Land, Frieren, Demon Slayer Manga Win Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prizes

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The Asahi Shimbun paper announced the winners for the 25th Annual Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize awards on Wednesday. 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

Land
Kazumi Yamashita
Tokuma Shoten (Morning, 2014-onging)
The story is set in a Land where death takes all those who reach the age of 50. An, the older of two twin sisters, was still a baby when she was offered up for sacrifice in the mountains by her village's priestly officials. Through this custom of sending people to the Other World, the village remains protected by the gods.

New Creator Prize

Frieren: Beyond Journey's End (Sōsō no Frieren)
Story: Kanehito Yamada, Art: Tsukasa Abe
Shogakukan (Weekly Shonen Sunday, 2020-ongoing) (Licensed by Viz)
The fantasy story follows the travels of Frieren, an elf who once journeyed on perilous adventures to defeat evil with stalwart comrades. When peace comes, she bears the burden of her long-lived race, and sees her friends pass away before her one by one.

Short Work Prize

Kieta Mama Tomo and Tsuma wa Kuchi o Kiite Kuremasen)
Hiroko Nobara
Kadokawa
Kieta Mama Tomo centers on a group of mothers who meet in their children's kindergarten and become friends. One of them, Yuki, is happily married, and lives with her husband, child, and mother-in-law, but one day stops coming to the kindergarten with her child. Rumors begin to circulate that she had an affair, and her friends realize that they don't really know her that well.

Tsuma wa Kuchi o Kiite Kuremasen centers on a family of four: a husband, wife, son, and daughter. One day, the wife starts not to say anything except the absolute bare minimum, and the husband wracks his mind for a reason why.

The committee also awarded the Special Prize to Koyoharu Gotouge's Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba manga.

Asahi Shimbun had scheduled an awards ceremony in Tokyo on June 3,. 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 judging committee – manga creator Osamu Akimoto, author Kazuki Sakuraba, manga creator Machiko Satonaka, entertainer Minami Takahashi, writer and Tohoku University of Art and Design instructor Yukiko Tomiyama, professor and scholar Shōhei Chūjō, manga critic Nobunaga Minami, comedian and manga creator Taro Yabe, Asahi Shimbun executive office and editor Katsu Tsunoda, and Asahi Shimbun Tokyo office's Culture and Life section head Tomoko Kochi – 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 2020.

Last year, eight titles were nominated, and Kan Takahama's Nyx no Lantern won the Grand Prize. Rettō Tajima's Mizu wa Umi ni Mukatte Nagareru won the New Creator prize, and Yama Wayama's Muchū sa, Kimi ni won the Short Work Prize.

Source: Asahi Shimbun

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