Update: 04/03/2018: As it happened a week after the Crunchyroll Anime Awards were revealed on the live show, this Friday (March 2nd) on Crunchyroll live stream we got to know the judges picks. This was a new thing introduced into the CR Anime Awards this year. To compare it to the last year, where the winners were 100% fan votes, this time it was split 50-50 between the fan votes and judges to determine the winner. The winner still remains the same, but if you’re interest in what was the judges pick, you can see it in each category below.

Last year brought us the very first Crunchyroll Anime Awards, where fans all over the world, had their chance to vote for their favourite shows and show some love and support. Despite the results caused some uproar, when Yuri!!! On Ice won 7 out of 14 awards - even the one for best animation, this year Crunchyroll decided to host the Awards show again. From the base look on the nominees this year it looked like they learned their lesson and they improved the selection, but the results were again questionable, but we will get to it little bit later.

All fans had chance to vote through three stages in total of 17 categories between January 22 until the February 24, when the winners were announced to the world in “an all-star event” for anime’s biggest fans, live from Los Angeles.

The categories were as follows:

  • Anime of the Year
  • Best Girl
  • Best Boy
  • Best Manga
  • Best Hero
  • Best Villain
  • Best Action
  • Best Drama
  • Best Comedy
  • Best Slice of Life
  • Best Continuing Series
  • Best Opening
  • Best Ending
  • Best Animation
  • Best Score
  • Best Film
  • Best C.G.I

Before we will get to the winners and few comments I have on it, let’s stop for a moment and talk about the Awards show itself. Starting the show with a band playing Cowboy Bebop opening might sound like a good idea to celebrate its 20 years anniversary, but it truly wasn’t. Not that it was terrible, but not great either. Sax carried the song and the over-hyped jumping of the band members simply looked weird.

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After that we got to know our two main host for the evening - Anthony Carboni and Erica Ishii. After the super energetic intro, just few minutes in and we are off to some terrible jokes. Firstly on Hollywood: “We figured, if they can do what we love poorly (note: referencing the live-action Ghost in the Shell movie), then we can do what they love poorly and so we’re throwing a fancy award ceremony.” and then self-referential about last year’s awards - “maybe My Hero Academia might be this year’s Yuri!!! On Ice”. I’ll leave this to yours interpretation, when we will get to the winners of each category.

Nominees:

  • “Shadow and Truth” by ONE III NOTES (ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.) - judges pick
  • “Here” by JUNNA (The Ancient Magus’ Bride)
  • “Shinzou wo Sasageyo!” by Linked Horizon (Attack on Titan Season 2)
  • “Peace Sign” by Kenshi Yonezu (My Hero Academia 2)
  • “The Other Side of the Wall” by Void_Chords feat.MARU (Princess Principal)
  • “Imawa no Shinigami” by Megumi Hayashibara (Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju)

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What was the “surprise” when the opening for My Hero Academia 2 won. Starting to getting the joke in the beginning of the awards show? Personally I was quite alright with the nominees and three of those songs even end up on my personal TOP 10 Anime Openings of 2017 - with Attack on Titan Season 2 on 8th place, The Ancient Magus’ Bride on 4th place and ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. being on 2nd place - which out of the list was my personal pick for the winner.

Nominees:

  • “Step Up LOVE” by DAOKO x Yasuyuki Okamura (Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond) - judges pick
  • “Ishukan Communication” by Chorogonzu (Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid)
  • “Kirameku Hamabe” by Yuiko Ohara (Land of the Lustrous)
  • “Hikari, Hikari” by Yuuka Aisaka (Recovery of an MMO Junkie)
  • “behind” by Karin Isobe, Yuna Yoshino and Lynn (Just Because!)
  • “Kafune” by Brian the Sun (March Comes In Like A Lion 2nd Season)

In this category I’m fine with Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid winning. I loved the ending for Just Because!, but I cannot deny that “Ishukan Communication” was a catchy song. My main problem in this category though was that why they picked those shows? Why those endings, when in my opinion openings for Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, Recovery of an MMO Junkie and March Comes In Like A Lion 2nd Season were so much better than their endings counterparts?

