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INTEREST: Japan Society, Anime NYC Announce 1st American Manga Awards




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R. Kasahara



Joined: 19 Feb 2013
Posts: 677
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2024 2:18 pm Reply with quote
Looking at all the names of who's involved and thinking, "Wow, what a great lineup!" Schodt is an outstanding first choice for the Hall of Fame, too; couldn't imagine it being anyone else, tbh.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 2589
Location: North Brunswick, New Jersey
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2024 3:27 pm Reply with quote
Definitely something that should be have been started a long, long time ago over here, and the Manga Publisher Hall of Fame is an excellent idea, with Fred Schodt being a perfect first pick.

However, my only real nitpick is that the Mangaka Hall of Fame will also seemingly be restricted only to those who "have made significant contributions to manga’s introduction, growth, and creative influence in North America", same as the Manga Publisher HoF. I feel that is a misstep, because there simply isn't any need to restrict which mangaka are eligible, to start with. Obviously the ones who have the biggest names & impact in American manga fandom & the industry will get inducted first, but to seemingly say that "If you either have never been published in English officially before or have historically sold poorly, so your influence over here isn't substantial enough, then you aren't eligible" is not a good look for a Mangaka Hall of Fame, in my opinion. Without a doubt, those who will get inducted will have 100% deserved it, but it also just feels like gatekeeping, even if only unintentionally.

And, yes, I have received responses from those in the know who state that this is meant strictly for mangaka who have been published in English. This isn't me misinterpreting things.

Therefore, no Mitsuteru Yokoyama, whose influence on manga is arguably up there with the likes of Osamu Tezuka & Shotaro Ishinomori, because there has literally never been an official English release of any Yokoyama manga. In fact, Shotaro Ishinomori himself likely isn't eligible, since so little of his actual manga has ever seen English release, and sales of them are either poor (TokyoPop's Cyborg 009) or currently unknown (Seven Seas' Goranger & Kamen few years. There's also Go Nagai, who for the longest time only had Verotik's infamous release of Devilman for English representation, only changing in the past few years and of those only Seven Seas' Devilman was admitted to have sold well. Hell, there's Tetsuya Chiba, who only come the end of this year will finally get his first official English release of one of his manga in Ashita no Joe: Fighting for Tomorrow.

Yeah, this is definitely just a "me" thing, but I love manga history & seeing it be properly celebrated, so to see a Mangaka Hall of Fame seemingly be willing to ignore potential swaths of that history because of America's own manga blind spots (which have historically been rather large compared to other regions of the world) disappoints me. Honoring a Yokoyama, Ishinomori, Nagai, Chiba, or what have you isn't going to prevent an Otomo, Miura, Samura, Koike & Kojima, Watase, Takeuchi, Kishimoto, Oda, etc. from being properly honored. If anything, it would show that even English-speaking fandom celebrates those icons & what they mean to manga, even if their own impacts over here aren't as strong as they are elsewhere.
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the_shinster



Joined: 14 Feb 2007
Posts: 5
PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2024 1:12 pm Reply with quote
R. Kasahara wrote:
Looking at all the names of who's involved and thinking, "Wow, what a great lineup!" Schodt is an outstanding first choice for the Hall of Fame, too; couldn't imagine it being anyone else, tbh.


Fred is a living legend.
For many of us who started in the 80's, we looked up to him. We continue to, and believe that he deserves nothing less than such an honor.
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Cardcaptor Takato



Joined: 27 Jan 2018
Posts: 4973
PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2024 3:52 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
However, my only real nitpick is that the Mangaka Hall of Fame will also seemingly be restricted only to those who "have made significant contributions to manga’s introduction, growth, and creative influence in North America", same as the Manga Publisher HoF. I feel that is a misstep, because there simply isn't any need to restrict which mangaka are eligible, to start with.
I think you have to take into account if the manga isn't available in English, it's kind of hard for the judges to fairly judge their works when they can't read their works. There's also the issue of the awards not wanting to come across as giving credence to scanlation works which could put them in hot water with Japanese licensors. This awards show is also not just to nominate the Japanese authors but to acknowledge the work that is done to make their work successful in the English market.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 2589
Location: North Brunswick, New Jersey
PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2024 4:58 pm Reply with quote
Cardcaptor Takato wrote:
I think you have to take into account if the manga isn't available in English, it's kind of hard for the judges to fairly judge their works when they can't read their works. There's also the issue of the awards not wanting to come across as giving credence to scanlation works which could put them in hot water with Japanese licensors. This awards show is also not just to nominate the Japanese authors but to acknowledge the work that is done to make their work successful in the English market.


I don't think it would advocate towards scanlations at all, since these people are being chosen to act as judges due to their knowledge of manga, as a whole. If any of these judges don't know their general manga history outside of America (& I certainly 100% believe that all of them do) then they shouldn't be judging a Mangaka Hall of Fame, simple as that.

For example, to use pro wrestling, the WWE Hall of Fame has inducted people like Jushin Liger, The Great Muta, Stevie Ray (via Harlem Heat), Antonio Inoki, & Thunderbolt Patterson over the years, despite the fact that, out of that entire list I just mentioned, only Liger & Inoki ever had anything to do with WWE in the past, and both of them amounted to a cup of tea, with Inoki's notoriety (having won the WWF Title) even being officially stricken from the record. By your logic none of these people should be in the WWE HoF, because these inductions are recognizing things outside of WWE. Yes, one is about other promotions & another's about officially licensed manga, but the point remains the same:

Hall of Fames shouldn't be restrictive. They should be allowed to honor anybody within the field they are paying respect to.

Also, like I indicated before, removing that restriction wouldn't really change a thing anyway, since obviously the focus will be put towards the mangaka who hit it big in America & inspired/influences others, because of course they would take the priority.
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