2023 Crunchyroll Anime Awards

2023 Crunchyroll Anime Awards

The 2023 Anime Awards took place in Japan last weekend and there were a few surprising results…

Last weekend saw the 2023 Crunchyroll Anime Awards take place at the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa in Tokyo, Japan. While the nominees for each category were picked by Crunchyroll’s judges, the winners were voted for by the public, which led to a few controversial results.

The biggest award of the night was Anime of the Year, and with monstrously popular nominees like Attack on Titan Final Season Part 2 and Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc vying for the top spot, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was forgone conclusion. That the simply superb Cyberpunk: Edgerunners won, then, was cause for celebration – to quote Senator Palpatine: “A surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one.”

Best Original Anime went to the action-packed Lycoris Recoil; it was a deserving win, with its biggest threats coming from Yurei Deco and, dare we say it, golfing anime Birdie Wing in that category.

Best Character Design had a fine selection of nominees, including Kazumasa Ishida for My Dress-Up Darling and Atsuko Nozaki for Ranking of Kings, but it was Akira Matushima and Demon Slayer that took home the award, and it was just one of many awards scooped up by the seemingly unstoppable Kimetsu no Yaiba that night.

Speaking of which, Demon Slayer’s Entertainment District Arc also took home the award for best animation, to the surprise of no one. Not even rival nominee Attack on Titan could come close to the sheer levels of eyeball-melting sakuga that Demon Slayer threw at us last year. Any other outcome would have been ridiculous.

Spy x Family was named Best New Series, and we have no complaints there. While we enjoyed other category nominees such as Call of the Night and Ya Boy Kongming! immensely, we thought that Spy x Family was the strongest show in this category and thoroughly deserved its win.

For Best Continuing Series, we could have seen perhaps Demon Slayer, Attack on Titan or Kaguya-sama taking home the win, but ultimately it went to the series that feels like it has been continuing forever, that being One Piece, and with 1053 episodes so far, it’s the epic that just keeps on giving.

Best Opening Sequence went to Attack on Titan’s ‘The Rumbling’, and while Spy x Family’s ‘Mixed Nuts’ was fun and Ya Boy Kongming! had the absolute bop that was ‘Chikichiki Banban’, AoT’s brutal OP shredded the competition here. The accompanying song “The Rumbling” by SiM also took home the award for Best Anime Song, and it’s simply too powerful to disagree with.

Spy x Family triumphed in the Best Ending Sequence category. While ‘Comedy’ was sweet, we can’t help but feel that Call of the Night was robbed here because ‘Yofukashino Uta’ is a certified banger that’s on our playlist, and we feel like it should have been the winner here.

Attack on Titan was back to trample the opposition in the Best Score category, with dream team Kohta Yamamoto and Hiroyuki Sawano taking home the award. But as epic as that soundtrack was, voters did Kevin Penkin dirty. We thought his score for Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun was beyond beautiful.

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 was named best film, and to be fair, it didn’t have much in the way of competition, with perhaps only Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero and One Piece Film Red being its biggest rivals, but we felt JK0 was a deserving winner here.

Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc took home three more big awards for Best Director (Haruo Sotozaki), Best Action and Best Fantasy. The sheer intensity of its battles means it wholeheartedly deserved the former two, but when the Best Fantasy nominees included Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Season 1, 2nd Cour and Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun, we can’t help but feel those were much stronger picks.

Attack on Titan’s genocidal wunderkind, Eren Jaeger, was named Best Main Character. That feels like a bit yikes, but he didn’t have much competition from the likes of Spy x Family’s Loid Forger or even David Martinez from Cyberpunk: Edgerunners.

AoT also took home the award for Best Drama, and only perhaps 86 Eighty-Six Part 2 could challenge it in that category, but Attack on Titan was truly in a league of its own here.

Spy x Family’s adorable pink-haired esper Anya Forger was named Best Supporting Character and the ‘Must Protect At All Costs’ Character, and you’d have to be heartless to even consider letting anyone else win. Waku waku indeed.

Spy x Family also won the Best Comedy Award; it had some strong competition from the likes of Uncle From Another World and My Dress-Up Darling, it was the most consistently hilarious offering here.

The final Grand Winner was Kaguya-sama: Love Is War -Ultra Romantic-, which can proudly call itself 2022’s Best Romance. Its category rivals included the unconventional vampire romance Call of the Night, the unbearably cute Komi Can’t Communicate (2nd Series) and the superb My Dress-Up Darling. But with Kaguya-sama’s fierce and near-feral fans to deal with, this was a foregone conclusion, but one we’re on board with. And not just because we’re scared of them.

The 2023 Anime Awards took place on 4 March and you can watch the full ceremony here. Find out more anime news and articles with SciFiNow.