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2010 Manga Taishou Nominees Announced: Bakuman!

Oh, man, I spent way too much time researching these, but they sound awesome.

 The Manga Taishou Awards, one of Japan's younger but quite prestigious awards, has just announced their nominees for 2010-- the third annual awards. 
 
These lists are often places to look for possible upcoming licenses, so let's take a look.

I Am a Hero, by Kengo Hanazawa (Shogakukan)
A seinen psych horror revolving around an offbeat young man who believes he's a hero, even as he suffers from hallucinations and other psychological horrors. Sounds kinda like MPD Psycho.

Aoi Honoo, by Kazuhiko Shimamoto (Shogakukan)
In Osaka in the 1980s, our protagonist Moyuru Honoo is studying to be a mangaka at an arts university. An overconfident sort, Honoo is shocked as time goes by and the likes of Mitsuru Adachi and Rumiko Takahashi hit it big-- but he still hopes to become a mangaka! Don't get this one confused with girls' love series Aoi Hana.

Uchuu Kyoudai, by Chuuya Koyama (Kodansha)
Two pals want to become astronauts together in this buddy comedy, which was also nominated for the Manga Taishou award in 2009. Apparently Sheryl Nome released a single called Uchuu Kyoudai, too, but they're not related.

Otoko no Isshou, by Keiko Nishi (Shogakukan)
Tsugumi Douzono works for a giant electronics maker in Tokyo, but after a long period away goes to spend a holiday at her grandmother's rural home. While there, the grandmother passes away, and Tsugumi begins telecommuting and trying to live in the family home.

Kuragehime, by Akiko Higashimura (Kodansha)
This manga revolves around an apartment building full of nothing but fujoshi (yaoi fangirls) and female NEETs...except for one tenant, who is a boy who wears women's clothing in order to avoid being his father's business successor. THIS sounds fun!

Koukou Kyuuji Zawa-san, by Eriko Mishima (Shogakukan)
One of the top-ranked men's manga among women, this series takes place in a high school baseball club with a lone female team member: the protagonist, Risa Miyakozawa.

Thermae Romae, by Mari Yamazaki (Enterbrain)
"The people who love bathhouses the most are the Japanese and the Romans!!" Apparently in this bizarre-sounding manga, a special bathhouse operates as a portal between modern-day Japan and ancient Rome-- at least for our hero, Lucius.

Bakuman., by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata (Shueisha)
This manga, by the writer and artist of Death Note, needs no introduction for some of you. For the rest: Bakuman revolves around two boys who want to realize their dream of becoming mangaka.

Mushi to Uta, by Haruko Ichikawa (Kodansha)
Not to be confused with the anime Mushi-Uta, this debut manga by Haruko Ichikawa is actually a collection of light short stories.

Moteki, by Mitsurou Kubo (Kodansha)
A girlfriendless temp worker suddenly is hit by a blast of calls and e-mails from all of the women in his past. He decides to meet each one of them one at a time.

Well, Bakuman. is already licensed here (it'll start in Shonen Jump's May issue), and I'd be surprised if we didn't get Kuragehime-- josei doesn't always do well out here, but series about otaku can usually carry their weight, as far as I can tell.

Also interesting is that only one title, Thermae Romae, came from a publisher that wasn't one of the big three (Kodansha, Shueisha, Shogakukan). A little more variety would be nice, but on the other hand, it's not surprising that the people who put out the biggest volume of manga have some of the best creators and therefore the best odds.
 
What do you guys think? Do these sound like manga you'd want to pick up, should they be released in your language of choice?
JackSukeruon Jan. 18, 2010 at 10:03 a.m.
I'd be interested in reading Bakuman, Aoi Honoo, Mushi to Uta and maybe I am a Hero, Though I've never been into too serious stuff. 
Having it released IMC is more out of convenience than anything else, I don't mind reading manga in english.
Kuma_From_Argentinaon Jan. 18, 2010 at 10:32 a.m.
I want a continuation of Blust! the one shot drawn by the artist of Eyeshield 21
mediarighton Jan. 18, 2010 at 11:50 a.m.
Can't say I'm disappointed with Bakuman so far. Not sure it's doing anything groundbreaking, but it's definitely both more grounded in reality and more whimsical than Death Note was (which is surprising given how pessimistic the author seems). Still solid story-wise and they're keeping it fairly interesting. I wonder how it'll be received once it hits Jump Monthly here in the states.
giaon Jan. 18, 2010 at 2:11 p.m.
@mediaright: I've been looking forward to checking it out, although Obata's art style is so dramatic and often gothy, it'll be interesting to see it in something (slightly) more low-key.
 
Although I never did read Hikaru no Go, which might have been more that way as well. Hmm.
sunfloweron March 17, 2010 at 6:09 p.m.
 Thermae Romae sounds fun, but the rest sound kinda boring.  I notice there's not a lot for women on this list.  And while I enjoy some seinen manga, they just don't write about some of the things that interest me.  I have a quota on depressing literary or violent stories, and I've reached it for the month.  I read a bunch of seinen stuff over the weekend and I have to say, if it's not SF/fantasy then I don't want to read any more of it for a while.
John_Martoneon March 18, 2010 at 12:07 p.m.
annnnd surprise, I've heard of 0 of these titles. Well, its unsurprising, since they're the japanese titles of Manga, but still, my manga-dar is pretty well broken.
 
@sunflower:
I know how you feel, like whoa. Though mine usually happens more with anime, and I'll leave around a stock show or two from various categories to scratch an itch, as it arises.

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