Japan's first annual Manga Proficiency Test took place on June 17th in 40 locations nationwide. Over 600 people participated in the exam that tests one's ability to draw manga.

The test is divided into many categories and levels aimed at both beginners and professionals. There are 4 levels for the "General" category, 3 levels for "Manga Character," 3 levels for "Manga Story," 3 levels for "Manga-Drawing Technique" and 2 levels for "Manga Assistant."

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A recent poll from Oricon asked men and women in their 20s to 40s the following question: "Which manga master character would you like to learn work from?"

Below are the results:

18.4% - Anzai-sensei (Slam Dunk)
12.3% - Master Roshi (Dragon Ball)
8.4% - Kakashi Hatake (Naruto)
6.9% - Karin-sama (Dragon Ball)
6.0% - Genkai (Yu Yu Hakusho)

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Japanese otaku/doujin shop Toranoana has released the results of its 1st Golden Tiger Award. The Golden Tiger Award is a manga and novel award voted by 127 editors and 90 Toranoana employees. A total of 481 works released between January 2006 - December 2006 were able to enter.

The winner of the grand "Golden Tiger" award went to Kiyohiko Azuma's Yotsuba&!, which received the highest points from votes and sales combined.

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The first volume of Otaku USA has been released, and Heisei Democracy has a review (Via Icarus Blog). While reading Otaku USA, don't forget to check out Ed Chavez (MangaCast)'s "Japan's 24-hour Content Delivery System."


Stars and Stripes reports that the U.S. Navy is using manga to introduce itself to the Japanese public:

Commander, Naval Forces Japan public affairs is taking a page out of Japanese pop culture to explain the U.S. Navy, its ships, sailors and mission to the Japanese public.

The people behind the free anime newspaper Janime have started a new publication called POPJNEO, while the podcast Anime Today reports that Otaku USA issue 1 is in the process of hitting the presses.

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MangaCast translates the weekly Doujinshi ranking (05/12) in Japan according to Toranoana, and the weekly BL Doujinshi ranking (05/12) in Japan according to Toranoana's BL specialty store Princess Side.