What is the Next Manga Awards?
An awards held by voters who decide which will be the next big hit among recent up and coming new manga. Having started in 2017, it has been co-hosted by Kadokawa (BIG name anime corporation) and Japanese streaming service Nico Nico. Every year, thousands of titles are nominated for a Web Manga and a Print Manga category, with fifty each passing the first round. From there, winners are selected in a second round for each category. The Web Manga category specializing in original works being serialized primarily online, while Print Manga specializing in manga primarily being published in print book format. Nominees are considered if they contain less than 5 volumes at the time of the awards, where the top five winners of each category are selected and go on to be popular series and even receiving anime adaptations.
This year, only 40 nominees were chosen, in a highly competitive process of over 3000 submitted titles. Our focus is on the Print Manga category, where I’m in Love with the Villainess is, and hopefully to secure a top 5 ranking. (If you want to vote for it, instructions are at the end of the post).
2017 Winners: source
Web winner: Uramichi Oniisan (anime in summer 2021)
Print winner: Kaguya Sama Love is War (extremely popular, with 2 anime seasons and a 3rd on its way)
2018 Winners: source
2019 winners: source
2020 print winners: source
The Key Findings
Many of these winners (at the time of their rankings) had only less than five volumes released, so getting an anime at the same time would be hard as there would not be much source material to adapt. However, a year or two later, they would get their anime announcement or release, showing that these awards do indeed, predict the next big hits in the industry. We can easily see which winners got an anime.
Additionally, some yuri’s managed to eke out victories as well. (Note: these did not get an anime, but they managed to rank nicely among the 50 nominees).
There are a few extremely popular works that have won, and have won many other recent ranking polls as well such as Spy x Family and the Dangers in my Heart. I’d wager their anime is just a matter of time as well, because money talks. (UPDATE: Spy x Family will be receiving an anime adaptation in 2022, announced June 22, as Rank 1 winner of 2019 web category)
Now what are the key takeaways? Unfortunately, it seems yuri works have little chance to get an anime, but I’d chalk that up them being not as popular hence their lower rankings. BUT, we have some evidence that Ichijinsha (ILTV’s publisher) has had some real gems in the rough that they are investing in, such as My Next Life as a Villainess which was a runaway success which also ranked 4th in the Print Category.
If I were to guess, if I’m in Love with the Villainess ranks in the top 5 this year, I think that makes an extremely strong case for Ichijinsha to look at possibly giving it an anime. Also, we’ve seen in very, very recent times that Ichijinsha is pulling out all the stops to promote ILTV, given their recent Pop-up Store for ILTV merch and all of their special promotional deals for purchasing the recently released volume 2 of the manga. So maybe ILTV is a special case in their eyes, because I have not seen them do this kind of marketing for a yuri work in a long time, if at all.
Predicting the 2021 winners
Now to predict potential top ranking contenders among the 40 nominees…I would boldly claim that Oshi no Ko and Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End will both be in the top 5 at the bare minimum. Oshi no Ko is by the same author as Kaguya Sama, and has been ranking highly in other polls. Additionally, Frieren ranked 1st in the Tsutaya Comic Awards, a highly prestigious manga awards, and will only get more popular.
As for the top 10 contenders, I predict popular big name titles in the up and coming manga such as Medalist, Shangri La Frontier, Sakamoto Days, How to Grill our Love, and Blue Box.
For my really bold prediction, because I believe in the power of the yuri community, I believe I’m in Love with the Villainess will rank top 10 at the minimum. Our fanbase is passionate, and the international fanbase even more so. If it ranks top 5 even, that would be insane, and really push for publishers to keep an eye on it for an anime. It ranked 5th place in AnimeJapan’s 2021 Manga we want to see animated awards among over a hundred other contenders. Now it needs to keep that momentum going.
Other yuri title contenders include Futari Escape, GGWP: Young Ladies don’t play Fighting games, and Stardust Telepath. Interestingly, GGWP already has an anime confirmed, so that’s a small win for us yuri fans. I won’t be focusing on the web category for this year (sorry folks) as I’m too invested in the print category winners. LET’S GO ILTV FANS!
Please Vote for I’m in Love with the Villainess!
Voting Steps (Twitter account is needed):
- Click “Print Manga category”
- Click “Vote NOW” at the bottom of the page
- Select Twitter.
- Select “I’m in Love with the Villainess”
- Click “Go to step 2” at the bottom”
- Select gender and age at bottom of the page, and click “Confirm”. (Comment is optional, to wish Inori Sensei luck)
- Check the box for Terms and Conditions, and click “Submit”
Voting ends July 2nd, and results are announced August 24. GOOD LUCK INORI SENSEI!!! Let’s go YURI FANS!!!!