Contest Result

Grand Prize
Prizes >

*The Grand Prize winning work will be aired on QFRONT's giant digital signage at the scrambled intersection from September 1st.

Excellence Award nominated works
Prizes >

*The Jury Prize will be announced at the awards ceremony on September 19th.
*The works nominated for the Excellence Award are in the order of posting.

Does not fit on the screen


The world of pixels inside a screen is being cleverly depicted by framing the fireworks inside a tablet screen. This is a model work of pixel art using only a limited number of pixels and colors. Not only was the artist able to beautifully express the fireworks theme, they gave the work great depth by drawing the tablet. As the title “Can’t Fit into the Screen” suggests, it aptly captures the dynamism of fireworks.

Yamanote Line with infinite seats


Simply mesmerizing and fun to watch, this could just be the epitome of pixel art. The gimmicky look catches our eye and we can’t help but watch in repeat to catch the movement of each of the passengers. While some may find it to be rather classic in style, the artwork allows for various discoveries and there is much entertainment in sharing your observation with others. The details are very well drawn, and the deformation is done just right.

Heavenly Pigeon Palace


An artwork full of humor offering a bit of salvation to the viewers. This artist always brings in a bit of endearing foolishness to their work – in this case, they seem to be laughing at our hasty day-to-day lives by using the flurry of doves as motifs. It seems to put things into perspective, allow room for us to step back and relax. The details are perfectly drawn as well, and overall this is a natural, polished creation with well-made loop animation. Each time we observe it, we discover something new and find ourselves asking questions like “Isn’t the priest tempted to eat the beans too?”, or “Do I spy a dove that’s slacking off?”, and we can’t stop smiling.

The day we can meet again


The idea of using a pendulum to show the change in time and scene is interesting. It captures the transition between the four seasons well. Small, intricate things such as the slightly blurred building in the background to depict the hazy winter sky show the artist’s commitment to detail. It is very soothing to watch the scene change from winter to spring again as the air switches from hazy to transparent. So is the transfer to nighttime for the summer; the right choice to keep the scenery alive and varied. There was much praise from the judges on the overall direction of the artwork, as well as the way it reflects our current state of society in times of COVID-19. Through the eyes of the protagonist, who seems to be constantly waiting for something throughout the seasons, we see a glimpse of hope. We felt strongly drawn to the message and story – simply put, this is an emotional piece of art.

_Neural TrackerⅡ


A highly unique, mysterious, and powerful piece. The artist seems to pour their entire energy into all of their work, not just the “Neural Tracker” series submitted to this contest. Their dedication to keep creating one-of-a-kind artwork is truly remarkable. We also appreciate the coloring, which has been cut down in variation to the point of extreme. On the other hand, some parts of the highlights look very similar in color – while we’re not sure whether this was the artist’s intention, our constructive feedback is that there may be room for improvement there. Overall we highly value the originality of the artwork.

4B8 beat


We love the way the artist used colors in this piece of work. It is one of the most eye-catching among all entries – rainbow-inspired, psychedelic and pop, the colorful background really helps make the high school girl in the center stand out. The overall layout is beautifully structured as well. The exciting vibe of Shibuya is captured well by the use of fast-moving GIF animation and reflections of light, making this piece a true original. The artist seems to have shown us how they saw Shibuya by purely having fun and including all their favorite things inside the frame. It is interesting to see that the main character, in contrast to the background, has a rather distant, cold look on her face. We also noticed that the pixel dots are a bit rough, but all in all this is a very attractive work of art.

Shibuya cross stitch


An innovative and imaginative work of art so real that one could almost mistake it as actual embroidery. The artist seems to have chosen colors carefully to make each pixel look like stitches, and their effort pays off very well in composition. We were struck by the playfulness and potential of pixel art – this piece of work dares to change our perception of pixels by proving that the art form can express various textures. The animation adds a finishing touch to the charming, wonder-filled world of cross stitching that can only be created digitally.

departing ⚠️


Realistic at first glance, there is something soft and nuanced in the way the artist limited the use of colors and deformed the inside of the vending machine, the air conditioner’s outdoor unit, and the woman’s facial expression. The protagonist’s face is especially enigmatic and open to interpretation – she seems calm but also anxious, and we think we see a hint of determination there as well. The two fish swimming beside her maximise this mysterious effect and seem to reflect her internal thoughts, drawing us into a world of fantasies. As can be seen from the title “Departing”, this is a fantastic approach to depict one’s emotions before riding a vehicle. The technicality of the artwork such as color scheme and animation is also impeccable. On the other hand, the light coming in from above and the glass surface seemed to have been drawn using Photoshop special effects such as the Gradient Tool and there was some debate among the judges as to whether this technique falls under the typical definition of pixel art, which has limitations in the color palette. However, in the end, we felt that the work was so beautifully made it did not matter, and that the highly skilled artist was able to heighten their originality by intentionally adding nuance to the lighting.

