2023 Anime Awards’ Categories Revealed!

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Crunchyroll, the international brand serving fans with the ultimate anime experience, is announcing today the categories for the seventh annual 2023 Crunchyroll Anime Awards, which will be held for the first time in Tokyo on Saturday, March 4, 2023.

Categories that will be announced during the Anime Awards live event in Tokyo include: 

  • Anime of the Year –  This is the show that sets the standard for anime over the last year, towering over all others. Its compelling story, beautiful artistic execution, unforgettable characters all combine in a unique way to create a masterpiece that deserves singular recognition. Whether the show was an unexpected hit, or delivered on fans’ high expectations, Anime of the Year represents absolute excellence. 
  • Best Animation – Here we recognize anime that are visually stunning in the ways they bring their stories to life. No matter the style of animation, these shows provide a visual feast for viewers to enjoy, immersing audiences into previously unimaginable worlds.
  • Best Anime Song  –  This category recognizes a vocalist, instrumental, soloist, duo, group, or collaborative recording played during any part of an anime series. These are the songs that get stuck in your head, make you want to sing along, or give you a rush of emotion.
  • Best Character Design -. This category celebrates artists who have either created iconic anime characters or breathed life into one from other sources like manga or light novels. Thanks to their understanding of design principles, great character designers can tell a story from how someone is drawn, while the legendary ones create characters you recognize by their silhouette.
  • Best Comedy – Whether they catch you off guard with a unique point of view, or the dialogue seems crafted by a stand-up comedian, these are the shows that make you laugh out loud and have your side hurting by the end. 
  • Best Continuing Series – Sustaining excellence is no small feat, particularly when it comes to anime. Considering all the creativity, effort, and planning that goes into one season, the ability to hold a fan’s attention year after year is worthy of celebration.
  • Best Director – To paraphrase Hayao Miyazaki, “An anime is a reflection of its director.” Of central importance, directors work behind the scenes, conveying their vision and imagination to animators, making critical decisions, and managing the creative aspects of production. 
  • Best Fantasy – Best Fantasy is all about imagination, creativity, and a bit of magic. These shows don’t  just take us to other worlds, they craft deep, original universes full of mythical creatures where even the smallest detail is fueled by ideas that previously were unthought.
  • Best Film – Here we celebrate non-episodic anime with runtimes longer than a standard episode, whether they were released in theaters, on DVD, or online. The best of the best live up to the hype, leaving fans wondering where the time went.   
  • Best Original Anime – An original anime is not adapted from source material; it is entirely a unique creation. While that itself is an accomplishment, these shows also present an impactful and entertaining story that elevates the title to another level.
  • Best Romance – A great romance can thaw the heart of the coldest cynic. These captivating stories draw us in and remind us of the best part of being alive. With their hopeful messages, these shows find a way to make you believe in the power of love.
  • Best Score – A vital part of an unforgettable anime is the original music composed for it. A well-crafted score adds another dimension of depth and emotion to any scene with compositions that are not only tightly associated with an anime, but can also stand alone as masterpieces of music. 
  • Presenter’s Choice – Crunchyroll has invited a special guest to present an award of their choice to an honored contributor. It is an opportunity to recognize a person, studio, or company for a variety of reasons, including celebrating a milestone, overcoming something daunting, or achieving something inspirational. NOTE: This winner is determined by the special guest(s).
  • Special Achievement Award – This award serves to recognize a person, studio, or company (in the past or the present) that has impacted the industry in a remarkable way. Without their contributions, anime would not be where it is today, so this award implies reaching legendary status. NOTE: This winner is determined by an industry panel selected by the Crunchyroll team.

Additional categories that will be announced during Crunchyroll’s global livestream event for fans include: 

  • “Must Protect At All Cost” Character –  These are the characters that make the world feel like a kinder, more special place. Whether they’re an earnest protagonist who always gets back up or a pure hearted cinnamon roll who holds a group together, these characters remind us that there are some things in life worth protecting.
  • Best Action – This category rewards a show that has action at its core. These titles should leave the audience with their hearts pounding, their palms sweaty, and everyone gasping for breath at the mind-blowing sequences that were depicted. 
  • Best Drama – These anime convey something essential about the human experience. Their mastery of building and relieving tension sets fans on the edge of their seats, feeling all their feelings, compelling them to invest deeply in the characters and their stories.  
  • Best Ending Sequence – Similar to the opening, an unforgettable ending sequence pairs design and music to delight and surprise. Often a place where the art style can be taken in entirely new directions, a great closing sequence lets viewers catch their breath and enjoy small moments with a character.
  • Best Main Character – Whether hero, anti-hero, or villain, a main character is the face of their series. But it’s not just their personalities or characteristics that make them beloved, it’s their well-developed stories and the journeys they take us on that make them worthy. 
  • Best New Series – While countless new anime are created each year, this category honors the series and spin-offs that stand out. These instant classics possess something unique that keep viewers transfixed and passionately awaiting season two. 
  • Best Opening Sequence – Through striking visuals and irresistible music, a great opening sequence sets the table for what’s to come. Whether it’s creating a quirky mood for an off-beat rom-com, or striking a dark and serious tone for suspense, a memorable opening has as much creativity and passion as the show it introduces.  
  • Best Supporting Character – This category celebrates sidekicks like they were number one. Supporting characters come in all shapes and sizes, but the best among them are able to shine as bright as their main character counterparts when called upon. 
  • Best Voice Actor Performance – Renowned voice artists not only breathe additional life into design, they also re-envision what a character sounds like in a different language. Through their command of tone and the emotions their voices elicit, these talented artists add depth, transforming anime characters into anime icons. This award will be honored to voice actors across Arabic, Castilian, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the exceptional storytelling that has captured the hearts and minds of anime fans around the world,” said Rahul Purini, President of Crunchyroll. “We owe so much to the creators, artists and producers that delivered some of the most meaningful moments in global pop culture this past year.”

Nominees in each of the votable categories will be selected by the Anime Awards judges, which represent more than 50 anime creatives, tastemakers, and influencers from around the world. The full list of judges can be found here. Anime Awards nominees will be announced early next year and fans are encouraged to vote across all categories.  

The 2023 Crunchyroll Anime Awards is the leading yearly awards program honoring the creators, musicians, and performances across streaming and theatrical powering the global love of anime. The seventh edition of the Anime Awards will take place at the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa in Tokyo on Saturday, March 4, 2023, with a live ceremony hosted by renowned voice actress Sally Amaki and popular entertainer Jon Kabira. 

Sony Music Solutions, part of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc., will support Crunchyroll in the execution of the event. The event will be streamed for global audiences.

Last year, a record 17 million votes were cast by global fans for nominees representing nearly 40 anime studios across a record-high eight streaming platforms. More information can be found on the Anime Awards website and across Crunchyroll social channels

About Crunchyroll

Crunchyroll connects anime and manga fans across 200+ countries and territories with the content and experiences they love. In addition to free ad-supported and subscription premium content, Crunchyroll serves the anime community across events, theatrical, games, consumer products, collectibles, and manga publishing.

Anime fans have access to one of the largest collections of licensed anime through Crunchyroll and translated in multiple languages for viewers worldwide. Viewers can also access simulcasts — top series available immediately after Japanese broadcast. 

The Crunchyroll app is available on over 15 platforms, including all gaming consoles.

Crunchyroll, LLC is an independently operated joint venture between US-based Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Japan’s Aniplex, a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc., both subsidiaries of Sony Group Corporation. 

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