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Viz Media proves that the company is on the right track after reviewing a whopping four Eisner award nominations this year. Will Eisner Comics Industry Awards is a coveted award nomination from the prestigious award that recognizes only the best comic and manga adaptations. The category (Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Asia) holds three nominations from Viz titles including: All You Need Is Kill, with original story by Hiroshi Sakurazaka and art by Takeshi Obata, Master Keaton, Vol. 1 by Naoki Urasawa, with story by Hokusei Katsushika and Takashi Nagasaki, and finally One-Punch Man, with story by ONE and artwork by Yusuke Murata. To complete an already impressive nomination slate, Hello Kitty, Hello 40: A Celebration In 40 Stories was nominated for Best Publication for Early Readers. The winners will be announced at this years San Diego Comic Con during the gala ceremony set to take place Friday, July 10th.
Check out who we each individually hope to see come out on top below.
Aedan: I was just recently introduced to the phenomenal series Master Keaton, by the renouned Naoki Urasawa. At first glance, the series is an eccentric lighthearted story of a zoologist and insurance investigator, but after each page you could only feel that there is so much more to this man’s story. We quickly become privy to the impactful individuals that he engages in life like his caring but sometimes overbearing daughter, his distant father with an inkling to flirt with women of all ages, or the love of his life – whom we never get a solid look at. While the plot focuses mainly on Keaton’s insurance investigations you realize that his basic instinct of human compassion leaves Keaton yearning to do good for people, regardless of what they’ve done wrong. Every single chapter provides you with a new story to discover, while additionally adding to the already fascinating developments to Keatons personality. The character himself adds a gentle kindness to a uncanny portrayal of power and strength, creating an idealistic look of what humanity could and should try to resemble. Urasawa took the time to develop a detailed story and introduces intellectual information from war stories to survival tricks, Master Keaton is a smart series that deserves recognition for how effective its storytelling can be.
Amrita: I was drawn to All You Need Is Kill due to The Edge of Tomorrow, which was the live-action film adaptation that starred Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. With a film so strong and action-packed, I was convinced that the source material would prove to be even better. Thankfully, I was right. All You Need Is Kill is a captivating sci-fi story that revolves around Keiji Kiriya. The world is under invasion by alien species called Mimics. Recruits are suited up in battle gear called a Jacket and sent off to kill the menacing Mimics; Keiji is one such recruit. Keiji initially dies out in the battlefield only to wake up hours before the event has occurred; Keiji now finds himself stuck in a time-loop. Each time Keiji dies, he manages to come back to that same exact moment in time. He tries to use this to his advantage and figure the best way to survive the war and defeat the Mimics. After his many resurrections, Keiji receives a message from the all powerful female solider known as Full Metal Bitch (Rita Vrataski). Here is where the story truly takes off. All You Need Is Kill is a truly gripping story that sucks you in and refuses to let go until you've finished the manga in its entirety. Keiji went from being a scared, hesitant solider to a fierce and brave warrior. He grew as a person and as a solider through-out each of his time loops. Despite the same situations repeating themselves, I never once got bored or sick of the time-loop gimmick. If anything, I got pulled deeper and deeper into the story each time Keiji encountered the time-loop. Keiji's transformation was fitting and relatable; it was quite easy for me to put myself in Keiji's shoes (or rather his Jacket). I can't stress enough how fascinating and enthralling All You Need Is Kill truly is. I'm not even a fan of sci-fi and this manga engaged me from start to finish. All You Need Is Kill is a must read and truly deserves the nomination it got for The Eisner Award.