Rumiko Takahashi, the manga creator behind works like Maison Ikkoku, Ranma 1/2, Inu Yasha and many more, is up for the Angoulême Grand Prix, a prestigious French comics award.
The award is presented yearly at the Angoulême International Comics Festival in Angoulême, France, which takes place in January.
According to Wikipedia, the award is generally given to French and Belgian authors, and only one woman has since its inception in 1974. That gives Takahashi long odds, perhaps, but she wouldn’t be the first Japanese person to win: it’s previously been given to Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball) and Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira).
The other comics creators up for the award are Emmanuel Guibert and Chris Ware.
Here’s the festival’s official description of Takahashi (automatically translated from the French):
Forty years of a blistering career, more than 200 million copies sold worldwide, entered the Eisner Hall of Fame in 2018, Rumiko Takahashi is undoubtedly one of the major players of the world comics. Born October 10, 1957, Rumiko Takahashi is very early interested in comics, and from the middle school, offers her first works to magazines. Towards the end of her first year at the university, she enrolls in the gekiga workshop founded by the great writer Kazuo Koike, who is formal: “you, you will become pro”. This prophecy is realized the following year, in 1978, when Rumiko Takahashi starts the publication of Urusei Yatsura (Lum) in the pages of the weekly Sunday. Chaining successes with Maison Ikkoku and Ranma 1/2, she will quickly become the queen of shônen manga – the animated adaptations of her series contributing to establish her popularity well beyond the borders of the Japanese archipelago. In a society where we do not accept the difference (“the nail that sticks up gets hammered down”, says a well-known saying), Rumiko Takahashi has always focused on highlighting the underdog and the eccentric, arguing their right to a second chance. Known for defects but also deeply human, her heroes have thus marked more than a generation of readers, in a work that, often in the guise of comedy, is extremely progressive.
The Angoulême Grand Prix will be awarded January 23.