Last night, the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Anime (SPJA), the organization that puts on Anime Expo, announced the winners of their annual industry awards. Not too many surprises here, as the 2009 SPJA Industry Awards roster of winners includes many fan favorites, including Bleach, Gurren Lagann, Death Note and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. The various incarnations of the Bleach anime did very well, with five wins out of 22 categories, a feat only matched by the Death Note anime, which also won in five categories. The only other anime that came close was Gurren Lagann from GAINAX, which earned nods in three categories.
But the stuff I was watching most was the manga awards – and the spoils were evenly split between Del Rey Manga (who has no official presence here at Anime Expo) and VIZ Media, with two awards each.
- Best Manga – Action: Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle by CLAMP (Del Rey Manga)
- Best Manga – Comedy: Fairy Tail by Hiro Mashima (Del Rey Manga)
- Best Manga – Drama: Monster by Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Signature / VIZ Media)
- Best Magazine: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Again, not too many surprises here, but part of me wished that upstart Tokyo Zombie would have raised a few eyebrows with a win in the Comedy category -- but well, it was a long shot by any stretch of the imagination. It would have also be nice to see Shojo Beat win for Best Magazine since it just folded, but again, that would be a wish for too much irony here.
It's also a bit of a bummer that there's no awards ceremony, where the blushing winners thank their mom, dads, the Academy and maybe God. Or maybe that's a good thing.
I’ll be headed to the convention center soon, and will post more updates from the manga publishers I’ll be visiting and chatting with, as well as a few tidbits from the CMX and VIZ Media panels. Definitely more to come – so check back soon – there’ll be more updates to come.