Mini-Essay — The 2018 Crunchyroll Anime Awards Results

Alright let’s just cut to the chase.

Here’s how I’m talking about the anime awards this year. I go through each category, tell you the winner, tell you what I would have personally picked, and then give my opinion on everything surrounding said categories from nominees to my feelings on the actual winner. I’ll be going in order based on how the nominations are categorized on the official site with the exception of Anime of the Year, which I’ll leave for last. You can look at the award winners for yourself at this link or this video.

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Best Protagonist

Winner: Rimuru from That Time I Got Reincarnated As a Slime

My Preferred Choice: Ash Lynx from Banana Fish

You know, I understand why Yumeko Jabami is amongst the nominees, but how many people actually watched Kakegurui on Netflix as opposed to the many fans who just pirated it the year it came out in Japan? I’d complain about it more if it wasn’t for how I think Yumeko was honestly the best nomination amongst this selection. I know that’s an unpopular opinion, especially since this is more due to her charisma than having a great character arc, but I just don’t find the other five to be all that interesting.

Retsuko is okay, but nothing stand out if you’ve ever seen one of these workplace comedies. Violet is alright too, but again, nothing great. I’ve already talked about why I didn’t like Joe as a protagonist in the Megalo Box review. Sakuta and Rimuru, I just don’t respect as protagonists at all given how they’re more like reactionary avatars who don’t really grow over the course of their respective shows. That said, I would have preferred Sakuta winning over Rimuru.

Seriously? Rimuru is the winner of best protagonist? Yeah I’m aware Reincarnated As a Slime is the hottest shit right now and all that, but Rimuru is such a boring lead character. He has no flaws, he never goes through any sort of growth, his past as a middle-aged working man in Japan might as well not exist, and I dislike how the only reason he can talk about bringing peace to the world is because nobody can challenge him. Even Yumeko struggled against her opponents half the time.

If Ash was a nomination, he’d definitely get my vote. I loved his personality and his development pretty much carried the show. I also would have accepted Sugimoto from Golden Kamuy, Haruo from High Score Girl, or…actually that’s it. A lot of noticeable anime protagonists these days have to rely on a group to carry them (Zombieland Saga, A Place Further than The Universe, Hinamatsuri), and I very rarely like the few that try to stand out on their own. Still though…Rimuru? Really?

Best Antagonist

Winner: All For One from My Hero Academia

My Preferred Choice: Akane Shinjo from SSSS Gridman

Now the nominees for this category was actually really good with the obvious exception of Ainz, who is clearly not the antagonist of Overlord. There’s a difference the main character being the bad guy and the main character just being a dick you want to see lose in the end, y’know. I would have replaced Ainz with Kenny from Attack on Titan personally. Hell I would have done Dino Golzine from Banana Fish. I know none of the bad guys in that series were all that good, but there aren’t that many anime that actually have real antagonists when you get down to it, and at least I can remember Dino. That’s why I have no problem with Yuri from Megalo Box amongst the nominees as long as he doesn’t win. And as long as we don’t resort to the aliens in Franxx, I think we’re fine with how this category turned out.

Having said all of that, I’m not a big fan of All For One winning this category. He barely has any screentime in his own show, and quite frankly, I don’t see what makes him so interesting other than being the omnipresent big bad. In fact, I can’t recall anything he did other than getting beat by All-Might. Even if Akane couldn’t win due to SSSS Gridman being kind of cult in the West, Ryo should have at least taken the lead. Hell, if you were going to put any of the Hero Academia antagonists in this category, I would have preferred Himiko Toga over All For One.

Best Boy

Winner: Deku from My Hero Academia

My Preferred Choice: Not Really Sure

I’m not one of those anime fans who cares about best boy or best girl unless it’s Danganronpa, so I don’t have much of an opinion regarding who would win this. I didn’t like Sakuta from Bunny Girl Senpai, but I know a lot of people do, so I have no issue with him being on the list. However, I do have to contest both Deku from Hero Academia due to how he shouldn’t be allowed to run again, as well as Haida from Aggretsuko, who doesn’t have much to him besides being the typical third wheel character in Retsuko’s life. Goro from Darling in the Franxx would have been a much better choice, and for the second replacement, I’d go with Haruo from High Score Girl.

