And the losers are…

March 19, 2010

I’ve already fished through this year’s nominees for the Manga Taisho Award, and, like any sensible person, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the winner will be licensed by some generous publisher. But looking at the results, I found my sympathies extending to the losers. Surely it’s an honor just to be nominated, and there’s no shame in losing an award like this, but to have your exact ranking revealed? That’s… kind of harsh. So I thought I’d see what I could dig up about the bottom rung of Taisho candidates.

Kazuhiko Shimamoto’s Aoi Honoo launched in Shogakukan’s defunct Weekly Young Sunday, then moved to Monthly Shonen Sunday. It’s about a young man who dreams of becoming a manga-ka. I have to admit that portraits of the feckless youth of struggling artists are not always for me, unless those portraits are contained in Chica Umino’s Honey and Clover (Viz). Still, there must have been a good reason to nominate it, right?

Eriko Mishima’s Koukou Kyuji Zawa-san is being serialized in Shogakukan’s Big Comic Spirits and is about a girl who loves baseball, though I get the impression that it’s more for guys who like looking at girls who love baseball. Can anyone clarify this impression for me? (Speaking of manga about baseball, there was a flurry of excitement about this news from Viz.)

Mitsurou Kubo’s Moteki is being serialized in Kodansha’s Evening. It’s about a 28-year-old who, after a lifetime of indifference from the opposite sex, suddenly becomes popular and determines to date all comers. I can’t tell you how many times that’s happened to late-twenty-somethings of my acquaintance.

Akiko Higashimura’s Kuragehime is being serialized in Kodansha’s Kiss. It’s about a woman who moves to Tokyo to become a manga-ka and moves into a house full of hardcore fujoshi. It’s being adapted into an animated series.

Okay, so I’m not left in a fever of anticipation for any of the above to be licensed, and my initial wish list is still intact. But just because I’m always interested in this kind of thing, I thought I’d run a poll to see which Manga Taisho nominees interest you the most. (Yes, I know that Viz has Bakuman.)