A Breakdown Of The Crunchyroll Awards 2019 Winners (And Why Half of Them Are Wrong Again)

This year was a lot less controversial than the absolute panderfest that was the past two years, but it still feels very weird and pandering in completely different ways. For starters,it felt like it pandered to both the mainstream crowd and niche crowd but ccouldn’t meet the middle road, leading to two awards feeling like it’s from two completely different panels.

Today, let’s assume what would happen if I was the one who called the shots for the awards. Of course, to be fair, I will only pick from the pool of nominees provided by Crunchyroll to better understand the decisions they made. I can promise you one thing, dear reader, I’ll at least be more consistent with my decisions and you’ll see why I picked the choices I did.

NOMINEES FOR BEST OPENING SEQUENCE

Crunchyroll’s Winner: KISS OF DEATH by Mika Nakashima x HydeDARLING in the FRANXX

I’m sorry, but this just feels incredibly pandering. We all have our own musical tastes, but KISS OF DEATH is objectively not as visually or musically stimulating as most of the other songs on this list. Fiction is a romantic bop, Deal with the Devil and Fighting Gold are high stakes thrillrides, and Pop Team Epic and Aggretsuko’s themes are hilarious and visually comedic.

KISS OF DEATH is a generic sounding rock ballad that I’ve heard a hundred times before. It doesn’t help that the visuals are a bit too close to Evangelion’s for my taste. Not bad, but award of the year? Nah. This was just a result of Franxx’s hype and because it’s probably not getting any other awards.

Lumi’s Winner: “Fighting Gold” by Coda—JoJo’s Bizzare Adventure: Golden Wind

With it’s unique James Bond-esque animation and song, as well as a wonderfully colorful palette, Fighting Gold stands at the top of OPs for me from the past year.  I admit, this is in part due to my own love of anything JoJo, but I find myself listening to this OP outside of the watching the show the most from last year.

For the same reasons as above, Deal with the Devil comes at a close second.

NOMINEES FOR BEST ENDING SEQUENCE

Lumi and Crunchyroll’s Winner: “Akatsuki no Requiem” by Linked Horizon—Attack on Titan Season 3

I completely agree with Crunchyroll on this one. No ED from this list is bad, and I really liked both of FLCL’s EDs for that light and nostalgic rock feel, but Akatsuki no Requiem is just an amazing ED for it’s unique use of a choir and epic orchestral music that sets the tone for what most people feel like after watching an episode from Season III, which is probably suffering (in the good way). It feels suitably epic despite being subdued, as an ED is wont to do.

NOMINEES FOR BEST BOY

Image result for Deku mha

Crunchyroll’s Winner Golden Goose: Izuku Midoriya—My Hero Academia Season 3

Seriously? I don’t get how you can include a boy who already has 3 seasons of character development behind him when every other nominee only has one season to theirs. It boggles the mind how this wouldn’t be seen as pandering. I’m also gonna say it, Deku isn’t even the BEST developed character here, because he hasn’t actually resolved most of his arcs yet, being part of an ongoing shounen.

You know who has an amazing character arc in 3 episodes and still beats Deku’s 3 seasons?

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Lumi’s Winner: Sakuta AzusagawaRascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

No QUESTION. I already lauded Rascal as my favorite show of 2018 within the first three episodes, and I will continue to do so. Every minute that Sakuta and Mai were on screen together is time spent developing the both of them and watching them grow. He’s incredibly fleshed out from the first episode, and we only learn more about him as he show progresses. His problems, flaws, likes and dislikes all feel very human and relatable. He’s basically Oregairu’s Hachiman and Clannad’s Tomoya  shoved into one character.

It is with no grain of doubt in my mind, that he’s gonna be my best boy.

NOMINEES FOR BEST GIRL

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Crunchryoll’s Winner: Mai Sakurajima—Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

This pisses me off. Clearly, Crunchyroll was afraid to get lynched if they even attempted to get any of the underdeveloped waifus from My Hero Academia, so they obviously picked Mai because come on, it’s Mai, she’s part of Rascal.

