There Are No Great Anime Awards

One last rant on awards before we move on to something else.

Screen Shot 2023-03-10 at 8.56.12 AM

  • So I took the time to look at some more comments on the recent anime awards since the last time I talked about it, and it’s basically a bunch of misinformed bullshit. Stuff like how Cyberpunk shouldn’t have won Anime of the Year if it didn’t win anything else (this narrative fucking sucks for the record, and I have no idea why anyone cares about it). Stuff like how Demon Slayer didn’t deserve to sweep, but Attack on Titan and Spy x Family did, which is just clear favoritism from a crowd that doesn’t know what the word “objective” means. Stuff like the judges rigged everything because they had 70% of the vote. Stuff like how r/anime and Anime Trending had better awards.
  • There wasn’t really anything I agreed with other than when somebody said that an award was well-deserved. And that the best song category needed to go. I’d also throw in best director, because let’s be honest, nobody knows or gives a fuck what an anime director actually does unless it’s one of the really distinct ones like Yuasa or Imaishi. Yeah I saw Adachi’s style with Lycoris Recoil, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t say about whoever directed Demon Slayer. Basically, it’s pointless and we can do without it, especially when all the nominees are just the same as the anime of the year nominees.
  • But going back to what I said about the awards: while very few of them were my personal picks, it’s no surprise that things wound up the way they did when you take into account who actually votes in the Crunchyroll Awards. Apparently over 18 million people did, which is far more than any of the other awards, who are only in the hundred thousands at best. Now granted, I don’t know if it took into account that daily voting system that I honestly don’t understand why Crunchyroll is using it. Regardless, everyone should know at this point that the majority of Crunchyroll’s user base are people who watch big shonen. They’re not watching Ranking of Kings. They’re not watching Ya Boi Kongming. They’re not even watching My Dress Up Darling. They’re watching Demon Slayer, Spy x Family, and Attack on Titan.
  • A lot of people keep recommending the r/anime awards or Trending over Crunchyroll’s because of how “superior” they are, but I don’t see what makes them superior. They have very different demographics for one thing. R/anime mostly consists of people who have not accepted that anime fandom is no longer the same as it was before the pandemic hit. Trending’s audience is mostly into cute girls and romcoms. Very few of Crunchyroll’s core audience vote for those sites, making them too niche to care about.
  • Additionally, r/anime’s awards are just plain awful because they have too many to the point that I don’t care about any of them. Most of the categories just exist for the sake of giving some obscure anime an award, and the fact that there’s a jury and a public voting awards doubles the already bloated selection into a load of opinions that tries to reach too far into too many things. Also, it’s very recency-biased and tries too hard to be contrarian.
  • Trending’s is better, but it’s nothing more than an unpopular version of the Crunchyroll Awards with a different demographic. The award categories are fine although I think some of the aspect awards need to be trimmed since most people wouldn’t know about things like best storyboarding. But because of the audience, you pretty much knew Bocchi was going to sweep things, and it did. There’s also no jury on that thing for the record. It’s pretty much all popular vote, which is pretty much how that site has alwasy run.
  • Anime Corner’s is okay. The awards are simple. Just genre stuff along with best boy, best girl, and best animation. Attack on Titan did sweep that show with three wins, but that’s far less than the sweeps in the other awards. Every other winner only had one award, meaning everything was spread out as evenly as it could. The only real problem with Corner is, again, only people in a certain demographic vote for it. And it’s all popular vote as well.
  • Which is pretty much why it’s hard to care about any anime awards but Crunchyroll’s. At the end of the day, they’re the biggest one. They have the celebrity guests. They have all the industry people in the room. They don’t get much attention because I think the majority of people voting for them just do it randomly and never look at the results afterwards (I know my friends do this), but it probably would have helped if their ceremony wasn’t so late for people in the West. Whenever I search the awards on Youtube, I mostly get Sykkuno clips. Do I need to clarify that?
  • So you don’t like how the audience are all shonen-lovers? Well tough. You want to see variety on the awards? Well then one thing Crunchyroll needs to do is fix that vote split it has. Contrary to popular belief, a 70-30 split mostly favors the audience because the judges having 70% of the power only favors the judges if they are in consensus regarding what should win. And they very rarely are. As such, giving the audience 30% of the power is akin to giving them 100% of the power in this spectacle.
  • The only real power the judges have is what they pick to get nominated. And yeah, the fact that they can’t avoid having a big shonen in every category is a problem, but here’s the thing about the 200+ anime that come out in a season: most of them are shit. Some people complain that the casual audience only watches like three shows a season, but that’s mostly because only three good anime at max come out a season. Said three anime differ depending on the person, but anyone who actually likes ten or twenty shows a season is someone whose opinion I do not trust.
  • You know how many anime I thought were worth watching from 2022? A solid three aka the number of anime a person should like per season. And one of them is Urusei Yatsura, which nobody cares about. Because I forbid sequels from participating in my own personal awards since I think they’re lazy hype. I also prevent big shonen, not because I don’t like them (I’m not huge into them, but they’re okay for what they are), but because everyone knows them so there’s no point in recognizing them. And I don’t recognize stuff that I just think is okay like Kongming although I’ll recommend them if people ask. Maybe Witch from Mercury can get in in the future, but I want to wait until the entire series is out before I give an opinion on it since Gundam shows are famous for being inconsistent.
  • The point is, the number of anime that a judge can nominate without coming across completely random is very limited. The only reason Yurei Deco was nominated in Best Original was because there were no other options for a sixth slot. The reason Bubble got nominated in Best Movie despite most people not liking it is because the other alternatives also weren’t very good. I mean Deer King is on there and anyone who says it’s better than Bubble is lying. I guess you could argue Don Glees and Drifting Home were better movies, but they weren’t exactly great either and no one knows what they are anyways.
  • I mean Reddit’s jury voted Encouragement of Climb as anime of the year. Congrats, you like this obscure anime. How many people actually voted for that choice again? Two?
  • As for the awards show itself, what do you want me to say? It’s cool to see all the Japanese guests there, but yes the execution wasn’t great. The live translation sounded robotic. The delays were annoying. The lesser awards being rushed through was made clear ahead of time since Crunchyroll admitted they were going to be done in a special livestream while the important stuff would be in the main awards, but they probably should have spread them out like the Game Awards does when it rushes through lesser awards.
  • I only watched some of the awards, but I liked seeing the Japanese guests give their acceptance speeches, especially when they didn’t realize they were going to win. Kinda sucks for the invited people who don’t claim any awards after the night is over, but that’s inevitable with big awards shows. It doesn’t have trailers but we all know the reason why they don’t have trailers or commercials to break up the dead space.
  • It was fine in my opinion. Looking forward to the sequel where Attack on Titan, Demon Slayer, Spy x Family, and Jujutsu Kaisen staff claim more awards while the Bocchi the Motherfucker staff clap in silence.

Speak Up

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.