Crunchyroll’s Third Anime Awards Talk

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.

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  1. I will admit, after the last two years I’ve more or less tuned out of the Crunchyroll Awards. I did go and check out what was nominated just to see if there was an improvement and what I found was that in most categories despite the high volume of anime I watched last year with over 45 new series completed, I hadn’t watched a lot of the nominated shows or characters and even when I had watched the nominated show I didn’t feel it belonged in the category or certainly didn’t feel it was one I wanted to vote for in that category.
    I’ve more or less decided these awards are about as relevant to me as the Oscars (which I pretty much tune out every year because what I like doesn’t tend to pick up nominations or awards).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not actually annoyed about them. They are welcome to award whatever they want to award. However, it really is clear that what I found great about last year isn’t going to be represented in these awards so I’ve moved on.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Probably yes more just to see if a show I like this year gets any kind of nod and so I know what people are talking about when they are either praising or bashing the awards. At the same time, I doubt I’ll be all that invested in them or disappointed if the nominations turn out not to be really appealing to me.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the suggestion of ditching the singular “anime of the year” award and having multiple winners by category. That’s closer to what the Golden Globes does where it has separate Best Picture categories for both comedies and dramas, although CR can easily break it down further than that. You’d also spare yourself a situation that way like what happened last year where Made in Abyss somehow won Anime of the Year without even winning the Best Drama category, or any other category besides Best Score.

    I’m less keen on the idea of having a totally non-curated vote, because that opens things up too much to the “tyranny of the majority” (so to speak). I wouldn’t want to see some future year’s equivalent of Yuri on Ice winning “Best Drama Anime,” “Best Romance Anime,” “Best Sports Anime,” “Best Slice of Life Anime,” AND “Best Action Anime” all in the same year just because it had 10 times the viewing audience of every other show. And speaking for myself, I like seeing some deserving choices at least get spotlighted with a nomination, even if they have no chance of winning. Like with the Best Hero category last year, I absolutely loved that Minowa Gin got nominated. If that had been a pure popular vote category I doubt she would’ve finished among the top 200 characters people voted for that year, because nobody watches Yuki Yuna compared to HeroAca or SAO or JoJo or any of the other big franchises, but even if she never had a chance to win any popular vote she was still incredibly heroic and thoroughly deserved her moment in the spotlight as a candidate. But if, for argument’s sake, they did go to a popular vote system over curated nominations, there should still be at least a few limits. Like let’s say they set up 6-8 “Best of” genre categories, they could take all of the anime released that year, assign each of them to ONE or TWO genre categories, and then let the public vote from a list of anywhere from 25-50 shows in each category, however they divide up. That would give people plenty of choices beyond the critical darlings but still ensure that no single series could monopolize all of the genre awards. Something like that I’d be totally fine with.

    And now it looks like I’ve given this topic way more words than it really deserves….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think the awards serve a purpose to just open up debates and celebrate anime. Are they perfect? No. I agree that it is becoming harder and harder to pick an anime of the year. Last year’s slate certainly proved that. While I disagree with some of the choices for nominees, it was still a fun exercise and even helped me settle some debates in my own head. I think having a write in option would really quell many of the issues with the awards.

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  4. I never really gave a thought to the Crunchyroll Awards, mostly cause they normally go to “safe’ and “mainstream” shows that may be good, but don’t seem to have much sway among the wider community.

    Is Goblin Slayer going to get anything? What about Bunny Girl Senpai, or Demon Lord? Probably not. It’ll just be MHA.


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