However, why on earth Sakuta was not the best boy despite being in the same arc as Mai is astounding beyond belief. It feels more like people voted her because she’s the most legal waifu out of all the people on this list. We should be looking at characterization as well as aesthetics, and in that regard, Mai’s basically Yuki from Oregairu with bigger boobs.

Well, I won’t fall for this trap, this is best girl, not best waifu.

Lumi’s Winner: Anzu—HINAMATSURI

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My post analyzing Anzu’s growth as a character is still on my front page and will not be leaving it for the time being. While I agree that Mai is also a really well fleshed out character with great writing backing her, I personally found Anzu’s arc to be a little more interesting because of the unique scenario she is in. It’s not often Japan talks about its homeless problem, mainly because to be homeless in Japan, you would have to had been in a really bad spot in life. Anzu’s development in such an environment was a welcome respite from the school and teenage drama I have become accustomed to.

NOMINEES FOR BEST VOICE ACTOR PERFORMANCE (JAPANESE)

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Crunchyroll’s Winner: Mamoru Miyano as Kotaro Tatsumi—ZOMBIE LAND SAGA

It’s a bombastic performance, to be sure, but I’ve seen it before from Mamoru Miyano. Hell, I’ve seen it twice thanks to his role in Overlord. It’s still fun to watch, but it does get to be a grating gag from time to time.

Instead, I pick an equally bombastic performance-

Lumi’s Winner: Rareko as Retsuko—Aggretsuko

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Retsuko’s shift in character from socially awkward corporate slave to death metal enthusiast is fantastic. Not only that, Retsuko’s mannerisms and personality are reminiscent of a lot of personalities I see for people working in white-collar offices, having worked in one myself.

It’s a great performance!

NOMINEES FOR BEST VOICE ACTOR PERFORMANCE (ENGLISH)

Lumi and Crunchyroll’s Winner: Christopher Sabat as All Might—My Hero Academia Season 3

*crying in background*

Yeah. That’s it. Mhmmm. Don’t need to add more. Next.

NOMINEES FOR BEST FIGHT SCENE (PRESENTED BY CAPCOM)

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Crunchyroll’s Winner: All for One vs. All MightMy Hero Academia Season 3

This is one tough cookie. The fight itself wasn’t that fantastic or creative, but the reason people love it so much was the ideals, motivations and consequences that his fight had for the rest of the show. In that regard, I agree that it does deserve the best fight scene.

BUT-

Lumi’s Winner: Hina vs. AnzuHINAMATSURI

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In a sea of over-the-top shounen fights, I pick a comedic gag fight from a gag anime. The animation in this scene is whatever the opposite of Sakuga is. What do you even call it when something really stupid and silly is animated extremely well-animated?

I’ll just call it the Nichijou effect.

I’m mostly just tired of shouting and “M-MASAKA”, so I went with the best choice on this list, and the fact that there’s not a single JoJo fight because it’s an ongoing show.

NOMINEES FOR BEST PROTAGONIST

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Crunchyroll’s Winner: Rimuru Tempest—That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime

I haven’t watched all of Slime yet, but I’m okay with this because it’s not Deku. However, I think it’s obvious who i think should have won.

Lumi’s Winner: Sakuta Azusagawa—Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

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NOMINEES FOR BEST ANTAGONIST

Crunchyroll Winner: All For One—My Hero Academia Season 3

All For One isn’t even in my TOP 5 villains of My Hero Academia.

For my own winner, I decided on-

Lumi’s Winner – Yuri—MEGALOBOX

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For the most part,memorable antagonists were sparse last year, but I really liked Yuri from MEGALOBOX. The contrast of Yuri being a purebred “dog” to Joe’s “Stray” is an interesting mirror, and he’s not even malicious by any means, he just wants a good fight. My favorite villains tend to be either sympathetic to some degree, have reasonable motivations marred by evil, or just want a good fight. Yuri falls on the 3rd category, and being the honorable warrior type, he fights Joe head-on in his own game, and I really enjoyed that.

