Manga Creators Takehiko Inoue, Yumi Tamura, Animator Atsushi Wada Win Agency for Cultural Affairs’ Media Arts Awards – News
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Manga Creators Takehiko Inoue, Yumi Tamura, Animator Atsushi Wada Win Agency for Cultural Affairs’ Media Arts Awards – News

The Japanese government’s Agency for Cultural Affairs announced the winners of the 74th “Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Fine Arts Recommendation Awards” on Wednesday. Manga creators Takehiko Inoue (Slam Dunk) and Yumi Tamura (7SEEDS, Don’t Call It Mystery) won in the Media Arts category, and animator Atsushi Wada (Ikimono-san anime shorts) won the Newcomer Award in the same category.

The awards ceremony will be held in Tokyo on March 12.

The Cabinet Minister Award winners in 12 categories will each receive a certificate and 1.2 million yen (about US$7,994), and the Newcomer Award winners will each receive a certificate and 800,000 yen (about US$5,329).


Inoue was one of the first winners in the Media Arts category, when it was first introduced in 2009.

The First Slam Dunk, the new anime film of Inoue’s Slam Dunk basketball manga, opened in Japan in December 2022 and ranked at #1 in its opening weekend. GKIDS released the film in the United States and Canada with both an English dub and with Japanese audio and English subtitles on July 28, 2023.

The film is now the 13th highest-earning film of all-time in Japan after surpassing Hayao Miyazaki‘s 2008 anime film Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, which has 15.5 billion yen (around US$105.8 million) in domestic earnings. The First Slam Dunk is also now the seventh highest-earning anime film in Japan.

Inoue (REAL, Vagabond) personally directed the film at Toei Animation and wrote the script.


Yumi Tamura‘s ongoing Do not say mystery (Mystery to Iu Nakare) was manga first published as a one-shot manga in Shogakukan‘s Monthly Flowers in November 2016, and later launched as a serialization in the magazine a year later in November 2017. Kodansha awarded the manga in its 44th annual Manga Awards in April 2020. The manga was also nominated for the 13th Manga Taisho Awards in January 2020. The manga inspired a live-action series and a live-action film.

Tamura launched the 35-volume 7SEEDS series in 2001 in Bessatsu Shōjo Comic magazine, before eventually moving it to Monthly Flowers. The manga ended in July 2017. The manga won the Shōjo Category of the 52nd Annual Shogakukan Manga Awards in 2007. The manga inspired two anime series that premiered on Netflix in June 2019 and June 2020.

Tamura’s 27-volume Basara manga ran in Bessatsu Shōjo Comic from 1990-1998. Viz Media published the manga in English in 2003-2008. The manga inspired the 13-episode Legend of Basara television anime series in 1998. Viz Media also published Tamura’s two-volume Chicago manga in 2002-2003, and her one-volume Wild Com manga in 2004.

Tamura’s Tomoe ga Yuku! manga inspired an original video anime (OVA) series in 1991-1992.


Atsushi Wada‘s Ikimono-san series of anime shorts started streaming on YouTube in July 2023.

The series of shorts is based on Wada’s My Exercise game about a curious boy who exercises with a dog. The boy encounters various creatures and tries to emulate them, with the valiant help of his dog. Wada personally directed the shorts.

The anime’s “Turtle” short competed in the Grand Competition – Short Film category at the World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb 2023 event in Croatia. The same short also screened in the Narrative category at the Ottawa International Film Festival (OIAF) in Ottawa, Canada in 2023.

Wada’s “Hantō no Tori” (“Bird in the Peninsula”) short screened at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in 2022. The short won a special mention in the short film category at the Berlin International Film Festival also in 2022.

Source: Agency for Cultural Affairs via Crunchyroll

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