Joe I don’t have a problem with because his personality is decent. Kotaro is very popular so I get why he’s here. And Honda-san is, well, Honda-san. Overall, I wouldn’t have minded any of these guys winning except for Deku and Haida. Unfortunately, Crunchyroll voters are very biased towards My Hero Academia characters, so of course he ended up winning. Now we’ve got two male characters from Hero Academia winning these awards. God, Bakugo is going to win next year isn’t he?

Best Girl

Winner: Mai Sakurajima from Bunny Girl Senpai

My Preferred Choice: Either of the SSSS Gridman girls or Tae Yamada from Zombieland Saga

Again, not much opinion on who should win this; but being a straight male, I do have some more bias towards this category. For one thing, why the hell is Lily from Zombieland Saga in there? That’s a rhetorical question obviously because I’ve seen the reaction to her episode, but the common consensus is that Saki and Tae were the MVPs of that show with Tae being my personal favorite because “reasons”. Also, I really liked the fanbase and the memes surrounding both main girls from SSSS Gridman and would have liked to see one of them represented and/or win, but I digress.

Aside from Lily, I preferred Rin to Nadeshiko in Yuru Camp. I think Zero Two should have been nominated even though I didn’t like how the show made her boring in the last third of the series due to how she encompasses like half the fanart of 2018’s anime girls to this day. Historia from Attack on Titan really shined this season, but addressing her would require a majority of the judges to still keep on with Attack on Titan wouldn’t it? But other than that, I like the selection enough. Anzu, Hinata, and Mai all have large fanbases with Mai being the most memetic of the bunch, whilst Asirpa is decent. Would have replaced her with Zero Two or Historia, but I digress.

Anyways, Mai was the winner and I have no problem with that. Like I said, she’s basically a meme at this point. I may not like Bunny Girl Senpai or the titular character all that much, but I understand that she’s every guy’s dream in regards to being a girlfriend who implicitly trusts the lead character when he’s hanging out with other girls and doesn’t give him bullshit for petty reasons, on top of being pretty and successful. And there’s nothing wrong with a dream, right?

Best Opening Sequence

Winner: Kiss of Death from Darling in the Franxx

My Preferred Choice: Abadana Necromancy from Zombieland Saga

There were a lot of good openings this year, so it would have been hard to narrow the choices down to six. Having said that, I don’t understand the appeal of the Wotakoi opening. I know I have a huge dislike for Wotakoi in general, but it just doesn’t have much personality, and the song doesn’t sound very unique. Also, thank god this was the only category Wotakoi was nominated in. While a lot of people seem to see the show as good, it barely showed up on any of the top lists I looked at, and I couldn’t be happier for it.

A lot of people may dislike Darling in the Franxx, but that opening was pretty kick-ass. Not my personal favorite, but it had unique visuals that matched with the song, and said song was decent in of itself. No real complaints, especially since this is pretty much the only category Franxx had a shot of winning in the first place. Hope you fanboys/girls are happy it got something.

Best Ending Sequence

Winner: Akatsuki no Requiem from Attack on Titan 3

My Preferred Choice: Not Really Sure

While there are a lot of ending songs I enjoy, does anyone remember the animation used for the actual sequences every time a show ended? I remember Violet walking during her ending sequence and that’s it. I remember the ending sequence for Darling in the Franxx and SSSS Gridman showing off the female cast. Bunny Girl Senpai’s was kinda neat in how it changed the girl on the beach depending on the arc. Hisone & Masotan had a funky ending song, but the visuals were just the lead female dancing, which I don’t find to be all that amusing. After the Rain’s ending song was godly, but the visuals of just a spinning umbrella under rain doesn’t get me excited.

