Manga luminaries Yuma Ando, Miwa Ueda, Tohru Fujisawa, Kousuke Fujishima, Takeshi Maekawa, Akemi Matsunae, and Norifusa Mita made some interesting selections for publisher Kodansha's 37th annual awards. Regular award contenders like Ore Monogatari!! were joined by unique works like a look at pro-sports salaries and a notoriously sexy spin on highschool social power dynamics.
Gura Zeni - a six volume 2010 series from Yuji Moriko and Keiji Adachi, running in Kodansha's Morning (home of Chi's Sweet Home, Giant Killing). About a relief pitcher in his eighth season with an obsessive eye on other players' salaries.
Prison School, a 2011 series by Akira Hiramoto, whose earlier Me and the Devil Blues was released in North America by Del Rey, to generally good reviews. This racy comedy/thriller, from Kodansha's Young Magazine (former home of works like Akira, Chobits), follows a group of boys admitted to a highschool with a 200:1 female to male ratio, ruled by the strict regime of the student council.
Animal Land, Makoto Raiku's (Zatch Bell) series about a baby, abandoned in a flowing river by his mother, who is then raised by tanuki, becoming more of a Moses figure than Tarzan as he leads armies of animal in something of a fantasy swords and scandals epic. The series from Bessatsu Shonen Magazine (Attack on Titan, Flowers of Evil) is released in North America by Kodansha's local label.
Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (April is Your Lie), Naoshi Arakawa's 2011 Monthly Shounen Magazine (Beck, Dear Boys) about a piano prodigy who gives up playing after his mother's death, only to be drawn back into music by a free spirited girl playing the violin. Nominated for the Manga Taisho Award last year.
Ore Monogatari!! (My Story), by Kazune Kawahara and Aruko - also nominated for this year's Manga Taisho awards. 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.