‘One Punch-Man’ finishes 1st in nationwide manga vote
A total of 65,294 ballots were cast in the second annual poll, organized by the SUGOI JAPAN Committee and The Yomiuri Shimbun and held from Nov. 16, 2015, to Jan. 3, 2016, with more than 27,000 messages carrying words of enthusiastic support for voters’ favorite titles and authors. “Sugoi” is the Japanese word meaning amazing, great or wonderful.
On March 22, an award ceremony was held in Tokyo, with Nippon Broadcasting System announcer Hisanori Yoshida unveiling the names of the top five nominees in the manga, anime, ranobe and entame shosetsu categories, along with a selection of comments from voters. Prior to the vote, he served as a member for the panel of the awards, responsible for choosing anime titles to be nominated for the vote.
One, right, receives the prize from Yozo Matsuda, executive chairman of the SUGOI JAPAN Committee.
SYusuke Murata and Yozo Matsudaayawaka
ONE originally uploaded “One Punch-Man” onto the web. When he saw it, Murata was so enchanted that he immediately contacted ONE on Twitter. ONE said at the ceremony that he could not initially believe he was talking with the illustrator he enthusiastically admired. With the help of Murata, the work then made its commercial debut.
Murata recalled that he phoned ONE from time to time to enhance the charm of “One Punch-Man” further. ONE and Murata thanked each other and readers for receiving the SUGOI JAPAN Award. ONE said: “I’m really pleased that so many people are enjoying our work. I’d like to devote myself further to it from now on.” Murata commented, “I’d also like to make further efforts to convey the allure of Saitama as drawn by ONE-sensei.”
※Interview with One and Yuske Murata is Here
Representing the manga jury, writer and critic Sayawaka said of the award-winning title: “‘One Punch-Man’ is very symbolic of the times in that what looks like an old-fashioned hero is depicted in a present-day way and that it originally debuted as a web manga and, moreover, is increasingly appreciated abroad. Thus, this work is perfectly entitled to receive the top prize in the manga category of the SUGOI JAPAN Award.
Kyouhei Ishiguro, Yuichi Fukushima, the producer of A-1 Pictures (middle) and Shunsuke Saito, the producer of Aniplex Inc.(right)
Yoshida said he was fascinated by the exquisite musical performance scenes in the award-winning anime. Especially when he watched the last episode of the series, he said, “I couldn’t hold back tears.” As such, he said, “I’m sure this work can be palpable to people abroad even without seeing subtitles.”
Appearing on the stage together with producers from Aniplex and A-1 Pictures, which was also involved in the production of “Your Lie in April,” Kyohei Ishiguro, the director of the work, expressed his gratitude to Naoshi Arakawa, who wrote and illustrated it, and Kodansha Ltd. and all the other entities and people involved in the production of the anime. He also said, “I’ll make all-out efforts to create one anime after another that will be more excellent than this work, with which I debuted as an anime director.” In his speech, he revealed many behind-the-scenes episodes on the production side, such as tireless joint efforts to bring both the anime series and its origin — a manga version — to an almost simultaneous end and find ideal locations for those highly acclaimed music performance scenes in the anime.
※Interview with Kyouhei Ishiguro is Here
Representing the anime jury, Kaichiro Morikawa, an associate professor at Meiji University, commented: “It is my impression that there emerged a new trend in the Japanese anime industry as a whole in 2014 and 2015 — the period we looked back at for selecting anime works of excellence — to challenge new projects, which might have hardly been approved at planning stages a while ago. They broke with the general trend to produce ‘easy-to-understand’ works and instead sought to create such works with such quality contents that ‘make audiences believe those works truly deserve watching only after doing so.’
Kentaro Kodaki, an editor at SB Creative Corp., receives the award on behalf of author Fujino Omori.
For Omori, the award-winning work was virtually his first novel — he originally wrote it as if “giving it a shot” to take part in an online novel contest. This work became so popular that he immediately chose to start his new career as a ranobe author. Looking excited yet nervous on the stage, Omori said: “Since my debut thanks to this work, my circumstances have kept changing turbulently. But today I am full of happiness and gratitude, though I still feel very surprised. While I wish I could congratulate myself in a loud voice, I think this award gives me a reason to write new works that will make readers in Japan and foreign countries feel interested in reading more works of mine. To do so, I’ll go back to the basics.”
※Interview with Fujino Omori is Here
Writer and critic Satoshi Maejima, representing the ranobe jury, commented
Toh EnJoe and the parents of Project Itoh
EnJoe said it was regrettable that Itoh was not at the ceremony to receive the top prize. “I am here today thanks entirely to him. Even today, I continue to ask myself if there wasn’t an alternative way (rather than completing the novel) to leave his manuscript in a much better way. March 20 marked the seventh anniversary of his death. I even now feel overwhelmed by his greatness. I hope I will be able to eventually go one better than him as an author.”
Representing the entame shosetsu jury was critic Makoto Ichikawa, who also teaches at Waseda University as an associate professor, commented:
Written By Momo Tachibana