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2009 Tezuka Award Winners Announced

Commemorating mangaka Osamu Tezuka's works with reverse harems and modernized religious figures!

Buddha (left) and Jesus (right) say "peace" (if you couldn&squot;t tell).
Buddha (left) and Jesus (right) say "peace" (if you couldn't tell).
You may remember back in March when the nominees were announced for the 13th Annual Osamu Tezuka Cultural Awards-- those nominations have simmered and stewed away and have now bust out of the pot and onto the plate, a delicious smorgasbord of manga awards. And the winners are...

Fumi Yoshinaga's alternative history series Ooku tied with Yoshihiro Tatsumi's A Drifting Life for the Grand Prize. Good news for you guys: Drawn & Quarterly has already released Tatsumi's famed work, and VIZ will be publishing the first volume of Ooku this August. I can't wait! It's VIZ's first Yoshinaga release, but DMP and TOKYOPOP's Blu have given us ample opportunity to sample Yoshinaga's amazing character work, both in yaoi and not.

You may also be happy to know that Saint Onii-san picked up the prize for Short Works. It's an awesome comedic manga, about Jesus and Buddha taking a vacation after all their hard work at the millennium and becoming roomies in modern Japan. Jesus, interestingly, is the money-spending, easy-going tourist while Buddha is more concerned about things like money and propriety. Excellent stuff. Why hasn't it been licensed, anyway?

Finally, the New Artist prize went to Suehiro Maruo for the manga Panorama Toukitan, a manga set in the Meiji era in which a man attempts to create his own utopia. Maruo won New Artist, but I'm not entirely sure why, considering his work on so manry horror and/or adult titles in the past. Maruo's been working since the 1980s, actually.

If you've paid attention to the Tezuka Awards over the last few years, you may notice that no Special Prize was offered this year, which is kind of unusual. Still, the manga that I'm familiar with that won are pretty awesome, so I don't think we're missing out too bad.
Kuroon April 20, 2009 at 1:08 p.m.

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