Japan Economic Times Looks at 2008 Manga Grand Prize

A recent issue of the Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Japan Economic Times) ran an article on the 2008 Manga Taisho. According to the article, winners of the 1st "Manga Grand Prize" will be announced at the end of March.

The planning committee constitutes of staff from the manga sections of the "big 4" book retailers. The award was created through volunteering of professional manga fans. 76 commissioners in the Selection Commission were selected as "reliable manga readers" from various fields by the planners. The qualification requirement of a manga for the award states that the manga needs to have "at least 8 volumes of tankoubon were published, with at least 1 volume was published in 2007."

In the first round of the award, each commissioner selected 5 titles as "titles that should be recommended" from a total of 169 nominated titles, and among them, the top 12 titles goes to the 2nd round. A committee member commented: "I was satisfied with the overall result more than I expected." The commissioners will read the 12 titles nominated, and select the top 3 titles.

The planners of the award are volunteers without any compensation. Each committee member must read through the 12 titles. The system of the award indicates that the award is being taken seriously, and that this award may establish a new standard for manga evaluations.