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Asari-chan Shojo Gag Manga Wins 42nd Japan Cartoonist Awards

posted on by Karen Ressler
Motoka Murakami's historical manga about a female manga artist also gets nod

The Japan Cartoonists Association of manga creators announced the winners of the 42nd Japan Cartoonist Awards on Monday. Mayumi Muroyama's Asari-chan manga won the grand prize of 500,000 yen (about US$4,900) in the comic division. In addition, Tomoko Ogawa's self-published portrait exhibit Two Faces won the grand prize in the cartoon division.

Mayumi Muroyama began her gag comic about a super-energetic girl named Asari in 1980, and still works on the series with her younger sister, Mariko Muroyama. When giving the reason for the award, the judges cited the difficulty of having a long career as a woman writer in manga, especially in the world of gag comics, and stated that Asari-chan is an inspiration to others. The manga's 100th volume shipped in February.

Asari-chan inspired a television anime adaptation, titled Asari-chan Ai no Marchen Shōjo, which ran from 1982 to 1983, and a movie adaptation of the same name in 1982.

The judges also awarded a 200,000 yen (about US$2000) award of excellence to Motoka Murakami (Jin, Musashi no Ken) for Fuichin Tsaichen!, which centers on a woman who, during the pre-war era when drawing manga was not considered a popular career choice, decided to devote her life to being a manga creator. Murakami launched the series in 2013.

Newspaper manga artist Shige Oda won the special award with 200,000 yen for his comics Manmaru Danchi and Nonki Toori. The Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Award went to Kenji Morita for his work promoting Sino-Japanese relations in the Chinese exhibitions of Watashi no Hachi Gatsu Juu Go Nichi no E, which compiles the experiences of various manga artists and novelists from August 15, 1945, the day Emperor Hirohito announced Japan's surrender in World War II.

The committee of judges was headed by Ashita no Joe's Tetsuya Chiba and also included Yarō Abe, Tetsuji Sekiya, Jun Ishoko, Gō Nagai, Yukio Izumi, Tatsuya Noro, Kanoko Inuki, Big Joe, Naomi Kimura, Taku Furukawa, Ryuu Kumita, and Masako Watanabe.

Eiichiro Oda's One Piece, Kimuchi Yokoyama's Nekodarake Nice, the Kyoto International Manga Museum, and Keiko Takemiya won last year's awards.

Source: Comic Natalie

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