On some level, manga awards seem like they’re a dime a dozen. You have those held by the publishers, like the coveted Kodansha Manga Award and the Shogakukan Manga Award, which occasionally dole out awards to comics from other publishers. Of course, the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize, that gets its name from manga’s Godfather, carries a lot of weight. While not centered around manga, the United States’ Eisners have included manga for quite some time. However, with so many ‘the Oscars, but for manga’, they can lose their sheen! The Manga Taisho awards, on their fourteenth incarnation, differentiate themselves by being primarily decided by booksellers who have their ear to the ground. They’ve come up with their 2021 list of ten nominees, which includes a few familiar faces.
The 14 Manga Taisho Award Nominees
- Oshi no Ko by Aka Akasaka and Mengo Yokoyari
- Chi -Chikyuu no Undou ni Tsuite- By Uouto
- SPY x FAMILY by Tatsuya Endo
- Mizu wa Umi ni Mukatte Nagareru by Rettou Tajima
- BL Metamorphosis by Kaori Tsurutani.
- Kaiju No. 8 by Naoya Matsumoto
- Kowloon Generic Romance by Jun Mayuzuki (After The Rain).
- Sousou no Frieren by Kanehito Yamada and Abetsuka.
- Onna no Sono no Hoshi by Yama Wayama.
- Karaoke Iko! by Yama Wayama (Onna no Sono no Hoshi; Muchuu sa, Kimi ni)
All quite young, a good half of the titles in the Manga Taisho list is unknown to US audiences, but here’s your chance to get ahead of the curve. We do see a couple of Shonen Jump favorites like Spy x Family, and Kaiju No. 8. Most curiously, Yama Wayama has two titles in the top ten, Karaoke Iko! and Onna no Sono no Hoshi. That’s probably worth paying attention.
The Manga Taisho award winners will be announced in March.