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PR: Viz Media Announces Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys 2013 Will Eisner Award Win


Acclaimed Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Manga Series Wins Comic Industry’s Most Prestigious Award For The Second Time In Three Years

San Francisco, CA, July 23, 2013 – VIZ Media, the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, has announced that NAOKI URASAWA’S 20th CENTURY BOYS won the 2013 Eisner Award in the category of Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Asia during award ceremonies held this past weekend at the 2013 Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA. NAOKI URASAWA’S 20th CENTURY BOYS (rated ‘T+ for Older Teens) is published under the VIZ Signature imprint.

The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards are considered the “Oscars” of the comic book industry and named for renowned cartoonist Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit and several award-winning graphic novels). The awards are handed out annually during a gala ceremony held at Comic-Con International in San Diego, the largest comic book and pop culture convention in the United States.

This is the second time that NAOKI URASAWA’s 20th CENTURY BOYS has won the Eisner Award for Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Asia; the acclaimed manga (graphic novel) series also won in the same category in 2011.

“We are tremendously proud to see NAOKI URASAWA’S 20th CENTURY BOYS recognized by the comics publishing industry for the second time in three years with a Will Eisner Award,” says Leyla Aker, Vice President, Publishing. “Urasawa is a master storyteller and manga artist whose work has been widely lauded by readers, critics and industry professionals for years. We hope that this award will help bring his work to the attention of an even wider international audience.”

NAOKI URASAWA’S 20th CENTURY BOYS is the story of a group of boys who try to save the world. Humanity, having faced extinction at the end of the 20th century, would not have entered the new millennium if it weren’t for them. In 1969, during their youth, they created a symbol. In 1997, as the coming disaster slowly starts to unfold, that symbol returns. For Kenji, a simple convenience store manager who once dreamed of becoming a rock ‘n’ roll musician, a host of memories from his past come rushing back when one of his childhood friends mysteriously commits suicide. Could this new death be related to the rise of a bizarre new cult that’s been implicated in several other murders and disappearances? Determined to dig deeper, Kenji reunites with some of his old buddies in the hope of learning the truth behind it all.

Naoki Urasawa’s career as a manga artist spans more than twenty years and has firmly established him as one of the true manga masters of Japan. Born in Tokyo in 1960, Urasawa debuted with Beta! in 1983 and hasn’t stopped his impressive output since. Well-versed in a variety of genres, Urasawa’s oeuvre encompasses a multitude of different subjects, such as a romantic comedy (Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl), a suspenseful human drama about a former mercenary (Pineapple Farm; story by Kazuya Kudo), a captivating psychological suspense story (NAOKI URASAWA’S MONSTER), a sci-fi adventure manga (NAOKI URASAWA’S 20th CENTURY BOYS), and a modern reinterpretation of the work of the God of Manga, Osamu Tezuka in PLUTO: URASAWA X TEZUKA. Many of his books have spawned popular animated and live-action TV programs and films, and 2008 saw the theatrical release of the first of three live-action Japanese films based on NAOKI URASAWA’s 20th CENTURY BOYS. Director Guillermo del Toro is currently developing NAOKI URASAWA’S MONSTER (also published by VIZ Media) into a live-action mini-series for HBO.

No stranger to accolades and awards, Urasawa is a three-time recipient of the prestigious Shogakukan Manga Award, a two-time recipient of the Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize, and has received the Kodansha Manga Award. Urasawa has also become involved in the world of academia, and in 2008 accepted a guest teaching post at Nagoya Zokei University, where he teaches courses in, of course, manga.

For more information on NAOKI URASAWA’S 20th CENTURY BOYS and other VIZ Media manga titles, please visit www.viz.com/manga.

About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan. Owned by three of Japan’s largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. With its popular digital manga anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and INUYASHA, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages. VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products. Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at www.VIZ.com.

About the Author:

Lissa Pattillo is the owner and editor of Kuriousity.ca. Residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia she takes great joy in collecting all manners of manga genres, regretting that there's never enough time in the day to review or share them all. Along with reviews, Lissa is responsible for all the news postings to the website and works full time as a web and graphic designer.

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