Nature's Touch


A compact but beautiful piece of work in isometric style that evokes a Japanese-ness that may be all too familiar to those living in the country. In this drawing, Japan, Tokyo and Shibuya are condensed into a miniature world through the eyes of a foreigner. The giant carp floating in the background gives off a wonderfully strange sensation of being inside a video game. The lines are somewhat rough in some places from a technical standpoint, but overall the artwork is superb in composition.

Toto 2021 kei


The perfect combination of colors, movement and background video game music make this a work of  high quality, although rather long and monotonous. We loved the combination of the original colors and ukiyo-e (Japanese woodblock print) taste. This is an artistic piece that exudes the contestant’s individuality.



Pixel art is generally associated with squares and grids, but this artwork leaves a much softer impression to the eyes of the viewer. We are impressed with the way it remains inside the boundaries of pixel art and yet gives a smooth touch to its overall aesthetic. Even more interesting is the radical gap in style from other work done by this artist – they had been far more dynamic in their past work, and this transformation was what amazed us the most. It is also impressive that anti-aliasing is not visible at all. We hope the artist continues to pursue this impressive style in their future work.

adidas Special Award
Prize >

Drowning in the city


This artist’s  series (“01. Missed the Last Train”, “02. The Night is Long”, “03. Waiting for the First Train” and “04. Drowning in the City”) captures a somewhat tragic and hopeless scene and transforms it into the artist’s own experience and memory of Shibuya, elevating the otherwise dire situation to a form of art. We were impressed by the storytelling, the technical quality of the pixels and animation, and especially the artist’s love for adidas that was all too apparent in their past work. We therefore feel this work to be most deserving of this year’s adidas Special Award.

Limited Pixel Art Award
Prize >

Does not fit on the screen


In these strange times of COVID-19, this piece of art gave us a sense of hope. Instead of the protagonist filming fireworks being shot in the sky, the fireworks are instead being replayed on the tablet and spilling out from the screen into the sky. This is a truly clever way to capture our current state of mind. The landscape and the center focus are linked in a dynamic style that gives an interesting composition to the image. This is a joyful piece of work that we would love to see on a Pixoo.

Hachi's view of the sky


The artist uses several themes to depict nature here. The color variation is delightful as well. We love how the Hachiko statue changes color with the delicate features of the sky. The harmony of the space filled with vibrant gradations and the minimalistic clouds and fireworks keeps us gazing at this artwork all day.

Shibuya henshin girl(s)


This piece deftly captures the essence of Shibuya by introducing the many different characteristics of people there. The girl’s transformation shown in fast-paced animation gives a fun feel to the work. We like that the character is modern in its fashion style while still maintaining a classic video game figure vibe.



Adorable facial expressions are cleverly expressed through a simple format of white dots on a black backdrop. We especially love the wink at the end. It seems most fitting to give the Limited Pixel Art Award to this work as it uses 4x4 pixels. We think it may look like a living creature if attached to our extra prize, the Pixoo-SlingBag.

Analog Pixel Art Award
Prize >

Kitaya Park


This is a fun object to observe, very much like a miniature garden, with the plants, trees and buildings which are a well-balanced contour of the landscape in the front and the simplistic building in the back. It leaves much room for one’s imagination to roam with its use of nanoblocks and its iconic, technical elements. We want to visit this location and see what it looks like for ourselves. The artist has been participating in the contest every year, and we appreciate that they always select a new building in Shibuya as motifs.

Pixel Art GIF Animation Award
Prize >

The day we can meet again


You can feel the different temperatures from the 4 seasons, the reflections of lights and the colors in each season. The more you look at the details, the more you will discover various effects and movements of objects. There are several detailed expressions on the screen that captivate you in 3 seconds and keep you looking at them. We have selected this as a work that enjoys the unique expression of GIF animation.

Beyond Pixel Art Award
Prize >

_Neural Tracker


When translated into Japanese, “Neural Tracker” can be interpreted as someone chasing after the nerve system. If we define pixels as color information controlling the screen, we realize that our view of an image changes depending on how and what our retinal nerve receives for its color, brightness and sharpness. We find this series to be tackling this theme of the human mechanism and the perception of color. It is intriguing how there could be so much depth to pixel art.

Judges’ Award

Winners of the judges’ award will be chosen from first and second prize winners.

