A Survey of 2013 Manga Taisho Award Nominees

From Mars to the Silk Road, from hunting to ball room dancing, a remarkably eclectic range of nominess

Because the prize is selected by book store workers rather than publishing industry insiders or artistic luminaries, the Manga Taisho Awards have the potential to be a bit more populist and a bit more free wheeling than other major manga awards. The criteria is that the manga must be released during the course of the year and have run less than eight volumes.  For this, its sixth year, the results were some are some big new names, mix with unique works.


The winner selected in the second round of voting will be announced in March.


Assasination Classrom

by Yusei Matsui

Assassination Classroom, about a middle school class who have one year to learn how to assassinate their alien teach or he'll annihilate Earth, was the break out hit of 2012 from Shonen Jump - the magazine that brings up Naruto, One Piece and Bleach.

Viz has been a bit gun shy about putting into their English edition of Shonen Jump because of its prevalence of, well... guns.





Umimachi (Sea Town) Diary

by  Akio Yoshida 

A 2007 josei ongoing from Flowers (Polar Bear Cafe, Kids on the Slope) about three sisters who return home for the funeral of their estranged father, and their meet a younger half sister.

It previously won th  Excellence Prize for manga at the 2007 Japan Media Arts Festival Awards. It was also nominated for the 1st Manga Taisho, and came in third place, for the 12th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize, where it came in second place, and for the 13th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize.



Bride's Stories

by Kaoru Mori

Released in North America by Yen Press. It placed second in the annual Japanese manga award "Manga Taishō" 2011 after lising to Chika Umino's 3 Gatsu no Lion by only 20 points.

The cultural exploration is set in the central Asian Silk Road in the 19th century, it follows a young woman who travels to a remote village to marry a boy eight years her junior.



Ore Monogatari!! (My Story)

by Kazune Kawahara and Aruko

A 2011 shoujo running in Betsuma (Kimi ni Todoke) about a huge highschool freshman who's friends with a popular guy who's a bit of a jerk. One day he protects a girl from a train molester and possibly finds love.



Sanzoku Diary

by Kentarō Okamoto

A 2011 series of Evening series based on the author's own experiences.



Terra Formars

by Yū Sasuga and Kenichi Tachibana

In this seinen Jump title, humanity sends mold and cockroaches to Mars in the 21st to prime it for colonization. In the 26th century, a group of scientists travel to the planet, only to be wiped out by hulking humanoid roaches. Mankind responds by sending a squad of warriors to the planet.


Ningen Karimen-chū

by Taeko Uzugi

A one volume 2012 work of essay manga from East Press, touching on subjects including schizophrenia, suicide and the live of adult video actresses


Hi Score Girl

Rensuke Oshikiri

A 2010 Big Gangan series set in 1991, about a boy who seems to have nothing going for him, who lives for video games, and who then has that crutch removed when a rich popular girl shows up at the arcade and destroy him in Street Fighter II.








Bokura no Funka-sai

by Keigo Shinzō

A 2012 one volume story original serialized in Big Comic Spirits, about a pair of school boys in a volcanic spa town



Ballroom e Yōkoso aka Sweep over the Dance Hall

Tomo Takeuchi

A 2011 Monthly Shounen Magazine that starts with the familiar premise of a purposeless adolescent  who is rescued from bullies by a stranger who sets him on the father towards a competitive endeavor... the novel activity of ballroom dancing in this case




Kui Ryōko Sakuhin-shū: Seven Little Sons of the Dragon

by Ryōko Kui

A one volume 2012 work from Enterbrain collection stories with subjects ranging from elementary school students to dragons, mermaids and baseball, and God .




Which would you like see available in English?


Scott Green is editor and reporter for anime and manga at geek entertainment site Ain't It Cool News. Follow him on Twitter at @aicnanime.

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