2010 Kodansha Manga Awards announced

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

On May 11, Tokyo-based publisher Kodansha announced the winners of the 2010 Kodansha Manga Award. Now in its 34th year, awards went to four works each in the children’s, boys’, girls’ and general categories.

The winners were Tenya Yabuno for “Inazuma Eleven” in the children’s category; Yuji Terajima for “Ace of Diamond” in the boys’ category; Akiko Higashimura for “Kuragehime” in the girls’ category; and Tsujitomo (manga) and Masaya Tsunamoto (original story) for “Giant Killing” in the general category.

An awards ceremony will be held at Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka in Tokyo on June 21.

Sponsored by Kodansha, the award recognizes each year’s finest manga works and authors.

Although one of Japan’s leading manga awards, the winners are often chosen from magazines published by Kodansha. Three of this year’s four winning works run in magazines issued by the publisher.
However, children’s category winner “Inazuma Eleven” is a soccer manga that runs in “CoroCoro Comic,” a leading monthly magazine published by Shogakukan.

It is an example of a planned media mix, in which manga, game software and animation products are created simultaneously. Previously, the usual procedure has been to adapt manga into animation and game software.

The fact that a new type of work has been chosen as a winner reflects the changing times.

There is also a strong link between a work winning an award and being adapted into animation. An adaptation of “Giant Killing” has been aired on NHK since April, while the animated series “Kuragehime” will be shown on Fuji Television Network’s “Noitamina” program starting in October.

In some cases, the high acclaim accompanying awards leads to anime adaptations, while in others, the high visibility resulting from the animated version helps the work win awards.

Both cases are possible, reflecting the close relationship between manga and animation.

“Ace of Diamond” is the only work among the winners that as yet has no animation due. Yet this acclaimed work, which also won the Shogakukan Manga Award sponsored by Shogakukan in 2007, is one of the rare creations that has been honored by both publishers.

“Ace of Diamond” may very well be turned into an animation sooner or later.

Copyright The Asahi Shimbun Company.