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Jitterbug The Forties, Golgo 13's Takao Saito Win Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prizes

posted on by Egan Loo

The Asahi Shimbun paper announced the winners for the 23rd Annual Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize awards on Sunday. The awards commemorate the contributions of the manga pioneer Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy/Mighty Atom, Kimba the White Lion/Jungle Emperor, Phoenix, Black Jack) by recognizing the manga that best follow his tradition.

Grand Prize

Jitterbug The Forties (Sono Ko, Jiruba)
Shinobu Arima
Shogakukan (Big Comic Original, 2011-2018)
In this human drama, a 40-year-old woman with no romance in her life or a savings account visits Old Jack & Rose, a bar for fogies whose average age is 70.

New Creator Prize

Areyo Hoshikuzu
Sansuke Yamada
In this story that Kadokawa describes as a "bromance in the ruins of Tokyo," Tokutarō Kawashima, a drunk in the city's burnt-down rubble, reunites with his old World War II comrade Kadomatsu Kuroda just over one year after Japan's defeat. The manga depicts the daily life in the underworld of post-war Japan, including the black market, the "pan-pan girl" prostitutes and the government's euphemistic "Comfort Facilities," and the war orphans.

Short Work Prize

Little Miss P (Seiri-chan)
Ken Koyama
Kadokawa (Monthly Comic Beam, originally serialized in Omocoro website)
Yen Press has licensed the manga and it describes the series:
It's that time of the month, and you know what that means...a visit from Aunt Flo—scratch that—Little Miss P! This pink, anthropomorphized period's not so lean, kinda mean, and a gut-punching, butt- kicking machine! (Just ask Mr. Erection...) Follow Little Miss P as she traverses time advising, harassing, abusing, and comforting women on her (usually) monthly visits in this uniquely weird and surprisingly touching manga!

The committee also awarded the Special Prize to Takao Saitō for his contributions to manga culture over the years. Golgo 13, his seminal work about an assassin for hire, marked its 50th anniversary last year.

Arima and Saito drew illustrations to offer their gratitude for the awards:

Asahi Shimbun will host an awards ceremony in Tokyo on June 6. The Grand Prize winner will receive a bronze statue and 2 million yen (about US$18,000), while the other winners will each receive a bronze statue and 1 million yen (about US$9,000).

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 critic Nobunaga Shinbo; and author and manga researcher Tomoko Yamada – selected 11 nominees from titles recommended by specialists and bookstore employees. To be eligible, the manga had to have had a compiled volume published in 2018.

This year's nominees received the following points during the judging:

Sono Ko, Jiruba (Jitterbug The Forties) - 15 points
Shinobu Arima

Umimachi Diary - 8 points
Akimi Yoshida

Areyo Hoshikuzu - 7 points
Sansuke Yamada

Nagi no Oitoma (Nagi's Long Vacation) - 7 points
Misato Konari
Akita Shoten

Daru-chan - 6 points
Remon Haruna

Astra Lost in Space - 5 points
Kenta Shinohara

Kenkō de Bunkateki na Saitei Gendo no Seikatsu (A Minimum Healthy and Cultural Life) - 5 points
Haruko Kashiwagi

Sayonara Miniskirt (Good-Bye My Mini Skirt) - 5 points
Aoi Makino

Fragile: Byōrii Kishi Keiichirō no Shoken (Fragile - The Finds of Pathologist Keiichirō Kishi) - 5 points
Bin Kusamizu, Saburō Megumi

Mashiro no Oto - 5 points
Marimo Ragawa

The Promised Neverland - 5 points
Kaiu Shirai, Posuka Demizu

Last year, 10 titles were nominated, and Satoru Noda's Golden Kamuy won the Grand Prize. Paru Itagaki's BEASTARS won the New Creator prize, and Tarō Yabe's Oya-san to Boku won the Short Work Prize.

Sources: Asahi Shimbun, Comic Natalie

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