Costume designer Eiko Ishioka (b.1939) died on January 21 from pancreatic cancer. Ishioka won an Academy Award for her work on Bram Stoker’s Dracula and also designed costumes for The Cell, The Fall, Immortals, and the upcoming Mirror, Mirror. She recently helped design costumes for teh Broadway show Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Ishioka also won a Grammy Award for the cover design of the Miles Davis album, Tutu.
The winners of the Japanese Seiun Awards, voted on by attendees of Donbura Con L, the 50th Japanese Science Fiction Convention, we announced on September 3.
- Japanese Novel: Kyonen wa Ii Toshi ni Narudarou (Last Year Was Probably a Good Year), by Yamamoto Hiroshi
- Japanese Short Story: “Arisuma-oo no Aishita Mamono” (“King Arisuma’s Beloved Demon”), by Ogawa Issui
- Foreign Novel: Eifelheim, by Michael Flynn
- Foreign Short Story: “Carry the Moon in My Pocket,” by James Lovegrove
- Media: District 9
- Comics: Hagane no Renkinjutsushi (Fullmetal Alchemist), by Arakawa Hiromu
- Art: Naoyuki Katou
- Non-fiction: Sa wa saiensu no sa (Sa is for Science), by Tsukasa Shikano
- Open category: Hayabusa (MUSES-C) space probe
Japanese animator Osamu Dezaki (b.1943) died on April 17. Dezaki was the director of Space Adventure Cobra, The Mighty Orbots, and Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light. Dezaki was known for his signature “Postcard Memory,” in which the animation would freeze and be replaced by a stylized illustration of the same image. Dezaki also worked under the pseudonym “Makura Saki.”
Japanese voice actor Takeshi Watabe (b.1936) died on December 13 of pneumonia. Watabe provided voice work for several anime series, including Doraemon, Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory, and Legend of the Galactic Heroes. He also wrote a book on voice acting.
Tokyo has banned the sale of manga that depicts rape, incest, and other sexual crimes to anyone under the age of 18. Anyone caught violating this rule faces a fine of ¥300,000 ($3,570). A group of publishers has threatened to boycott the Tokyo International Anime Fair in March 2011 over what they see as an attempt at censorhip.
Producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki (b. Hirofumi Nishizaki, 1934) died on November 7 after falling overboard off the coast of Chichijima Island. Nishizaki wrote and produced the anime series Space Cruiser Yamato, Star Blazers, and Space Battleship Yamato among others. He was wearing a wetsuit and was believed to be planning on going for a swim at the time of his accident.
Animator Satoshi Kon (b. 1963) died on August 24. Kon began drawing manga for Young magazine and eventually became an animator, working on films including Rojin Z and Memories. In 1998, he directed Perfect Blue. He was currently working on The Dream Machine.
The Seiun Award winners were announced in Japan the weekend of August 6. Traditionally, the awards for translated works are presented to the winners at Worldcon.
- Best Novel: Guin Saga series, by Kaoru Kurimoto
- Best Short Story: “Jisei no yume,” by Hirotaka Tobi
- Best Translated Novel: The Last Colony, by John Scalzi
- Best Translated Short Story: “Dark Integers,” by Greg Egan
- Best Dramatic Presentation: Summer Wars
- Best Graphic Novel: Pluto, by Naoki Urasawa, Osamu Tezuka, Takashi Nagasaki, and Makoto Tezuka
- Best Artist: Naoyuki Kato
- Best Non-Fiction: Nihon SF Seishin-shi, by Yasuo Nagayama
- Best SF-Related Activity: Gundam 30th Anniversary Project Real G the Statue of Gundam
- Special Prize: Takumi Shibano
Author Gene van Troyer (b.1950) died on July 18. Van Troyer not only wrote his own science fiction, but also worked to translate Japanese science fiction into English. His poetry appeared in numerous science fiction magazines and he was one-time editor of Star*Line. He first visited Japan as an exchange student in 1974 and has been living in Japan for the last several years.