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45th Annual Kodansha Manga Awards' Nominees Announced

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda

Japanese publisher Kodansha announced the 13 nominees in three categories for its 45th annual Manga Awards on Wednesday. Kodansha will announce the winner for each category on May 13.

Best Shōnen Manga

Fire Force
Atsushi Ohkubo
Magazine: Weekly Shonen Magazine (Kodansha)
Summary: Terror has paralyzed the clockwork metropolis of Tokyo! Possessed by demons, people have begun to burst into flame, leading to the establishment of a special firefighting team: the Fire Force, ready to roll on a moment's notice to fight spontaneous combustion anywhere it might break out. The team is about to get a very unique addition: Shinra, a boy who possesses the unique power to run at the speed of a rocket, leaving behind the famous "devil's footprints" (and destroying his shoes in the process). Can the Fire Force discover the source of this strange phenomenon and put a stop to it? Or will the city burn to ashes first? (Via Kodansha Comics)

Frieren: Beyond Journey's End
Kanehito Yamada, Tsukasa Abe
Magazine: Weekly Shonen Sunday (Shogakukan)
Summary: Elf mage Frieren and her courageous fellow adventurers have defeated the Demon King and brought peace to the land. With the great struggle over, they all go their separate ways to live a quiet life. But as an elf, Frieren, nearly immortal, will long outlive the rest of her former party. How will she come to terms with the mortality of her friends? How can she find fulfillment in her own life, and can she learn to understand what life means to the humans around her? Frieren begins a new journey to find the answer. (Via Viz Media)

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
Taiki Kawakami
Magazine: Shonen Sirius (Kodansha)
Summary: As players of Monster Hunter and Dungeons & Dragons know, the slime is not exactly the king of the fantasy monsters. So when a 37-year-old Tokyo salaryman dies and wakes up in a world of dragons and magic, he's a little disappointed to find he's become a blind, boneless slime monster. Mikami's middle age hasn't gone as he planned: He never found a girlfriend, he got stuck in a dead-end job, and he was abruptly stabbed to death in the street at 37. So when he wakes up in a new world straight out of a fantasy RPG, he's disappointed but not exactly surprised to find that he's not a knight or a wizard but a blind slime demon. But there are chances for even a slime to become a hero… (Via Kodansha Comics)

Blue Lock
Muneyuki Kaneshiro, Yusuke Nomura
Magazine: Weekly Shōnen Magazine (Kodansha)
Summary: The manga begins with Japan's elimination from the 2018 World Cup, which prompts the Japanese Football Union to start a program to scout high schools for select players that will train and prepare for the 2022 World Cup. The protagonist Yoichi Isagi, a forward in his high school team, receives an invitation to join the program, just after his team loses the Saitama finals and misses their chance to play in nationals.

Best Shōjo Manga

Defying Kurosaki-kun
Magazine: Bessatsu Friend (Kodansha)
Summary: "I demand absolute obedience from you." Yu Akabane has worked hard to reinvent herself for high school, and there's only one step left in her plan to leave her plain Jane days behind: asking out her idol, the "White Prince" Shirakawa-kun. When circumstances lead to Yu moving into the school dorm where Shirakawa-kun boards, she thinks she's found her lucky break. But unluckily for Yu, “Black Devil” Kurosaki-kun, the boy everyone at school (including the teachers!) is afraid of, lives there too—and when Yu defies him, he's all too eager to punish her… (Via Kodansha Comics)

A Condition Called Love
Megumi Morino
Magazine: Dessert (Kodansha)
Summary: Hotaru is a 16-year-old high school first-year who has always been ambivalent about love, preferring instead to have a lively life with her family and friends. So when she sees her schoolmate, Hananoi-kun, sitting in the snow after a messy, public breakup, she thinks nothing of offering to share her umbrella. But when he asks her out in the middle of her classroom the next day, she can't help but feel that her life is about to change in a big way … (Via Kodansha Comics)

Honey Lemon Soda
Mayu Morita
Magazine: Ribon (Shueisha)
Summary: The manga centers on Uka Ishimori, who did not have any good memories of her middle school years. Now 15 years old and in high school, Uka is trying to "graduate" from her past self, but it isn't going well. That's when she meets her classmate Kai, who has lemon-colored hair.

