First Ever American Manga Awards to be Held in NYC This Summer

Anime NYC and Japan Society announced today the launch of the first ever American Manga Awards, which will celebrate the outstanding achievements of professionals in the world of manga – those who have made significant contributions to manga’s popularity, both in North America and Japan.

Manga sales have quadrupled in North America in the last four years, and according to Kristen McLean, Senior Executive Director of the Circana Entertainment Knowledge Group, manga is the 4th largest category in the United States book market (based on 2023 data). In recognition of its growing popularity, the American Manga Awards will focus on “elevating manga creators, great manga stories, and the publishing professionals who make it possible for readers in the US/Canada to discover and enjoy these amazing characters and stories in English”.

“Japan Society has brought artists, leaders, and tastemakers together for over 100 years across business, art, and culture,” said Japan Society President Dr. Joshua Walker. “The American Manga Awards combines all these things and reflects the significance of this medium and its creators. We are honored for professionals from across the manga world to come together at Japan Society and convene on our historic stage. We look forward to being a home to this celebration of the past and future of this dynamic and uniquely Japanese artform that in many ways defines its soft power especially for the next generation.”

“We’re so incredibly honored to bring the American Manga Awards to life in partnership with Japan Society,” said MK Goodwin, Vice President at LeftField Media, the company that produces Anime NYC. “Manga has captivated audiences around the world with its rich storytelling and beautiful artwork. These awards will provide a platform to showcase the incredible talent within the manga community and celebrate its cultural significance.”

The inaugural event will be held in New York City on August 22nd, the night before Anime NYC, in an invite-only ceremony for manga industry professionals and press at Japan Society’s Midtown headquarters.

The American Manga Awards Hall of Fame will honor Japanese manga creators and manga publishing professionals that have made significant contributions to the growth and popularity of manga in America. The first recipient of the Manga Publishing Hall of Fame award will be Frederik L. Schodt, translator and author of Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics (Kodansha), one of the first books in English “that opened the doors to manga’s history, creativity and legendary creators”.

The awards will also feature multiple categories including Best New Manga, Best Continuing Manga Series, Best Translation, Best Lettering, and more. Nominees for these categories will be selected by a panel of subject matter experts and luminaries in the world of Japanese comics.

  • Best Translation nominees will be selected by translators and authors Matt Alt (Pure Invention: How Japan’s Pop Culture Influenced the World) and Hiroko Yoda (Yokai Attack! and the upcoming Eight Million Ways to Happiness).
  • Best Lettering nominees will be vetted by comics lettering pros Tom Orzechowski (Uncanny X-Men, Marvel Comics) and Nate Piekos (Blambot font foundry, and author of The Essential Guide to Comics Lettering). Piekos also contributed to the design of the American Manga Awards logo, which incorporates Blambot fonts Home Planet and Thunderclap.
  • Best Publication Design nominees will be chosen by Kinokuniya Bookstores East Coast Regional Manager Shiegkazu Watanabe and publication designer Sasha Head.
  • Best New Manga, Best Continuing Manga and Best New Edition of Classic Manga nominees will be picked by comics journalists Brigid Alverson (ICv2, School Library Journal), Lynzee Loveridge (Anime News Network), Shaennon Garrity (Otaku USA, Publishers Weekly), Minovsky (@MinovskyArticle), and New York Public Library Senior Librarian – Young Adult Services, Renee Scott.

The nominees for the manga, translation, lettering and publication design categories will be announced in July. The winners will be determined by votes received from professionals working in an editorial capacity with North American (US/Canada) manga publishers, who have either registered to vote via the American Manga Awards website, or have been invited to vote by the American Manga Awards Planning Committee.

Submissions for the American Manga Awards are open now, with detailed guidelines and entry instructions available on Anime NYC’s website. For more information about the American Manga Awards and to stay updated on the latest announcements, please visit and follow Anime NYC and Japan Society on social media.

This year’s Anime NYC is expected to draw 100,000 attendees – its largest crowd ever, taking advantage of being able to utilize the full convention center for the first time. I am hoping that an expanded convention means that we won’t see the gaps in the schedule and notable exhibitor absences from last year’s event.

Author: Jamie Sugah

Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.

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