The nominees for the 45th annual Kodansha Manga Award have been announced, including some OTAQUEST favorites. Organized by one of Japan’s biggest publishers, this prize has been running since 1977 and recognizes manga in three different categories: shonen, shoujo, and general. Series not published by Kodansha have even been known to win, although Tokyo Revengers won last year, alongside The Quintessential Quintuplets and To Your Eternity the year before (all published in Weekly Shonen Magazine).
Without further ado, the nominees for the 45th Kodansha Manga Award are:
- Fire Force by Atsuhi Ookubo
- Sousou no Frieren by Kanehito Yamada (story) and Tsukasa Abe (art)
- That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime by Fuse (original story), Mitz Vah (original character designs), and Taiki Kawakami (manga)
- Blue Lock by Muneyuki Kaneshiro (story) and Yuusuke Nomura (art)
- Defying Kurosaki-kun by Makino
- A Condition Called Love by Megumi Morino
- Honey Lemon Soda by Mayu Murata
- A Sign of Affection by Suu Morishita
- I Want to Hold Aono-kun so Badly I Could Die by Umi Shiina
- Sweat and Soap by Kintetsu Yamada
- Hakozume: Koban Joshi no Gyakushu by Miko Yasu
- Futari Solo Camp by Yuudai Debata
- Yuria-sensei no Akai Ito by Kiwa Irie
A surprising amount of those shoujo titles have been licensed, so make sure to click the links if you’re interested. It’s also good to see Hakozume make another appearance further to winning the Shogakukan Manga Award: that just bumps it up even further up my plan to read list.
Even so, the shonen category really is the star of the show here, so that’s worth focusing on above all else. First, it’s honestly surprising to see Fire Force nominated so late in the game: it’s been running for six years at this point. The 45th Kodansha Manga Award might be its last chance to win an accolade from its publisher.
Blue Lock getting some recognition brings joy to my heart, as it does so much to transform and push forward the sports genre. Tensura’s manga is also surprisingly popular among fans of the series. Yet, Sousou no Frieren definitely is the favorite to win here: it picked up a landslide victory at this year’s Manga Taisho, after all.
The final results of the 45th Kodansha Manga Award will be unveiled on 13 May. Stay tuned for more!