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Nyx no Lantern, Sazae-san's Machiko Hasegawa Win Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prizes

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda

The Asahi Shimbun paper announced the winners for the 24th Annual Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize awards on Tuesday. 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

Nyx no Lantern
Kan Takahama
LEED Publishing (Torch, 2014-2019)
The story is set during 1878 in Nagasaki, and centers on a girl named Miyo, who has the power to see the future by touching objects. She learns of the new world around her through a series of new items that arrive from Paris.

New Creator Prize

Mizu wa Umi ni Mukatte Nagareru
Rettō Tajima
Kodansha (Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine, 2018-ongoing)
The story centers on Naotatsu, a boy who moves to his uncle's house to attend a new high school, but ends up sharing it with not just his uncle, but three other unique strangers as well.

Short Work Prize

Muchū sa, Kimi ni.
Yama Wayama
Enterbrain (Comic Beam), 2019)
A compilation of Wayama's "Ushiro no Nikaidō" boys-love manga strips, with an original 30-page sequel story.

The committee also awarded the Special Prize to the late Machiko Hasegawa, who would have celebrated her 100th birthday on January 20 earlier this year (Hasegawa passed away in 1992). Hasegawa is best known as the creator of the original Sazae-san manga that inspired the anime of the same name, which holds the Guinness World Record for longest-running animated series.

Asahi Shimbun had scheduled an awards ceremony in Tokyo on June 4, but the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has forced an indefinite postponement of the ceremony. The Grand Prize winner will receive a bronze statue and 2 million yen (about US$19,000), 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 Minami; 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 2019.

Last year, 11 titles were nominated, and Shinobu Arima's Jitterbug The Forties (Sono Ko, Jiruba) won the Grand Prize. Sansuke Yamada's Areyo Hoshikuzu won the New Creator prize, and Ken Koyama's Little Miss P (Seiri-chan) won the Short Work Prize.

Sources: Asahi Shimbun, Comic Natalie

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