The 45th Kodansha Manga Award, Winners Announced!

Best Shounen Manga

Blue Lock
by (Story) Muneyuki Kaneshiro and (Art) Yuusuke Nomura


After failing to win the World Cup, there’s unrest in the Japanese Soccer community. Many of the older patrons of the sport aren’t too disturbed by the lack of trophies, but newcomer Anri Teiri is furious – and she’s determined to fix what she sees as the problem with Japanese players. To that end she hires maverick trainer Jinpachi Ego, who devises a strange yet rigorous plan: he takes the three hundred best young soccer players in the country, sends them to a state-of-the-art training facility, and whittles them down until he has the absolute best striker in the nation. Yoichi Isagi is one of the boys chosen for the camp. He may be number 299 out of 300, but nothing – and no one – is going to stand in his way of coming out on top. (Source: ANN)

Blue Lock is a series by the same author who worked on Jagaaaaaan and Kamisama no Iutoori. It currently has 4 million copies in circulation, which should have each volume approximate at 308,000 copies in sales so far. Volume 14, the latest is set to hit shelves this coming 17th of May (more info on the already available volumes can be found here). Note that, the title was also listed as the most recommend title for sports in the recent “Japanese Bookstores Recommended Manga for 2020” (source: Natalie).

Best Shoujo Manga

Hananoi-kun to Koi no Yamai
by Megumi Morino


Hotaru is a 16-year-old high school first-year who has always been ambivalent about love, preferring instead to have a lively life with her family and friends. So when she sees her schoolmate, Hananoi-kun, sitting in the snow after a messy, public breakup, she thinks nothing of offering to share her umbrella. But when he asks her out in the middle of her classroom the next day, she can’t help but feel that her life is about to change in a big way. (Source: ANN)

The title was ranked 10th in the “Japanese Bookstores Employees Recommended Manga for 2019” (source: Honya Club), and is worked on by the same author who did Ohayou, Ibarahime. It was also ranked 15th in the “Kono Manga ga Sugoi!” for the year 2020 under the female reader list. The series’ 8th volume was also ranked in Oricon’s Top 10 chart for the week between April 12 to April 18 with 47,097 copies sold in its first week. More info on the volumes’ covers and release dates of Manga can be found here.

Best General Manga

Yuria-sensei no Akai Ito
by Kiwa Irie


Fifty-year-old Yuria has a quiet life teaching embroidery classes in her home, where she lives with her writer husband and his mother. Then one day her world is turned upside down when husband has a subarachnoid hemorrhage and upon arriving at the hospital, Yuria is met by a tearful young man who announces that he is her husband’s lover. (Source: Mangaupdates)

You may be familiar with the author’s other work, Tasogare Takako which was ranked 4th in “Kono Manga ga Sugoi!” 2018 edition (source: Natalie). Yuria-sensei no Akai Ito was also ranked in the 2020 edition placing 8th, which was shared with Hadaka Ikkan! Tsuzui-san. More on the title’s Manga and release dates can be found here.


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