  • Kazuko Shibuya

    a signed copy of Kazuko Shibuya’s art book,“FF DOT.-The Pixel Art of FINAL FANTASY”; and interview at SQUARE ENIX headquarters

  • eBoy

    a signed copy of their poster

  • Ou Sugiyama

    an invitation as creator to the next Media Ambition Tokyo event

  • mae

    an exhibition of the winner’s artwork as collaborator in mae’s upcoming solo exhibition based in Shibuya

  • Klas Benjaminsson

    a copy of artbook “The Masters of Pixel Art” published by nicepixel

  • Hermippe

    an original lithograph using the winner’s artwork *Lithograph...a silk screen printing machine made by Riso Kagaku Corporation from 1980.
    *The Pixel Art Game Award will be replaced by the newly created Pixel Art GIF Animation Award.

Judgesʼ comment


Kazuko Shibuya


Although there were fewer contestants compared to last year, the work submitted for this year’s contest felt much calmer and quieter. Personally, I felt great joy in seeing so much artwork in 16x16 pixels format even though they were hard to select for the category awards, especially the GIF animations. In the end, I believe we chose the right contestants. I would love to see everyone take on the challenge of creating art in 16x16 pixels, because that is the foundation of pixel art. Every year, I am surprised by the various approaches taken by the artists. What I value most is making people smile with pixel art, and so I look forward to seeing many more that do just that.




This year's field of contenders again has been very impressive, diverse and inspiring. The enthusiasm around pixel art has only increased with the arrival of NFTs, and we are seeing many new artists picking up pixels to play with. Congratulations to the winners, and to everyone that has joined! Big thanks also go out to the organizers, and to the co-judges. This is a fantastic event!


Ou Sugiyama


At work, I am always in tune with expression through the use of various technologies, but I found this contest to be interesting because people were telling stories and expressing beauty within the limitations of pixels. The work done by young artists was especially promising and I look forward to the future of pixel art. I hope more new artists join the pixel art scene through the Shibuya Pixel Art contest – this was what I looked forward to as part of the judges’ panel this year. Through discussions with the other judges at the final evaluation, I was able to learn the depth of pixel art, what it meant and its technical context, and so I am very grateful to have had this opportunity.




There were many submissions that were creative and original this year.  I got to see many approaches to pixels, and everyone seemed to be freely trying out their own way of expressing color. There are various definitions of what a pixel is, but I feel that it is important to define it for yourself and draw what works best for you. What I like about this contest is that it creates a space where everyone ranging from professionals to first-time pixel artists feel welcomed. Here, we are able to acknowledge and appreciate each other regardless of nationality or age. It is a priceless experience to have people from different backgrounds see your work. Also important is to recognize the value of all kinds of work equally, from those  using high resolution pixels to those in small pixel formats of 16x16 or 32x32.

特別審査員:Klas Benjaminsson

Klas Benjaminsson

特別審査員:Klas Benjaminsson

I realize you gave much space for me & eBoy to speak our thoughts. However keep in mind this is "Shibuya Pixel art" contest, and you guys are the creators + are living in Tokyo, so please weight your votes accordingly. I was happy to share the event in my social media channels, with a result of several European pixel artists entered your competition, also making it a bit more "international" :-)




Last year, many of the participants were already prominent figures in the world of pixel art. This year, I noticed that many artists of younger generations were joining the contest, which suggests that the art form is becoming widely acknowledged. Of course, it is always wonderful to see high level work of art, but seeing the submissions from budding artists reminded me of how much fun I had when I first started drawing. The beginners all seem to share a sense of excitement which we can empathize with, whereas evaluating work done by skilled artists can be more subjective to taste, as they express their originality through the experience that they’ve built.

General comment

Shibuya Pixel Art Committee

Thank you for all the work submitted this year, from all over the world and from professionals and amateurs alike. We are especially grateful to have so many contestants from outside of Japan and young artists join the contest. It makes us realize that the event is increasingly becoming an open platform welcoming all kinds of people, and we feel sincere joy that the prizes have been awarded to such original work and a completely different lineup of winners from last year. We’ve always dreamt of creating an art contest that was very Shibuya-like in its characteristic, and making the platform international and diverse. That is why we invited two pairs of judges from outside of Japan this year. Our final evaluation was a lively series of discussions by a passionate panel of judges from diverse backgrounds on the definition of pixel art and what makes the art so appealing. The judges seemed to struggle until the very last minute in selecting the finalists from a range of highly skilled, original contestants, but we are relieved to see their decisions. For those who did not make it to the final selection, I hope that you continue to join our contest and keep creating a masterpiece for yourself and others.


  • adidas
  • 株式会社アカツキ
  • 株式会社カワダ
  • 東急電鉄
  • 株式会社 WiseTech
  • 株式会社ワコム

Facility support

  • Are

Media cooperation

  • タイムアウト東京
  • Tokyo Otaku Mode

*Japanese syllabary Order