It was recently announced that Jujutsu Kaisen author Gege Akutami would be one of the judges for this years Osamu Tezuka Manga Award. In commemoration to this, Akutami released a comment with some controversial statements.
The author, explaining how he came to be chosen as the judge, stated that he was like a dog for the editors. If they ask him to judge he’ll judge, and if they ask him to ride an Eva, he would do that too. He used the term “Wanko-kun,” which was used by Makinami to address Shinji in Eva, implying that he was under their control in a similar fashion to Shinji.
“…I am basically the dog of the editorial department, so if I am asked to be a judge, I will do it, and if I am asked to ride Eva, I will ride Eva.“
He also went on to question as to why he was selected as the judge when there are so many mangaka out there who deserved it more, saying that maybe it was because those mangaka declined the proposition.
He then went on a ranting spree saying that he never even won any awards, never mind Tezuka or the Akatsuka Award, he couldn’t even get his hands on the award given to the new mangaka, and called his career a shallow one.
According to him, he is unsure whether the sophisticated applicants will even trust him.
Checkout a rough translation of the full comment below:
“Why me? I think they were rejected by the mangaka in question. Putting aside the shallowness of my own career, I have never won Tezuka or Akatsuka award, let alone Getsurei award. I don’t know how all the “sophisticated” applicants can trust me. I am basically the dog of the editorial department, so if I am asked to be a judge, I will do it, and if I am asked to ride Eva, I will ride Eva.“
Considering Akutami’s previous comments it is difficult to point out whether his comment reeks of sarcasm or if he actually meant it all.
In an interview with French publisher Ki-oon, the author had said that was forced to change the initial setting of Jujutsu Kaisen manga by the editorial department. Apparently the story had too dark of a setting to suit a shonen magazine, and so he had to change it to that of a school.
But then again, he made it clear that the alterations made in the manga gave him the opportunity to change his way of writing and learned to give more focus to his characters.
The nominees for the 27th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize were announced on Feb 20, and it consisted of a total of eight manga.
The winner will be announced on Asahi Shimbun newspaper and digital format in April 2023, and the award ceremony will be held on June 8, 2023, at Asahi Shimbun Tokyo headquarters.
Named after Osamu Tezuka, the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize is a yearly manga prize awarded to manga artists or their works that follow the Osamu Tezuka manga approach founded and sponsored by Asahi Shimbun. The prize has been awarded since 1997, in Tokyo, Japan.
The categories for Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize are:
- Grand Prize – for the excellent work during the year
- Creative Award – for the creator with innovative or epoch-making expression and fresh talent
- Short story Award – for the excellent work or creator of the short story
- Special Award – for the person or group who contributed to extend the culture of manga