Then again, it’s basically Ashita no Joe with robots so I’ve also seen this guy before.

NOMINEES FOR BEST ANIMATION

Lumi and Crunchyroll’s Winner: Violet Evergarden—Kyoto Animation

Ever since KyoAni first teased this show 3 years ago, it has cemented KyoAni as the Queen of Sakuga. With a 47 second PV, they managed to create a visually stunning teaser that blew everything else the industry had been doing out of the water. It’s crystal clear, fluid as a flowing river, and as stunning as a setting sun reflecting over the waves.

Beautiful show, and it deserves all the accolades.

NOMINEES FOR BEST CHARACTER DESIGN

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Lumi and Crunchyroll’s Winner: JoJo’s Bizzare Adventure: Golden Wind—Designs by Takahiro Kashida Based on Original Designs by Hirohiko Araki

Look at these beautiful boys. In terms of character designs, Araki has been unchallenged in the field of flamboyant foreign boys, and the fashion is on the cutting edge. You won’t see people wearing these clothes out everyday in public, but it would kill on a runway. While I love the character designs of every other nominee and Vento Aureo only barely wins over them, Vento Aureo wins because it’s so different and unique from the norms of anime design.

NOMINEES FOR BEST CONTINUING SERIES (PRESENTED BY VRV)

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Crunchyroll’s Winner Golden Goose #2: Dragon Ball Super—Toei Animation

Super is not a good show. It’s overhyped because its Dragonball and people only really care about the sick fights. I have grown a distaste for this age of Dragonball, and I’ll stick to watching their fights on YouTube for the most part.

Now if only it was Dragonball Z Abridged that got nominated……….

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Lumi’s Winner: March comes in like a Lion—Shaft

It’s really rare for a slow burning character drama like March comes in like a Lion to even get a second season, or get attention in Japan’s sea of harems, shounen and isekai, but March comes in like a Lion grabs peoples’ hearts in a way that hasn’t been since Clannad first started airing. A drama with 46 episodes is rare enough in this world, so I’m glad we got this second season of March comes in like a Lion, and I am sincerely disappointed at Crunchyroll for picking Super, a show that wasn’t ever in any danger of going off the air because it’s Dragonball.

NOMINEES FOR BEST DIRECTOR

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Crunchyroll’s Winner: Masaaki Yuasa—Devilman Crybaby

Great show and great direction, I have no question about that. The psychedelic and grungy feel of the show couldn’t have been done with a bad director. However, I believe the reason why this won best direction was because it would be weird if Devilman Crybaby won Best Anime but not best direction. I think the show I picked below was a bit more consistent in that department.

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Lumi’s Winner – Atsuko Ishizuka—A Place Further Than the Universe
I would love to get into exactly why I believe A Place Further Than The Universe deserves this spot, but I’d rather talk about it later in the Best Show category where it was also rightfully nominated. This is the part where my own personal preferences are gonna be very apparent.

NOMINEES FOR BEST FILM

  • Night is Short, Walk on Girl—Science SARU
  • My Hero Academia: Two Heroes—BONES
  • Mirai of the Future—Studio Chizu
  • Liz and the Blue Bird—Kyoto Animation
  • Mazinger Z: Infinity—Toei Animation
  • Fireworks—Shaft

Crunchyroll’s Winner Commercial: My Hero Academia: Two Heroes—BONES

We are all Arkada on this cursed day.

I know that you’re a business, Crunchyroll, and consumer happiness is paramount, but even FANS of the movie agree that this does NOT deserve Best Film over he astoundingly beautiful films like Mirai and Liz and the Blue Bird. How on earth a 90 minute long episode of My Hero Academia OVA with a budget won over a Mamoru Hosuda film (Director of classics such as The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and The Boy and The Beast) and KyoAni’s cinematic magnum opus Liz and the Blue Bird is nothing short of astounding. What on earth were they even thinking? Has previous years not taught you that nominating the most mainstream shounen anime for anything over legitimately great films that were crafted for the sake of being a standalone film is a bad idea?

