Japan Expo 2012
by Rebecca Silverman,
The awards ceremony began with a performance on eardrum-vibrating Taiko drums by Paris-based Tsunagari Taiko Center. The drummers were excellent and clearly having a good time. The performance was followed by light banter between the show's two MCs, one of whom was somewhat incongrously wearing a Captain America T-shirt. Next the producers of a new app called ComiCom.me presented their program, which allows users to takr famous lines and images from various manga - such as Fist of the North Star - and post them to facebook, modifying the text as they like. This app has the permission of the original creators and its authors hope that it can become an international tool for fan communication, as most of the available images are immediately recognizable.
After this presentation, the awards were announced. Covering the categories of anime, manga, video games, and special, the prizes were given based on a combination of public and panel voting. First up was the award for Best Game for a Portable Console, which went to Super Mario 3D Land for the Nintendo 3DS. Next up was prize for Best Seinen Manga, which Ashita no Joe won over titles such as No Longer Human and A Bride's Story. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood beat out Highschool of the Dead and K-ON for Best Anime Adapted From a Manga.
There was a rude surprise after Dengeki Daisy bested Skip Beat! and Princess Jellyfish for Best Shoujo Manga when Kaze's president announced that Americans are idiots. He had previously worked at Viz, Kaze's American counterpart, and said that Americans did not appreciate manga and that he was pleased no longer to be working with "baka" Americans. Presumably he was unaware of journalists from ANN, Destructoid, and Japanator sitting front and center in the audience.
Following this gaffe, a raguko storyteller took the stage to relate a very funny story relying on the fact that the words for "god" and "hair" are both "kami." Then the prize for Best Manga Production was awarded to Cornelius Manga for their release of NonNonBâ, followed by The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword for the PS3 taking the award for Best Home Console Game, despite overwhelming cheers when XenoBlade Chronicles was announced as a contender. Eden of the East beat out Durara for Best Original Anime, and the critical society ACBD awarded their Critic's Choice prize to A Drifting Life. GTO: Shonan 14 Days took Best Shounen Manga over Future Diary and Beelzebub, and two Prix d'honneur were given to Naoki Urasawa and the band Flow. Urasawa was not present to receive his, but Flow was, and they were visibly moved to have won it.
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