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Nominees:

  • A Silent Voice - judges pick
  • Your Name.
  • In This Corner of the World
  • Girls und Panzer der Film
  • Kizumonogatari III: Reiketsu-hen
  • Fate/stay night: Heaven’s Feel - I. Presage Flower

It was pretty obvious, that the winner of this category will be Your Name. I loved that movie and have seen it several times, but I’d personally give it to A Silent Voice as it spoke to me on so many other levels. Both of those films were great, with stunning visuals and great animation. At least Reina Scully shares my passion for A Silent Voice, when we get a cut to backstage. Every now and then she’s commenting on the winners with her colleagues Victoria Holden and Elliot Trinidad. If Victoria, sitting in the middle, confused and looking right and left, throwing some bad jokes around, wouldn’t be there I might enjoy these cuts, but she is dragging it down.

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As much as I’d like to say something about the other films I simply can’t. I had no chance to see them - the sad truth of living in a small country, where licensors don’t give a sh*t about anime and you never see anime movies in cinemas.

Nominees:

  • Made in Abyss - judges pick
  • Little Witch Academia
  • Land of the Lustrous
  • The Ancient Magus’ Bride
  • ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.
  • Re:CREATORS

Here I have little confession to make - I still haven’t seen Made in Abyss. I know, it’s almost disgrace, but when it was airing I already watched like 14 other different shows and simply had no time left for this one. I promise, I’ll get to it one day, but from what I’ve heard from different PV’s and other small pieces of this anime, I’d say it’s well deserved win. This was probably one of the most stacked category for me - I really loved the music in The Ancient Magus’ Bride, the jazz theme of ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept., or battle theme from Re:CREATORS.

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Nominees:

  • Land of the Lustrous - judges pick
  • My Hero Academia 2
  • Little Witch Academia
  • March Comes In Like A Lion 2nd Season
  • A Silent Voice
  • Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid

Wow - a second confession, two awards in a row. My Hero Academia was one of the shows, which I’ve missed the first season and when the second season started I had no time to go back and catch on the previous one. So far what I’ve seen - especially on Gigguk’s videos on Tournament Arc in My Hero Academia 2 - the animation looks great. Looking on the nominees from the wider perspective A Silent Voice should have won this category, but it seems little bit unfair to compare anime series with a full movie with way higher budget. I personally love the animation in March Comes In Like A Lion - it’s stellar in both seasons, perfectly working with colours and changing of the styles to express Rei’s emotions and what others are going through.

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Nominees:

  • Land of the Lustrous - judges pick
  • KADO: The Right Answer
  • Re:CREATORS
  • Attack on Titan Season 2
  • Knight’s & Magic
  • Inuyashiki

I secretly wanted KADO: The Right Answer to win, but it was pretty obvious, who is the front-runner here. There is not much else to say here, except - who watched Knight’s & Magic? I saw very few people talking about it. I was so surprised when I saw on MyAnimeList.net, that more people completed Knight’s & Magic than Land of the Lustrous.

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Nominees:

  • Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid - judges pick
  • Mr. Osomatsu 2
  • Little Witch Academia
  • KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World! 2
  • Gamers!
  • Tsuredure Children

Comedy and humour are one of the things, which are really subjective. What I think is funny might someone take as a bad or stupid joke and vice versa, but I stand by my opinion that KonoSuba should have won the category. I loved Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, but I was more focused on the slice of life aspect of the show, with occasional giggle. And let’s talk about Gamers! - I still don’t know what “misunderstanding the anime” did in this category. It was funny for the first episode or two and then it was just recycled over and over or just not my cup of tea?

