Magical girls and massive mecha were among the award winners announced at Varicon 2012, the 51st annual Japan SF convention, which took place July 7-8 in Yubari, Hokkaido.
The Japan SF Fan Group Association Committee named the anime series "Puella Magi Madoka Magica" and the manga series "Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin" among the winners of the 43rd Seiun (Nebula) Awards.
The Seiun Award is one of Japan's major awards given to works related to science fiction, along with the Nihon SF Taisho Award bestowed by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of Japan. Seiun winners are determined by attendees of the Varicon event who vote for their choice from titles released the previous year.
Produced by anime studio Shaft Inc. and directed by Akiyuki Shinbo, the "Madoka Magica" anime series won the accolade in the Best Dramatic Presentation category, which covers works of film, theater and television. It is the first time in two years that an anime has won in this category.
"Madoka Magica" won a number of awards in 2011, including the Grand Prize in the animation division at the 15th Japan Media Arts Festival.
Yoshikazu Yasuhiko's "Gundam: The Origin," which won in the Best Comic category, ended its serialization in Gundam Ace monthly magazine in June 2011. An anime adaptation is currently under way.
Yasuhiko won in the Best Artist division back in 1981, but it is the first time for a Gundam-related work to take home a Seiun Award.
The winner in the Best Japanese Long Story category was Yasumi Kobayashi's novel "Tengoku to Jigoku" (Heaven and hell), while "Utau Sensuikan to Piapia Douga" (The singing submarine and peer-peer video) by Hosuke Nojiri won in the Best Japanese Short Story division.
The winner in the Best Translated Long Story category was U.S. writer Paolo Bacigalupi's "The Windup Girl," with Ted Chiang's "The Lifecycle of Software Objects" winning the Best Translated Short Story award.
Mechanical designer and illustrator Naohiro Washio won the Best Artist award, and "Azuma Hideo Sotokushu," an anthology dedicated to manga artist Hideo Azuma, won in the Best Non-Fiction category.
No award was given in the Free Entry category.
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