As for Attack on Titan’s ending winning, I honestly don’t remember what it looked or sounded like. Not interested in looking it up either. I’ll just accept the public opinion and let everyone else argue the semantics of this category.

Best VA Performance (JP)

Winner: Mamoru Miyano from Zombieland Saga

My Preferred Choice: Rin from Yuru Camp

The problem with Japanese voice actors is that whilst they’re all good for the most part, there’s very few that stand out in their voice acting unless they’re just playing themselves like Mamoru Miyano or Hanakana. And while they’re both good at their jobs, I’m a little tired of how they sound the same in every role they play now. Apparently I’m in the minority on that because Miyano ended up winning for his Kotaro performance. Well at least it wasn’t for his performance in Steins;Gate 0, which thank god wasn’t nominated for anything this year.

I’m trying to think of distinct voice acting from Japan in 2018 and the only thing that comes to mind is Rin from Yuru Camp for some reason. Maybe it’s the somewhat defeated voice her seiyuu gave her. I dunno, but apparently a lot of people thought she was good enough to be a nominee, so I definitely wasn’t the only one who thought her performance was distinct. Too bad she didn’t win.

Best VA Performance (EN)

Winner: Christopher Sabat from My Hero Academia

My Preferred Choice: Kari Wahlgren from either FLCL. I also liked the Aggretsuko and High Score Girl dubs.

I like Christopher Sabat and all, but I just don’t understand why people think his All-Might voice is great. It doesn’t sound nearly as booming or commanding as his other roles (although to be fair, the dub clips they showed when he won were actually good, so maybe he just shines when he’s required to fight). Obviously though, the people who watch Hero Academia dubbed disagree, and thus once again that show wins another fucking award. Even when it’s not the most nominated anime of the year, Hero Academia still sweeps the competition. Look, I’m against diversity for its own sake, but I’m also against the champion re-entering the competition whilst doing nothing to distinguish himself from last year. In other words, stop putting Hero Academia in these awards shows, Crunchyroll.

As for the rest, I generally only watch dubs if it’s a comedy or if it’s a terrible show that I just don’t want to pay attention to, so what I listed in the “my preferred choice’ section of this category is the best I’ve got. I’ve heard Bloom Into You’s dub is good, but I haven’t listened to it. Some people say Zero Two’s dub voice acting was horrible, but I didn’t think it was as bad as Erika Harlacher’s Violet. That dub in general wasn’t very good, but that voice just did not match. Finally, I heard that part in the Attack on Titan dub where Historia called Eren a whiny bitch. I’m not the biggest fan of that show’s English track, but it can be really funny, and I really want to see that entire episode dubbed just for Historia’s verbal beatdown.

Best Director

Winner: Masaaki Yuasa from Devilman Crybaby

My Preferred Choice: Devilman Crybaby

I really like this category and the nominations with the exception of Planet With. The direction and production in that show was decent, but like practically everything made by J.C. Staff, it doesn’t pop the same way all of these other nominees have. Would have much preferred SSSS Gridman on here instead. I definitely wouldn’t have minded if Violet Evergarden was dropped off either, as the directing was great on the standout scenes but not so much everywhere else, and it doesn’t help that Banana Fish is also in this category. Even if Hiroko Utsumi doesn’t work for KyoAni anymore, it’s hard to not see the experience working with that studio in Banana Fish, and while Violet had better animation, I think Banana Fish beats it out in terms of directing.

But at the end of the day, Yuasa’s directing is in a class of its own. And apparently the public agrees with me, because he ended up winning. Congratulations Yuasa. After being a somewhat underground director for so long, you deserve to become recognized by the mainstream.

Best Animation

Winner: Violet Evergarden

My Preferred Choice: Violet Evergarden

I mean, was there any competition for this category? Even with all of the complaints of it being over-animated and the like, Violet wins hands-down. You want to complain about its usage of color composition and cramped atmosphere, go to the best director category. Animation-wise, there’s nothing that beats it. Although if Hero Academia won this one too, I would have both laughed and destroyed everything around me at the same time.