A Sign of Affection
Suu Morishita
Magazine: Dessert (Kodansha)
Summary: Yuki is a typical college student, whose world revolves around her friends, social media, and the latest sales. But when a chance encounter on a train leads to her meeting friend-of-a-friend and fellow student Itsuomi-san, her world starts to widen. But even though Itsuomi-kun can speak three languages, sign language isn't one of them. Can the two learn to communicate the budding feelings between them? (Via Kodansha Comics)

Best General Manga

I Want to Hold Aono-kun so Badly I Could Die
Umi Shiina
Magazine: Afternoon (Kodansha)
Summary: I would die if it would allow me to touch you. That is my love. Airhead Yuri-chan and her boyfriend Aono-kun had a perfectly normal relationship until one day Aono-kun suddenly “passed away” … They will never be bound together, and they cannot even touch. This is their difficult and almost too sincere love story. (Via Kodansha Comics)

Sweat and Soap
Kintetsu Yamada
Magazine: Morning, D Morning (Kodansha)
Summary: Asako's living her dream, working at the toiletry maker Lilia Drop. Little do her coworkers know, the reason she loves the company so much is that she's ashamed of her body odor, and their soap is the only thing that does the trick. So when the company's lead product developer, a perfuming genius, approaches her in the lobby and wonders what “that smell” is, she's terrified … but could it be … that he likes it? And, even more surprising to Yae … does she like him?

The hilarious ups and downs of an office romance at a personal care products company are the subject of this sexy, strange romp. Sweat and Soap combines the odd-couple chemistry of Wotakoi, the “too real!” workplace comedy of Aggretsuko, and a heavy dollop of office steaminess! (Via Kodansha Comics)

Hakozume: Kōban Joshi no Gyakushū (Hakozome: A Police Box Woman's Counterattack)
Miko Yasu
Magazine: Morning (Kodansha)
Summary: The story centers on Kawaai, a frustrated policewoman on the verge of quitting the force. She is suddenly pulled into the criminal investigation department by detective lieutenant Fuji, the start of their unlikely pairing. Yasu has worked for 10 years in the prefectural police, and uses their experiences in the manga.

Futari Solo Camp (Solo Camping With Just the Two of Us)
Yūdai Debata
Magazine: Evening (Kodansha)
Summary: The story centers on Gen Kinokura, a 34-year-old hobbyist solo camper. He has no car, and instead usually takes connecting rides by train and bus, and finally becomes one with nature and has his precious alone time. Until one day, in a camping trip, he meets the 20-year-old Rei Kusano, a fellow solo camping enthusiast, and they end up getting hooked on solo camping "together."

Yuria Sensei no Akai Ito (Miss Yuria's Red Thread of Fate)
Kiwa Irie
Magazine: Be Love (Kodansha)
Summary: The manga follows 50-year-old Irie, a ballet dancer who got into the art through her sister long ago. Now she lives a simple but happy life teaching handicrafts and living together with a writer husband. When her husband has a medical emergency due to a haemorrhage, she rushes to the hospital, only to find a mysterious young man by her husband's side. When Irie's husband does not wake up, the young man confesses that he is the lover of Irie's husband.

In past years, Kodansha gave out a "Best Children's Manga" award as well, but starting in 2015 Kodansha has integrated the nominees for that category into the Best Shōnen Manga and Best Shōjo Manga categories instead.

Last year, Ken Wakui's Tokyo Revengers won the Best Shonen Manga award. Robico's Our Precious Conversations won the Best Shōjo Manga award. Tsubasa Yamaguchi's The Blue Period. won the Best General Manga award.

Source: Press release

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