I was originally planning on writing a discussion about something else entirely, but I can’t get the Crunchyroll Anime Awards out of my head. This post was written the day after the nominees were presented to the public for voting, so you now have some insight in how far ahead I write some my posts. Writing this post is going to help me sleep. Don’t worry about that other topic. That other, more fun one will appear possibly next week or the week after. Depends on which topic hits my mind first. At this moment, these Crunchyroll anime awards are the highlight of all major anime discourse. To me, it seems like the whole thing is what happens when a creator has a failing machine that kinds of works, but keeps attaching more and more cool things to it or streamlines other things without solving the problem. The end result is that the machine not only lost it’s original purpose, but still isn’t working that will.
The first problem are that a lot of categories. All of the genre awards were taken out in favor of more character focused awards show with an “Anime of the Year” award at the end. That’s honestly a completely strange idea to me. Maybe I am the weird one that only wanted the “Anime of the Year” award taken out away from the award’s show entirely? Why do we have to have one solidly defined anime to represent each year? More anime is produced every year or even in one season then AAA games, movies, mainstream books, and other things that keep people busy. Instead of making everybody mad over one anime, make them just a little angry over what a definitive list instead? What about best romcom, best mecha series, best shonen anime, and many more? Look at 2018 and it’s wide variety of anime that appeared in it, people. Does it make sense to have one series to define 2018? I honestly don’t think so.
Then the selections of anime in each category are suspect as well. The judges are mostly older fans with some exceptions that have found success and influence in their little spheres. There is nothing wrong with finding success in itself, but there is a problem with them being selected in an attempt to give the anime awards some sort of clout. As much as I am turning into an older fan myself and kind of favoring newer adaptations of older series sometimes, I don’t think that Megalobox, Devilman Crybaby, or the Mazinger Z Movie deserve to be in as many places in these awards as they are. These shows aren’t as strong or master pieces as some other creative works that came out this past year. Though, I don’t know anything about the Mazinger Z Movie despite wanting to see it. I’m saying this as a person who is enjoying Megalobox for the second time dubbed on Toonami, by the way. Having most of this year’s six choices in each category taken up by older series seems like a bad choice, then again that’s my opinion. (Maybe I don’t have to state that in this blog?)
Next, why does anime need an awards show to replicate and/or be something similar to the Oscars in the first place? Those are all industry awards for people who work on film or video games in our culture. As much as some people would like it to be, anime is not apart of our culture. I do realize that anime is slowly having a larger and larger influence in western culture because nobody seems to know what originality is anymore. Even with that in mind, anime still doesn’t much clout over here. Despite anime’s growing sphere of influence, it’s still those strange cartoons from Japan. Having judges with supposed clout in their sphere of influence isn’t going to put more clout and appeal into anime itself. Limiting choices in each category to six based on these supposed judges influence does nothing by limit choices for the rest of the anime sphere. Why limit choices? Why don’t you let every anime that came this year have a shot for a title in categories that make sense for them? Curated lists just don’t make sense to me in this instance.
In the end, awards shows are always going to be popularity contests. That’s always what they have been with a biased point of view. Anime is something that I love and while I can’t deny that I want to see it more popular, let’s not borrow other ideas to spread this flawed award’s show concept around more? Unlike other awards shows, why can we just let the public loose to vote for what they want to vote for? I know there are plenty of flaws with that too. For instance, the last two sets of the Anime Awards have been the Yuri on Ice and My Hero Academia awards. What can you do? Most anime fans who use don’t dig into the non main stream shows. I do think that voting for best in different genres of shows is going to help with that a little bit. This year’s Anime Awards are just more flawed then ever. I know I said that this year was ok at first, but it really isn’t.