Enako among the four women and one man taking home awards.

With just a few days left in December, it’s time for last-minute Christmas shopping, thinking of New Year’s resolutions, and, perhaps most importantly, the handing out of the annual All-Japan Gravure Awards.

For those unfamiliar with the term, “gravure” is used in the Japanese media world to describe models who appear in swimwear, lingerie, or generally revealing clothing. Administering the All Japan Gravure Awards is digital media company Net Native, which collected 81,000 votes from fans and has now named the winners of five categories.

Taking home this year’s Grand Prize is none other than Enako. Often referred to as “Japan’s number-one cosplayer,” Enako got her start in the otaku entertainment sphere cosplaying as characters from popular anime series, drawing such unbelievably large crowds for her Comiket photo sessions that she eventually required a whole grassy field to accommodate her fans.

She’s since grown in stature to the point where she’s had non-cosplay projects, and the All-Japan Gravure Awards organizers point to her smooth crossover between otaku and more mainstream audiences as a sign of the evolving nature of gravure work.

Moving on to the Newcomer Award, this year’s recipient is Rio Termaoto.

Teramoto didn’t make her modeling debut this year, as in 2018 she was the winner of manga anthology publisher Kodansha’s highly competitive Miss Magazine gravure contest.

▼ Teramoto cosplaying as Kimetsu no Yaiba’s Mitsuri

However, it wasn’t until March of this year that Teramoto’s first photo album went on sale, which apparently satisfies the eligibility criteria for the Newcomer division.

Winning the Idol Division award for 2020 is Rei Jonishi.

Jonishi is a member of one of the many AKB48 sister groups, NMB48, which takes its name from Osaka’s Namba neighborhood, where the group’s performance theater is located. As such, it was a literally big deal when Jonishi’s first photo album was released last month and promoted with a massive video advertisement in Osaka.

▼ Jonishi says here that she would like everyone to notice that the muscles in the small of her back form a heart shape, but let’s be honest: all anyone is looking at in this photo is the extremely unique wooden latticework on that shoji sliding paper door.

While the term gravure is primarily used to refer to female models, the All-Japan Gravure Awards has a Men’s Division too, which this year was won by Daiki Kanechika.

Kanechika is a member of Exit, which isn’t a boy band but a comedy duo. Because of that, many people are more familiar with Kanechika looking goofy than in-vogue handsome.

However, Kanechika changed a lot of minds, and no doubt raised some heartbeats too, when he showed off his smooth chest and contoured abs on the back cover women’s interest magazine Anan last month.

And last, the Desirable Beautiful Body Award goes to Nicolle Fujita.

The name of the award might seem boldly unabashed even by Japanese standards, but in this case “desirable” is being used in the sense of a physique that female voters themselves would like to have, with the New Zealand-born Fujita, who is of mixed Russian, Portuguese, and Japanese ancestry, being the symbol of their aspirations.

While Enako is the only one of the five winners to have started out as a cosplayer, there are also recent photos of Fujita sporting Sailor Moon’s hairstyle and Kanechika rocking a Dragon Ball Goku-inspired T-shirt, plus Teramoto’s Demon Slayer cosplay above, so this year’s Grand Prize could be a sign of things to come for next year’s awards as well.

Source, images: PR Times
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