Different Yet The Same'

by Stella Arhontoulis

2nd Place: 'One Encounter, One Chance'

by Sunny Walker

3rd Place: 'Good Boy Training'

by Alicia Kidd

Audience Choice: 'Waiting for Master'

by Rob Fisher

Competition Theme: Hachiko

Special Thanks To Our Supporters

AnimeGO! Japan Pop Culture Festival is brought to you by the Japan Australia Friendship Association (JAFA). 

Supported by a grant from the Department of the Premier and Cabinet.

Festival Info

Queens Theatre Playhouse Ln &, Gilles Arcade, Adelaide SA 5000

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