Shizukanaru Don Wins 42nd Japan Cartoonist Awards
posted on by Karen Ressler
The Japan Cartoonists Association of manga creators announced the winners of the 42nd Japan Cartoonist Awards on Friday. Tatsuo Nitta's Shizukanaru Don (The Quiet Don) won this year's 500,000-yen (about US$4,900) Grand Prize.
Nitta's series about an underwear designer who is secretly a yakuza leader began in Weekly Manga Sunday magazine in 1988. The final volume will ship this summer. The judges' panel for the Japan Cartoonist Awards stated that the series won the grand prize because of its "absurdity and fun," and for how it supported Weekly Manga Sunday during its long run. Nitta will receive, in addition to the monetary prize, a gold plate and medal.
The panel granted two merit awards, the recipients of which will receive a silver plate and medal along with 200,000 yen (about US$2000). Hiroko Matsuda won for Mamagoto, a story about a woman with a troubled past who finds herself with custody of a young boy. The panelists granted the award for the series' consistent use of gag humor, but also for its ability to evoke tears, and for the series' promising future. The series' third volume shipped last December.
Yūichi Okano also won a merit for the moving simplicity of his work, Pekorosu no Haha ni Ai ni Iku, an autobiographical four-panel series about the artist's trips to visit his mother, who is afflicted with Alzheimer's disease. A compilation volume was released last June, and it has inspired a live-action movie adaptation which will be released later this year.
The panel also granted two special awards. Osamu Yamamoto won for Kyou mo Ii Tenki (There's Good Weather Today, too), which tells the story, from various points of view, of peaceful lives that is destroyed by a nuclear accident.
Japanese comedian Tekken won for his short "manga" animation Pendulum, a three-minute tearjerker which became a YouTube hit with over 3 million views. The video featured the song "Exogenesis: Symphony Part 3 (Redemption)" from British rock band Muse, who saw the video and asked Tekken if they could use the animation for their official music video of the song. Tekken created additional frames for the animation to cover the full song. The panelists lauded the short as "a work that shows us the new potential of manga."
Finally, the panelists awarded the Ministry of Education award, which went to gekiga artist Hiroshi Hirata for his entire body of work. Born in 1937, Hirata is best known for his samurai series Satsuma Gishiden.
The prizes will be awarded at a ceremony in Tokyo's Imperial Hotel on June 21. The judging panel, which included several manga artists, was headed by Ashita no Joe's Tetsuya Chiba. Eiichiro Oda's One Piece, Kimuchi Yokoyama's Nekodarake Nice, and Keiko Takemiya won last year's awards.