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Sket Dance Wins Shogakukan Award

Sket Dance, a Weekly Shonen Jump comedy series by Shinohara Kenta, has won the 55th Shogakukan Manga Award in the Shonen category for the year 2009. Sket Dance follows the adventures of the “Sket-Dan,” a small group dedicated to helping students and staff of their school. The character traits and interplay between the group members meshes well with strong comedy writing, which is sometimes appropriately counterbalanced with heartfelt story arcs. Sket Dance has been running in Jump since 2007 but has yet to receive similar recognition from Western audiences as other Jump series, or indeed series in rival magazines. Fan scanlations for the series have fallen behind, and at the time of writing, Sket Dance doesn’t even have a page on Wikipedia.

That said, receiving such a prestigious award is a fantastic honor for the series and could be the sign of a surge in relevance in the next couple years. Volume 11 of Sket Dance debuted at #11 on the Weekly Oricon charts with over 100,000 units sold. Sket Dance also recently received a drama CD, which is typically intended as a precursor to an anime adaptation. Two other Jump series, Bakuman and Nurarihyon no Mago, already have anime adaptations in development, while Toriko received a short OVA for Jump Festa; it would not be surprising if more anime announcements were forthcoming, and Sket Dance would certainly be deserving of consideration. Furthermore, recently-formed scanlation group Iconoclast has announced Sket Dance as its first project.

Sket Dance is now in elite company as only the eighth Jump series to receive this particular award from Shogakukan, the publisher of major magazine rival Weekly Shonen Sunday. The other seven series (and the year they won the award): Play Ball (1976, tie), Dr. Slump (1981), Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin (1986), YuYu Hakusho (1993), Slam Dunk (1994), Hikaru no Go (1999, tie), and Bleach (2004).

Source: Shogakukan, Oricon
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