Lumi’s Winner: Liz and the Blue Bird

Image result for liz and the blue bird

I have plans on reviewing this in the future so I’ll hold my opinions on them for now. It’s basically Hibike Euphonium without the problems I had with Hibikie Euphonium being too slow.

NOMINEES FOR ANIME OF THE YEAR

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Winner: Devilman Crybaby—Science SARU

I think Devilman Crybaby is a good show, but I don’t believe for a second it deserves to be the AOTY. It has obvious flaws from the get-go, and some strange decisions were made in the plot that I’m not entirely happy with, but it is still a good show.

Since Rascal was snubbed, I instead nominate for winner of AOTY, according to Crunchyroll’s pool of nominees-

Lumi’s Winner: A Place Further Than the Universe—MADHOUSE

Image result for A Place Further Than THe Universe cover
AKA the reason why we don’t have One Punch Man S2 animated by Madhouse

Not that I care, we got this amazing show out of it

I’ve always been a fan of the “CGDCT” genre when it’s done with a fun twist. Girls’ Last Tour was my favorite show of 2017 for being a CGDCT show set in post-apocaplytic eternal winter wherein the characters recognzie the importance of companionship in a foreign and lifeless winterscape.

A Place Further Than The Universe is my favorite show of 2018 for being a CGDCT show set in Antarctica, the continent of eternal winter,wherein the characters recognize the importance of companionship in a foreign and lifeless winterscape.

Hey, wait a minute-

Coincidences aside, I do love this anime. A simple premise of traveling to Antarctica to look for your missing mom became a fantastic story about friendship that is beautifully brought to life by MADHOUSE’s own answer to KyoAni’s recent forays into the Sakuga scene. Of course, this is all my personal opinion, and Devilman Crybaby is still a really good show that deserves the award, although the reasons for it winning are less than appealing to me.

It feels less like Devilman deserved it (it does) and more that Crunchyroll wanted to show the audiences that “Hey, we can make weird picks too, look at this Early January Netflix show winning AOTY, we’re differnt now!”

Conclusion

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2019 somehow feels like a drop from the last two years despite being less controversial. The feeble attempts at appeasing both the mainstream crowd and hardcore anime fans did not pay off. I still watch it every year because I hope that at some point Crunchyroll learns from its mistakes and actually put on a show that doesn’t end with the world’s salt reserves being increased to twice its original amount.

Well, fourth time’s a charm, right?


12 thoughts on “A Breakdown Of The Crunchyroll Awards 2019 Winners (And Why Half of Them Are Wrong Again)

  1. Really glad I just kind of tuned it out this year. I just don’t feel the nominations or the awards really click with how I view anime and given a lot of the posts I’m reading, a lot of others feel the same. While I get the awards can’t please everyone, as has been the case the past two years with these awards, it feels like they aren’t really pleasing anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. To my mind, the decision to drop genre awards robbed this year’s “awards” of even the slightest tinge of legitimacy. I seriously doubt Crunchy will learn anything though – because the awards have succeeded at their primary goal: keeping Crunchy’s brand front and forward.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry,but I doubt people are lapping it up. The type of people to watch the anime awards are the type to be way more critical of shows in general,hence the number of angry people every year,moreso than other awards shows even. Look at the game awards,those are somehow NOT controversial because they listen to the crowd.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wait, so MHA the movie won over Liz and the bluebird? Ohhh…ohhh my heart…that hurts 😫. Like I know Liz and the Bluebird isn’t for everyone, but seriously?! Oh well, I do feel like Cruchyroll did make more of an effort, but only because there was much more variety this year, and much more agreement between critic’s opinion and fan opinion, I think 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Best Films shouldn’t really be judged purely on fan opinion, though. From a critical point of view, Two Heroes does NOTHING new or inventive, it’s just a cookie cutter shounen action movie (a REALLY fun and entertaining movie, but cookie cutter nonetheless).

      Liz is just a blissful movie.

      Liked by 1 person

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