Organizers wanted to make a change at event’s 40-year anniversary.

Weekly Shonen Magazine and Weekly Young Magazine are manga anthologies. Their serialized comics aren’t the only things people buy them for, though, as each issue also contains at least one gravure model photo shoot.

That’s true of a lot of other manga magazines as well, but publisher Kodansha is particularly open about the appeal of photos of beautiful women in sexy outfits, annually holding a Miss Magazine contest with the winners selected by a panel of judges and reader votes. This year’s contest drew 3,108 applicants and the six award winners have just been announced, but the award ceremony looked a little different than usual.

The winners of the Miss Magazine awards all wore white, as is tradition for the event. However, instead of appearing in white bikinis, as pervious years’ winners have, the 2022 awardees wore elegant dresses with conservative neck and hemlines.

A PR representative for the event explained the wardrobe shift with:

“On the occasion of the award’s 40th presentation ceremony, we wanted to revise the image that ‘Miss Magazine equals swimsuits.’”

This year’s Grand Prix was jointly awarded to 19-year-old Yuna Sakita and 18-year-old Koko, the first time for the prize to be shared among two entrants. Also receiving awards were Mizuki Asakura (Miss Young Magazine Award), Rina Saito (Miss Weekly Shonen Magazine Award), Suzu Sannomiya (Readers’ Special Award), and Sara Fujimoto (Judges’ Special Award).

While the awards ceremony wardrobe change has been met with a certain amount of grumbling online, it’s not as though bikinis have been removed from the Miss Magazine competition entirely. In the runup to the ceremony, each of the 16 finalists appeared in a promotional video with no shortage of swimsuit content. For example, here are the videos for Sakita and Koko.

Oh, and as far as we know, none of this year’s contestants are the descendants of any 7th century diplomats.

Sources: Daily Sports via Yahoo! Japan News, PR Times
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