Now as for the other nominees, I would have replaced Bloom Into You and My Hero Academia with Irodoku (despite disliking everything else about it, you can’t deny the fantastic and unique watercolor presentation it had) and either Banana Fish or Yuru Camp as the third place spot. Also, I’d replace Devilman Crybaby with Hisone & Masotan because as much as the story and characters sucked in that show, those dragons and the overall animation/artstyle were definitely one-of-a-kind in the best way. At the very least, it beats out Devilman Crybaby’s animation, which is not very good by itself (don’t think I don’t notice all of those unfinished faces and other animation errors that Yuasa tries to hide from us with his godly direction) and looks too much like Yuasa’s other works even if you disregard that.

Other than that, we all saw this coming. Just be glad Megalo Box hasn’t won a single award despite being nominated for so many of them.

Best Film

Winner: What the fuck do you think won this?

My Preferred Choice: Liz and the Blue Bird

Now the nominees for this category were the most fucking horseshit thing I ever saw. Everyone has already complained about Fireworks getting on the list whilst Maquia got snubbed, but that still doesn’t make said list any less dumb. At least take out Mazinger Z: Infinity, because how many people actually watched that movie? I’m sure it had less screenings than freaking Maquia at the very least. But yeah, we all knew Two Heroes was going to win. It was the only movie a lot of people saw. Pretty bullshit, but what can you do? I’m sure Dragon Ball Super: Broly will be winning this award next year as well.

I’m really hoping that in the future, anime movies get some more screenings so more people can see them and not making these contests so one-sided.

Best Character Design

Winner: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Golden Wind

My Preferred Choice: Either Zombieland Saga or Cells at Work

For this award, I basically just went with the logic of asking which cosplay of an anime do I like the best. And the two stood out the most for me was Cells at Work for its fun anime interpretations of what goes on in the human body and Zombieland Saga for the zombie forms and how the injuries foreshadow how the characters died whilst being distinct and cute. Now for some reason, Cells at Work didn’t get nominated for anything this year, let alone this list. However, I was happy that Zombieland Saga got in. In addition to the zombies, you had Kotaro, Romeo, Policeman A, and a bunch of other nice-looking supporting characters.

As for the other nominees, I have issues with all of them. With Violet Evergarden…well there’s a reason why Violet is the only character from that show who ever gets cosplayed. The other designs aren’t bad, but they look too much like every other KyoAni character design except with European clothing. With Megalo Box, Joe’s design is cool and so are his named antagonists’, but that’s it. Aggretsuko is just adult Hello Kitty, so that’s an obvious no. Jojo does have great designs and I love saying “is that a Jojo reference” to every Jojo cosplayer I come across, but I’m getting tired of praising the show for that for similar reasons that I’m getting tired of praising Hero Academia for anything.

Of course, Jojo was the winner. Not really unexpected given its large fanbase and all. Given how it didn’t even get nominated for any other awards like Hero Academia did (edit: actually it got nominated for best OP too), plus this is a brand new cast like with all Jojo iterations, I’ll give it a pass. I hope to see cosplay of the mafia daughter at later conventions.

Best Fight

Winner: All Might vs One For All

My Preferred Choice: The Boruto fight scene

Anime action is kind of rare as is, and it’s usually crap when it does happen, so I don’t think much regarding best fight scenes and all that. I guess I would have liked one of the action scenes in Banana Fish to get in over the beam spamming in Devilman Crybaby, and I prefer the Deku vs Bakugo fight over the All Might vs One For All fight. Other than that, the Boruto fight wins hands-down if you just look at it by itself. Seriously, nothing even comes close.

However, Hero Academia ended up winning because it is Hero Fucking Academia. I don’t even care anymore. Next category.

