Yamato 2199, Moyashimon, Aoi Honō Win Seiun Awards
posted on by Egan Loo
The 54th Japan Science Fiction Convention (Nihon SF Taikai or Japan SF Con/Comecon) announced the winners of the 46th Seiun Awards at Yonago City on Saturday.
The Space Battleship Yamato 2199 Odyssey of the Celestial Ark (Uchū Senkan Yamato 2199: Hoshi-Meguru Hakobune) film, the Moyashimon manga, and the live-action television series of the Aoi Honō manga won awards. The convention also honored the late artist Keinojou Mizutama (MAOYU, Brigadoon, Kasei Monogatari), Taiyo Fujii's Orbital Cloud novel, and the English-language novel The Martian.
"Seiun Shō" literally translates to "nebula awards," but the Japan SF Con's Seiun Awards are more akin to Worldcon's Hugo Awards, in that the members of each respective convention vote on the winners. There is another set of awards, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of Japan's Nihon SF Taishō honors, that are the rough Japanese equivalent of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America's Nebula Awards. Like the Hugo Awards, the Seiun Awards honor all forms of speculative fiction — including but not limited to science fiction — and related materials.
Previous winners of the Seiun Awards include The World of Narue, Bodacious Space Pirates, Range Murata, Masamune Shirow, Makoto Shinkai, Full Metal Alchemist, Gundam: The Origin, 20th Century Boys, Summer Wars, Card Captor Sakura, Madoka Magica, Pacific Rim and more.
The winners include:
The Best Japanese Long StoryOrbital Cloud
By Taiyo Fujii
The story follows a freelance web developer who gets embroiled in a battle with space terrorists. Fujii actually self-published the novel first, and then leading science-fiction publisher Hayakawa Shobo printed a revised edition. The same novel also won a Nihon SF Taishō award in February. Viz Media's Haikasoru published Fujii's Gene Mapper novel, which also won a Nihon SF Taishō award in 2014. Fujii appeared at several panels at Sasquan, this year's Worldcon held in August in Spokane, Washington.
The Best Japanese Short Story"Umi no Yubi"
By Hirotaka Tobi
Kodansha posted this story in its joint Morning/Afternoon/Evening web comic site Moai. Tobi previously won Seiun Awards in 2005 and 2010 for his short stories "Katadorareta Chikara" and "Interview with the Columns of Clouds." "Katadorareta Chikara" also won a Nihon SF Taishō award.
The Best Translated Long StoryThe Martian
By Andy Weir (translation by Kazuko Onoda)
The novel is inspiring a film with director Ridley Scott and lead actor Matt Damon.
The Best Translated Short Story"The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi"
By Pat Cadigan (translation by Yōichi Shimada)
The story also won a Hugo Award in 2013.
The Best Dramatic PresentationSpace Battleship Yamato 2199 Odyssey of the Celestial Ark
The brand-new Yamato 2199 anime film won over the Expelled from Paradise anime film, the Space Dandy television anime, the live-action American film Interstellar, Disney's animated film Big Hero 6, the Kill la Kill television anime, and the live-action television series Nazo no Tenkōsei (Mysterious Transfer Student). The original Space Battleship Yamato television anime series won the same award in 1975.
The Best ComicMoyashimon
By Masayuki Ishikawa
The story follows a college student named Tadayasu Sawaki who discovers that he can see and communicate with the germs all around him — germs that appear as super-deformed characters. The series ended in 2014 after inspiring two television anime series and a live-action television series. Del Rey licensed the manga and released two volumes before Kodansha Comics USA took over Del Rey's titles in 2010.
Other manga nominees included Gainax, Khara, and Yoshiyuki Sadamoto's Neon Genesis Evangelion, Kosuke Fujishima's Oh My Goddess!, Tamiki Wakaki's The World God Only Knows, Kazuhiro Fujita's Moonlight Act, and Riichi Ueshiba's Mysterious Girlfriend X.
The Best ArtistKeinojou Mizutama (MAOYU, Brigadoon, Kasei Monogatari)
In addition to her illustrations for science-fiction stories, Mizutama drafted character designs and ran manga essay columns. She also created the masccot characters Wanda and Reset for the hobby convention Wonder Festival.
The other nominees included Noriko Nagano (Don't Leave Me Alone, Daisy), Naohiro Washio (mechanical designer for Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Heroic Age, Fafner), Yasushi Suzuki (IKARUGA, Sin & Punishment, Radiant Silver Gun), and Akihiro Yamada (character designer for RahXephon, artist for Record of Lodoss War: The Lady of Pharis manga).
The Best NonfictionSanrio SF Bunko Sōkaisetsu
Edited by Shinji Maki, Nozomi Ōmori
A retrospective on the former science-fiction imprint from the media and character goods company Sanrio
Free SectionAoi Honō
The live-action television series adapted the semi-autobiographical manga by Kazuhiko Shimamoto (Honō no Tenkōsei, Hoero Pen, The Skull Man) about college life. It features characters inspired by future Gainax founders Hideaki Anno (Evangelion), Hiroyuki Yamaga (Royal Space Force - Wings of Honneamise), and Takami Akai (creator, designer, director of Princess Maker). The series received the award as the "first work based on the theme of [Japanese] 'science-fiction fandom history,' and a fictional drama based on actual events."