2010 Shogakukan Manga Awards include title from Kodansha

The winners of the 56th annual Shogakukan Manga Awards from Tokyo-based publisher Shogakukan Inc. were announced Jan. 21.

The winners for 2010 include Natsumi Matsumoto for “Yumeiro Patissiere” (serialized in Shueisha Inc.’s Ribon comic magazine) in the children’s category; Ken Sasaki for “King Golf” (Shogakukan’s Weekly Shonen Sunday) in the boys’ category; Fumi Yoshinaga for “Ooku: The Inner Chambers” (Hakusensha Inc.’s Melody) in the girls’ category; and Shohei Manabe for “Yamikin Ushijima-kun” (Shogakukan’s Big Comic Spirits) and Chuya Koyama for “Uchu Kyodai” (Kodansha Ltd.’s Morning) in the general readers’ category.

One of the nation’s oldest such awards, the Shogakukan Manga Awards recognize the best comics published in magazines, newspapers and other media each year.

The winners are often chosen from manga titles that have won a solid reputation or have been adapted into other media. That is also true this year. “Yumeiro Patissiere” was turned into an animated TV series in 2009, while a live-action feature film based on “Ooku” was made in 2010.

Because the event is organized by Shogakukan, however, often manga works serialized in the company’s Hitotsubashi Group of comic magazines–Shogakukan, Shueisha and Hakusensha–earn accolades. This year, four of the five winners were chosen from the manga titles published by the group.

But “Uchu Kyodai,” published by rival Kodansha’s Morning magazine, was also recognized. The move indicates the awards’ organizer is willing to consider manga titles from other publishers, following the lead of the Kodansha Manga Awards.

Three years ago, Yuji Terajima’s “Ace of Diamond,” which runs in Kodansha’s Weekly Shonen Magazine, won the 53rd annual Shogakukan Manga Award.

The Shogakukan Manga Awards began in 1955. Nominees are selected after being recommended by judges, manga artists, critics, editors, related cultural organizations, booksellers and readers in each category through a rigorous screening process. The winners are determined by the final judging committee.

An awards ceremony will be held at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo on March 3.

See (http://comics.shogakukan.co.jp/mangasho/).

Copyright The Asahi Shimbun Company.