The Asahi Shimbun paper announced the winners for the 26th Annual Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize awards on Monday. The awards commemorate the contributions of the manga pioneer Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy/Mighty Atom, Kimba the White Lion/Jungle Emperor, Phoenix, Black Jack) by recognizing the manga that best follow his tradition.
Chi -Chikyū no Undō ni Tsuite- (Chi – On the Movements of the Earth)
Shogakukan (Big Comic Spirits2020-April 25, 2022)
Sparks of the discoveries of the Renaissance are only beginning to burn in 15th century Europe, even as those who make discoveries are burned for their heresy. In Poland, a child prodigy named Rafal is expected to be another great mind in theology, but an encounter with a certain man leads him down the path to a heretical truth.
New Creator Prize
Kyōshitsu no Katasumi de Seishun wa Hajimaru (Youth Begins in a Corner of the Classroom) and Konya Sukiyaki da yo (It’s Sukiyaki for Tonight)
Kyōshitsu no Katasumi de Seishun wa Hajimaru: Kadokawa (Monthly Comic Beam2020-2021)
Konya Sukiyaki da yo: Shinchosha (Kurage Bunch, April-July 2021)
Kyōshitsu no Katasumi de Seishun wa Hajimaru is an omnibus collection centering on youth stories. One of the stories involves Mari Yoshida, a girl that only becomes the main character for a brief moment, before situations go sideways and she becomes a cringe. Meanwhile, the alien Nell has held a dream of wanting to do something on Earth. Also in the classroom are people wanting to hide their otakudom, people who act out their ideal life on social media, and people who have confidence in their special destiny. Every kid in the classroom has their own secret, and you can’t even claim to understand the kid’s right next to you.
Konya Sukiyaki da yo centers on two women in their 30s. Aiko is a freelance interior designer who wants to marry her current boyfriend, but envisions herself as far from the ideal wife, due to her being bad at household chores. Meanwhile, Tomoko is a picture book illustrator that is good at housework, but societal notions of marriage and romance don’t hit home for her. They mutually decide that, until they find their perfect marriage partner, that they should get married with each other.
Short Work Prize
Ii Toshi o (Have a Good Year) and Hakumokuren wa Kirei ni Chiranai (White Magnolias Do Not Fall Beautifully)
Ii Toshi o: Kadokawa
Hakumokuren wa Kirei ni Chiranai: Shogakukan
Ii Toshi o is set during the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, and centers on 42-year-old Toshio Haida, a person who lives alone and was formerly married. He uses the occasion of his mother’s passing to move back in with his 72-year-old father in Tokyo. When he finds the 5 million yen that his mother left him, he wonders what to do with it.
Hakumokuren wa Kirei ni Chiranai centers on three friends since high school, all born in 1963: Housewife Mari, who actually secretly hates cooking and cleaning and doing the laundry; Sayo, a woman in the middle of a divorce, and who has not seen the need to take care of herself even now; and Satoe, a career-minded woman who questions the pressure to have children after marriage. The three meet each other again when their former high school classmate Hiromi dies alone in the apartment she owned, the Hakurensō. For some reason, Hiromi named all three of them in her will, even though they were never close to her.
Chi -Chikyū no Undō ni Tsuite- creator Uoto is the youngest ever to win the Grand Prize at 24 years old. The manga also ended on Monday, with the manga’s eighth and final compiled book volume shipping on June 30.
Asahi Shimbun had scheduled an awards ceremony in Tokyo on June 2,. The Grand Prize winner will receive a bronze statue and 2 million yen (about US$19,000), while the other winners will each receive a bronze statue and 1 million yen (about US$9,000).
This year’s judging committee – manga creator Osamu Akimotomanga creator Machiko Satonakaentertainer Minami Takahashiwriter and Tohoku University of Art and Design instructor Yukiko Tomiyama, professor and scholar Shōhei Chūjō, manga critic Nobunaga Minami, and comedian and manga creator Taro Yabe – selected the nominees from titles recommended by specialists and bookstore employees. To be eligible, the manga had to have had a compiled volume published in 2021.
Last year, nine titles were nominated (including Peleliu: Guernica of Paradise), and Kazumi Yamashita‘s Land won the Grand Prize. Kanehito Yamada and Tsukasa Abe‘s Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End won the New Creator prize, and Hiroko Nobara’s Kieta Mama Tom and Tsuma wa Kuchi o Kiite Kuremasen won the Short Work Prize. The committee also awarded the Special Prize to Koyoharu Gotouge‘s Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba manga.
Sources: Asahi Shimbun, Comic Natalie