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Nominees:

  • Recovery of an MMO Junkie
  • Tsukigakirei - judges pick
  • Girls’ Last Tour
  • Kemono Friends
  • Sakura Quest
  • Interviews With Monster Girls

This is one of the category, where I have almost nothing to say. I’ve seen Recovery of an MMO Junkie and it was fine, but I knew it’s definitely not worth the award, Tsukigakirei I’ve had to drop mid-airing as it was simply not show meant for me. Interviews With Monster Girls was a great show, but I feel like Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid should have been in this category more than in the best comedy one. I’ve heard good reviews on Sakura Quest and even better ones on Girls’ Last Tour so in the end - based on the nominees, I’m fine with the winner.

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Nominees:

  • March Comes In Like A Lion - judges pick
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans
  • Dragon Ball Super
  • Case Closed
  • ALL OUT!!
  • Naruto: Shippuden

The production value of this category was a sh*t show. Not only they introduced four out of six nominees (leaving out ALL OUT!! and Naruto:Shippuden), but after announcing March Comes In Like A Lion as a winner, they starts to playing My Hero Academia 2 opening again? I guess My Hero Academia 2 is winning even when it’s not! But honestly I was worried that either Dragon Ball or Naruto will take this award, but March Comes In Like A Lion is a totally deserved win.

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I don’t know if this award was publicly announced before the live show, but it’s great to give a recognition to a people in the industry, who helps spread the anime to the new audience. The winner was Christopher Sabat - a voice actor who’s portfolio is probably longer than this article will be. To mention just few roles from his long career - Vegeta from Dragon Ball series, Alex Louis Armstrong from Fullmetal Alchemist (and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood), Roronoa Zoro from One Piece or Elfman from Fairy Tail.

Sadly this one category is a big mystery for me, as I watch almost every anime subbed. For anything related to dubs, I’d recommend you my friend and fellow author Dil. You can read his “Dubs w/ Dil” here on AniTAY (yay! cross promotion!) and learn from him much more, than I’ll probably ever know about dubs.

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Nominees:

  • Shoto Todoroki (My Hero Academia 2) - judges pick
  • Rei Kiriyama (March Comes In Like A Lion 2nd Season)
  • Kazuma (KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World! 2)
  • Izuku “Deku” Midoriya (My Hero Academia 2)
  • Fafnir (Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid)
  • Yakumo Yuurakutei (Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju)

What was the chance of My Hero Academia 2 not winning this category with two entries? I was hoping both of those characters were loved the same, so the votes will split half-and-half and let then Rei Kiriyama steal the victory, as Kazuma can steal panties, but that didn’t happen. What a shame. But seriously, did they run out of the boys to nominate? What about Elias from The Ancient Magus’ Bride or somebody from Attack on Titan Season 2?

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Nominees:

  • Atsuko “Akko” Kagari (Little Witch Academia) - judges pick
  • Ochaco Uraraka (My Hero Academia 2)
  • Moriko Morioka (Recovery of an MMO Junkie)
  • Serval (Kemono Friends)
  • Tsuyu Asui (My Hero Academia 2)
  • Chise Hatori (The Ancient Magus’ Bride)

I wanted comment here the appearance of Crunchyroll-hime on stage demanding the award for the Best Girl category, but it was just simply a unsuccessful skit and I’ll leave it at it. Anyway onto the category itself - you can probably have a look in the “Best Boy” category and copy / paste it here. Why, when between boys was Fafnir (a supporting character), we didn’t have either Tooru, Kanna or even Kobayashi herself from Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid? Why to have again two characters from one series? In my heart Chise Hatori won this price - no offence Crunchyroll.

