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22nd Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize Nominees Announced

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda

The Asahi Shimbun paper announced the 10 nominees on Monday for the 22nd Annual Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize. The awards commemorate the contributions of the manga pioneer Osamu Tezuka (Astroboy/Mighty Atom, Kimba the White Lion/Jungle Emperor, Phoenix, Black Jack) by recognizing the manga that best follow his tradition.

Arpeggio of Blue Steel
Ark Performance
17 years after the invincible Fleet of Fog appeared and cut off world powers by dominating the seas, a weapon powerful enough to hurt them is in the final stages of development. Chihaya Gunzo captains the submarine I-401, assisted by the sub's humanoid avatar Iona, a turncoat from the Fleet of Fog, must deliver the plans from Japan to America, where it can finally be produced, and humanity can take back the seas.

"Utsunuke" Utsu Tunnel o Nuketa Hito-tachi
Keiichi Tanaka
A non-fiction manga where author Keiichi Tanaka describes his own battle with depression (which he words as the "utsu tunnel" or depression tunnel) and how he copes with it, and interviews people who are also dealing with depression.

At the Mountains of Madness (Kūki no Sanmyaku ni te)
Gou Tanabe, H.P. Lovecraft
An adaptation of the famous H.P. Lovecraft science-fiction horror story. Dr. William Dyer is part of an Antarctic expedition that unearths strange artifacts and a city older than time that hints at origins from beyond the stars. When the expedition runs into mortal danger, they begin to realize they have awakened an ancient entity.

Golden Kamuy
Satoru Noda
A soldier who was famous for his prowess in the Russo-Japanese War now heads to Hokkaido for the gold rush for a certain purpose. In search of a vast treasure hidden by the Ainu people, he faces criminals and the overwhelming power of mother nature. There, he meets an Ainu girl who saves his life.

Sanju Mariko (Mariko at 80)
Yuki Ozawa
The manga centers on veteran novelist Mariko Kōda, who lives with the families of both her son and her grandson in one house. Feeling like she no longer has any place in her home, she decides to leave the house and strike out on her own, beginning with living in a manga cafe in the city.

Sensei no Shiroi Uso (Teacher's White Lies)
Akane Torikai
Misuzu Hara is a 24-year-old high school teacher who, four years earlier, endured a traumatic experience at the hands of Hayafuji, the then-boyfriend of her best friend Minako. She has never forgotten the experience, but she has kept it secret from Minako to protect their engagement, and has rationalized it to herself as having occurred to her due to her being a woman, even if it has continued to negatively impact her emotional well-being.

Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru
Masakazu Ishiguro
The comedy manga's story centers around Seaside, a slightly odd maid tea shop (kissa) in an otherwise ordinary shopping district of a mundane neighborhood in Tokyo. (Despite the addition of maids, Seaside is a traditional kissa, instead of one of the maid cafés made popular elsewhere.) Hotori Arashiyama works at Seaside and daydreams about being a high school girl detective. She, the other workers, and Seaside's few customers have various slice-of-life adventures.

Blue Giant
Shinichi Ishizuka
Blue Giant centers on Dai Miyamoto, who is in the basketball club in middle school. One day, his friend takes him to a live jazz performance, which touches him on a deep level. From that point on, he begins to practice the tenor sax by himself, with no formal education, and no ability to read sheet music. He aims to become the world's best saxophone player.

Philippe Nicloux
Graffica Novels
The French comic tells the story of the Aum Shinrikyo cult in Japan, which perpetrated the Matsumoto sarin gas attack in 1994 in Nagano, and the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin gas attack. The comic profiles the cult's leader Shoko Asahara, and the group's doctrine of a supposed worldwide conspiracy that could only be thwarted with attacks on the Japanese government, and the eventual ushering in of Armageddon.

The Promised Neverland
Kaiu Shirai, Posuka Demizu
Emma, Norman, and Ray are the brightest kids at the Grace Field House orphanage. And under the care of the woman they refer to as "Mom," all the kids have enjoyed a comfortable life. Good food, clean clothes, and the perfect environment to learn — what more could an orphan ask for? One day, though, Emma and Norman uncover the dark truth of the outside world they are forbidden from seeing.

This year's committee – consisting of actress Anne Watanabe; author Kazuki Sakuraba; manga creators Osamu Akimoto, Machiko Satonaka and Tarō Minamoto; professor and scholar Shōhei Chūjō; manga editor Haruyuki Nakano; manga critic Nobunaga Shinbo; and author and manga researcher Tomoko Yamada – selected the nominees from titles recommended by specialists and bookstore employees. To be eligible, the manga had to have had a compiled volume published in 2017. Noda's Golden Kamuy has been nominated the third time in a row. Akimoto is a new judge for this year.

The winners will be announced in Asahi Shimbun in late April, and Asahi Shimbun will host an awards ceremony in Tokyo on June 7.

Last year, eight titles were nominated, and Fusako Kuramochi's Hana ni Somu won the Grand Prize. Haruko Kumota's Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū won the New Creator prize. Kaoru Fukaya's Yomawari Neko won the Short Work Prize.

Source: Comic Natalie

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