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Nami Sano's Sakamoto desu ga? Manga Wins Comic Natalie Grand Prize

posted on by Karen Ressler
Attack on Titan comes in 2nd, Ajin comes in 3rd

Japanese manga news website Comic Natalie announced on Wednesday that Nami Sano's Sakamoto desu ga? (I'm Sakamoto, you know.) manga series won the website's grand prize for best manga in 2013, as voted on by 142 editors. Hajime Isayama's Attack on Titan came in second place and Gamon Sakurai's Ajin came in third. The requirement for consideration was that the manga had to have a compiled volume published between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013, and the winners were among 106 nominees. Sano drew an illustration (pictured at right) to commemorate the award. The illustration says, "This is an undeserved honor..."

Sakamoto desu ga? is Sano's debut series and currently runs in Enterbrain's Fellows! manga magazine (now renamed as harta). The story follows the daily life of the "coolest" high school student, Sakamoto. As soon as he transfers to his new school, he attracts the attention of not just his class but the whole student body, and his jealous classmates' attempts to bully him repeatedly backfire and instead make Sakamoto look cooler. The first compiled volume shipped in Japan in January, and has since won the best "male-oriented" comics volume award from Da Vinci magazine.

The 11 volumes of Attack on Titan have sold more than 20 million copies. The first nine volumes had 10 million copies in print as of last December, but its popularity jumped even more after its television anime premiered in April. The series has also inspired several spin-off series.

Ajin currently runs in Kodansha's Good! Afternoon magazine and the second compiled volume shipped in June. The story follows a high school student named named Kei Nagai, who is caught in a traffic accident, dies, but immediately revives and learns he is not human, but an Ajin, a mysterious creature that cannot die. Scared, he runs away from humans but is helped by his friend Kai, who joins him in his flee from civilization. He then becomes involved in a conflict between human and Ajin and must choose a side. Sakurai co-created the first volume with author Tsuina Miura, and has since continued the series on his own.

Akiko Higashimura's Kakukaku Shikajika manga ranked at #4, Yusei Matsui's Assassination Classroom and Hiromu Arakawa's Silver Spoon manga tied at #5, and Nakaba Suzuki's Nanatsu no Taizai and Haruko Kumota's Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū manga tied at #7. The following manga tied at #9: Mari Fujimura's Kyō wa Kaisha Yasumimasu., Tomo Takeuchi's Ballroom e Yōkoso, Rensuke Oshikiri's Hi Score Girl, Kinoko Higurashi's Kū Neru Futari Sumu Futari, and Shūzō Oshimi's Flowers of Evil.

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