Best Continuing Series

Winner: Dragon Ball Super

My Preferred Choice: March Comes In Like a Lion

Now this category is where I think every sequel and long-running series should go from now on. In other words, get My Hero Academia in here and don’t nominate Magus Bride for any of last year’s awards until it actually finishes. Also, don’t think I haven’t noticed that Magus Bride didn’t get nominated for anything else this year. Just goes to show how little staying power that series actually had.

Anyways, the winner was Dragon Ball Super, which makes sense given how that series’ traffic always crashed the Crunchyroll servers every time a new episode aired. Kinda surprised it beat out critical acclamations like March Comes In Like a Lion and Magus’ Bride, but given how the former doesn’t have the biggest fanbase and the latter ended up fading from memory, maybe I shouldn’t be.

Anime of The Year

Winner: Devilman Crybaby

My Preferred Choice: SSSS Gridman

I don’t have too much of a problem with the nominees and the winner themselves, and you guys already know my opinions on the actual shows chosen for this category. But when you look at everything surrounding said category, that’s when things get really stupid. First off, I know everyone has pointed this out already, but even though I like Zombieland Saga more than most of the nominations and it was the most popular Fall anime in Japan, there’s something wrong about it competing with shows like Violet Evergarden and Devilman Crybaby and even Hinamatsuri for AOTY. I know a few of the judges hated Bunny Girl Senpai at the first episode after Sakuta insulted a girl by saying she was on her period, and let’s be honest, the animation/direction was the epitome of mediocre. But Bunny Girl Senpai had way more critical acclaim and popularity in the West, so why isn’t that a nomination?

Also, I think six nominations for an important category like anime of the year is just too low in general. Personally, I would have expanded this category to just every anime and let the audiences write in their personal choice rather than just vote. Yes that method comes with its own risks, but awards shows are just meant to be a fun time anyway, so I don’t think anyone would care too much if Pingu in the City ended up winning due to voting bots. Also, Hero Academia, Sword Art Online (not the GGO spinoff), and Steins;Gate 0 would not be allowed because fuck sequels thinking they can get a second shot by just doing the same shit. Jojo can stay because it’s a different story and cast with each sequel.

Either way, I didn’t mind any of these six winning, because I either liked them or respected them enough to leave them off the worst list (edit: okay, that’s a bit of a lie. Megalo Box can stay forgotten for all eternity). Yeah I wasn’t a fan of Hinamatsuri, but it was a very well-made show and it’s a shame that Feel makes anime of its quality only once in a blue moon. And while Zombieland Saga is far from a masterpiece, I respect that a lot of people found it to be very heartwarming and relatable, even though I wish Lily didn’t cause so much controversy.

As such, I have no problem with Devilman Crybaby being the winner of this award. It may not have impressed me, but it definitely impressed a lot of people and there’s no denying its technical merits and impactful scenes, regardless of what I think of the overall story and characters. So yeah, good on you Yuasa for making such a mind-blowing anime that grabbed many people’s attention.

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In my honest opinion, the Crunchyroll Anime Awards results were better than the last two years, but a bunch of the nominations were still a load of horseshit, and My Hero Academia winning a bunch of awards again is just plain stupid. The categories themselves were a big improvement in that I like every single one, and the only category I might add is best “underrated” anime. I’ve already gone on before that I don’t like diversity for the sake of it which is why the genre categories can stay out of these awards, and I like how “best hero” got reworked into “best protagonist” so it’s a little more clear what the intention is. I like how categories like best CG, best couple, and so on and so forth were removed because those are just too situational to give a shit about. The soundtrack category being removed was a little eh, but apparently barely anyone voted in said category last year so I understand that.

The problem with the nominations is that they’re too obviously biased towards what the Crunchyroll side of things like, and even that’s not consistent. You’ll notice the lack of Cells at Work amongst this selection despite it being a huge CR favorite, the most popular new IP of its respective season, and one of the most cosplayed anime to come from this year. Funny how none of the people complaining about Goblin Slayer being left off the nominations mentioned that. And this is why you need guys like me who watch all of the popular shit so he can give judgments that are as close to unbiased as humanly possible.