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Nominees:

  • Stain (My Hero Academia 2) - judges pick
  • Tanya Degurechaff (The Saga of Tanya the Evil)
  • Bondrewd (Made in Abyss)
  • Cartaphilus (The Ancient Magus’ Bride)
  • Hiro Shishigami (Inuyashiki)
  • Usagi (Juni Taisen: Zodiac War)

I cannot comment on how good or bad villains Stain or Bondrewd are as I already admitted I didn’t watch both of those series, so from my perspective - Tanya should win. I was not buying her character in the first episode, but after getting the backstory it started make sense and I was enjoying it. Hiro Shishigami was definitely a villain in Inuyashiki, but it was not always so black and white for him and him being so bored by life made me lose interest in him, where Cartaphilus is definitely interesting character, but his lack of presence is what makes it difficult to root for him.

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Nominees:

  • Izuku “Deku” Midoriya (My Hero Academia 2) - judges pick
  • Gin Minowa (Yuki Yuna is a Hero: The Washio Sumi Chapter)
  • Atsuko “Akko” Kagari (Little Witch Academia)
  • Kukuri (Magical Circle)
  • Chise Hatori (The Ancient Magus’ Bride)
  • Nanachi (Made in Abyss)

Yet another hiccup in the production as the last two nominees - Chise Hatori and Nanachi didn’t even get their few seconds in a spotlight, before Izuku “Deku” Midoriya took the price - for the second year in a row. Yeah, he was nominated and won this award last year (Hero of the Year), so nobody should really expect anything else from this category. As much as I love Chise Hatori as a character, I’d not classify her as a hero, so for me it would have to be Atsuko “Akko” Kagari as I’m not familiar with the other characters.

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Nominees:

  • Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju - judges pick
  • March Comes In Like A Lion 2nd Season
  • Made in Abyss
  • The Ancient Magus’ Bride
  • Scum’s Wish
  • ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.

I’d probably prefer more if the award would go to March Comes In Like A Lion 2nd Season, but The Ancient Magus’ Bride is still great choice. The sad thing is, that the whole moment was completely ruined by Victoria. She and Anthony were on the edge of knife, shouting at each other - probably for the jokes, but I’d say it won’t be definitely the best drama to watch them after the show outside. No one cared!

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Nominees:

  • My Hero Academia 2 - judges pick
  • Land of the Lustrous
  • Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans Season 2
  • Attack on Titan Season 2
  • Fate/Apocrypha

Again pretty obvious winner. Shame Re:CREATORS weren’t nominated as I think that show deserves little bit more recognition - mostly for the second half and its finale. I’m also a big fan of Fate series, but the introduction of such a huge cast of characters in Fate/Apocrypha made me drop it so I sadly didn’t see any action there.

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Nominees:

  • Golden Kamuy Vol. 1 - judges pick
  • My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness
  • My Brother’s Husband Vol. 1
  • In This Corner of the World
  • Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju
  • Delicious in Dungeon Vol. 1

I have truly no comments or favourites in this category. I didn’t read anything from the list, so no insight from me here.

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Nominees:

  • March Comes In Like A Lion 2nd Season
  • Made in Abyss - judges pick
  • Land of the Lustrous
  • My Hero Academia 2
  • Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju
  • Little Witch Academia

I really - and I mean really - need to watch Made in Abyss. I’ve heard so much praise all around me, that I’m sad I haven’t picked it up yet, but I surely will. By the sheer volume of people speaking for it, I’m glad it won and that it was not another check mark for My Hero Academia 2.

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So the last category meant the end of the Crunchyroll Anime Awards 2017. Finally almost two hours of cringe fest and bad jokes ended. I must admit, they did improved the Awards a little bit - at least (for most parts) in the nominees, but in the end it’s still nothing more than just fan favourite votes and the show with the biggest fandom will take majority of the awards. For any more changes and improvements we will have to wait till next year. Will My Hero Academia dominate the next year as well, with the third season coming this spring, or will it be the end of “My Hero On Ice” era?


You’re reading AniTAY, the anime-focused portion of Kotaku’s community-run blog, Talk Amongst Yourselves. AniTAY is a non-professional blog whose writers love everything anime related. Click here to check us out. This article was brought to you by Stinolez - gamer, anime lover & so-called writer. Check my other stuff here or follow me on Twitter.