SUGOI JAPAN Award 2017 is a project that seeks to celebrate Japan's pop culture works and decide in a nationwide vote which manga, anime, light novel and entertaining novels are the most sugoi. The word sugoi can mean “amazing”, “great”, or “wonderful”, but in voting with SUGOI JAPAN, Japanese fans are also marking titles as truly outstanding ones that should be introduced all over the world.
The SUGOI JAPAN Award 2017 ceremony was held at Yomiuri Otemachi Hall on Mar. 16, after almost two months and 68,411 votes for the eighty titles that made up the SUGOI 20 - in other words, twenty works selected by fans and experts for each genre.
We were lucky enough to attend this celebration of Japan's otaku creations, so without further ado, we present to you SUGOI JAPAN’s top titles for 2017!
First up was the anime category, with series Re:Zero - Starting Life in Another World taking the gold!
Based on Nagatsuki Tappei's original works, Re:Zero's twenty-five episode season was directed by Watanabe Masaharu with animation by the studio White Fox. It may have ended last year, but don't lose hope! White Fox producer Yoshikawa Kouki commented that they "couldn't let the anime end with this", seeing as the light novel is still going strong!
Next, fans across Japan crowned superhero series My Hero Academia as the winner for the manga category!
My Hero Academia’s victory comes as no surprise, due to its immediate popularity and demand for an anime adaptation after beginning serialization in Shonen Jump +! Why did it become so popular, though? It looks like author Hirokoshi Kouhei’s initial venture in mixing Japanese manga and American comic styles paid off, creating the immediately recognizable Heroes and Villains loved by countless fans today.
In the light novel category, Re:Zero was also announced as the No. 1 light novel, having just won the anime section as well!
Re:Zero is a big name now, but did you know that at the beginning author Nagatsuki Tappei wrote it solo as a web novel without an editor or any of Otsuka Shinichirou's amazing illustrations? Instead, as a huge otaku himself, he was influenced by all the light novels, anime, manga and games that he consumed. Now that Nagatsuki is a star in his own right, he’s thrilled that he has the chance to inspire others through his own works!
Finally, the winner of the entertaining novel section was a title that had risen to unprecedented levels of international recognition - Kimi no Na wa.
With the film’s poignant story and timeless animation leading fans to brand it as a masterpiece, the novel has largely been overshadowed outside Japan, despite its key role in the overall process. Although director Shinkai Makoto initially had no intention of writing the story as a novel, it ultimately allowed him to gain new, deeper insights into the characters’ emotions and helped him in better directing the film. However, the novel Kimi no Na wa. is still an amazing experience as a separate work - and that’s why Japanese fans have named it as SUGOI Japan’s top entertaining novel!
From the initial hundred works selected to make up the SUGOI 20, these four titles have finally risen to the top. But we can't forget all the other iconic works and fantastic creators who made this all possible, so check out the final top 20 ranking to see if all your favorites made it!
1. My Hero Academia, Hirokoshi Kouhei
2. Golden Kamui, Noda Satoru
3. Ten Count, Takarai Rihito
4. Dagashi Kashi, Kotoyama
5. Mahou Tsukai no Yome ( The Ancient Magus’ Bride ), Yamazaki Kore
1. Re:Zero - Starting Life in Another World -
2. Boku Dake ga Inai Machi ( Erased )
3. Joker Game
4. One Punch Man
5. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable
1. Re:Zero - Starting Life in Another World -, Nagatsuki Tappei
2. KonoSuba: God's Blessing on this Wonderful World, Akatsuki Natsume
3. Yes ka No ka Hanbun ka, Ichiho Michi
4. Qualidea Code series, Speakeasy (Sagara Sou, Tachibana Koushi, Watari Wataru)
5. Kamisama no Goyounin, Asaba Natsu
1. Kimi no Na wa., Shinkai Makoto
2. Danganronpa Kirigiri, Kitayama Takekuni
3. Conbini Ningen, Murata Sayaka
4. Shinjitsu no 10 Metoru Temae, Yonezawa Honobu
5. Hitsuji to Hagane no Mori, Miyashita Natsu
This is a Tokyo Otaku Mode original article with photography by Hara T.