As for suggested improvements, I’d say that anyone who was in the running for a category last year should be forbidden from running again next year (in other words, Deku should never be nominated for anything ever again). I’d prefer that a show only get nominated if it finished in the respective year rather than started. I’d extend the number of nominations with special mention to the “Anime of the Year” award and have half the nominations chosen by judges whilst half are done by popular vote. Because while I can kinda understand Goblin Slayer being left out of the nominations due to how a lot of fans of the novels/manga ended up not liking the anime, unless Shield Hero ends up doing something similar, there’s no way Crunchyroll can justify leaving it out given the huge fanbase along with how it’s something they co-produced. If they keep the judging process they have now and Shield Hero gets shut out, it’s going to come off like Crunchyroll are “censoring” anime they don’t agree with, and censorship is pretty much the worst thing you can do to something you don’t agree with.

Or alternatively, you could just not have the Anime Awards anymore. Because my god, the production values this year were utter trash.

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  • Aware of how a producer the president of Bones got nominated for an Industry Icon award, but I refuse to acknowledge an award no one voted for.
  • The tears from the people crying that Aggretsuko and A Place Further Than The Universe (which I heard barely lost to Devilman for anime of the year) got robbed are delicious.
  • Definitely do not regret watching the Alita movie over that livestream.
  • Personally, I’d think an Anime Razzies could be fun if they were done in the style of Yahtzee Croshaw’s old awards show.
  • Honestly, which category would you want Goblin Slayer to be in anyways? Best girl and best protag are the only ones I can think of where it might deserve a nomination, and it definitely wouldn’t win either.
  • Reminder that all of the anime came from 2018 despite this awards show airing in 2019

5 responses to “Mini-Essay — The 2018 Crunchyroll Anime Awards Results

  1. If there’s any category Bloom into You should be nominated, it’s in the direction category. I was puzzled that it got a nod on the animation part when the show looks and moves so… plain. I can understand if we got OreGairu zoku levels of body movements there but.. ugh, I just want to say the show was put in the wrong category.

    Also, wow. Megalo Box won zero out of eight nominations. Haha.

    • Also, wow. Megalo Box won zero out of eight nominations. Haha.

      The judges were really shilling for that and Aggretsuko to the point that I had to laugh. But as I said in the review, Megalo Box just isn’t exemplary in anything. Violet Evergarden and Devilman Crybaby got shilled hard too, but it’s hard to deny the former deserved best animation and the latter deserved best direction. Would have been nice if Universe won Anime of the Year, so it’d have one award as well, but I have no issue with the true winner.

  2. Pingback: In Case You Missed It 2019 #8 – 100 Word Anime

  3. “I’m really hoping that in the future, anime movies get some more screenings so more people can see them and not making these contests so one-sided.”

    It’s not about screens and screenings, it’s about MHA being a hugely popular shonen franchise.

    For my money, I think the structure of this year’s awards was decidely inferior to last years. Taking out the genre categories pretty much removed any potential for legitimacy the awards had. But then, they’re not meant to be legitimate awards… They’re mean to promote Crunchy as a brand.

    • It’s not about screens and screenings, it’s about MHA being a hugely popular shonen franchise.

      So is Hunter x Hunter. I’m not really sure why the movies for that weren’t promoted more (aside from being complete shit I mean). And even if Hero Aca still would have won in the end, does that really excuse the number of Youtube videos that went “Two Heroes was all I saw, so I’m voting for it?”.

      But then, they’re not meant to be legitimate awards… They’re mean to promote Crunchy as a brand.

      A piss-poor promotion in my opinion because practically no one is talking about the awards show after it finished besides no-names and Youtube comments. I think I’m the only blog who’s bothered to cover it, and hardly anyone reads my stuff.

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