Any anime fans poking around social media over the last week have likely seen the results of this year’s Crunchyroll Anime Awards. Blending the opinions of industry leaders with a public vote, Jujutsu Kaisen came out on top, something the general public could see coming from a mile away. Award shows never please everybody, with certain popular titles getting zero nominations, and an unfinished title managing to snag best show of the year. It’s a tough balance to strike.
But another award event took place the very same weekend, and this one does things a little differently: the /r/anime awards, running since 2016, doesn’t blend popular opinion and the opinion of a jury together, instead granting two winners per category.
The first award is simply granted based on public opinion and popularity polls posted on the subreddit–/r/anime, which is currently sitting at around 2 million subscribers, growing robustly each year. The second award given is the jury selection, with the subreddit utilizing the opinions of over 100 jurors, all of which work on a volunteer basis. Each is required to watch every single nominee to vote, writing up their thoughts on popular series as they air.
This is where the /r/anime awards bring something unique to the table; the juror’s reasoning is completely transparent and readily available. Results are posted via a live Twitch stream, giving the community a chance to discuss the rankings.
What does this mean for the winners? By giving two awards per category, there’s a legitimate chance for smaller niche series to shine. Award shows typically see the audience tuning in, seeing the winners, either celebrating or mourning, and then turning off their screens. The /r/anime awards would much rather see the fan community come together for an authentic discussion, and we commend them for giving lesser-known series a real chance to sit lofty alongside the year’s mega-hits.
The coveted 2020 Anime of the Year award was granted to Chihayafuru 3 by the jury, while the public’s vote went to Re:ZERO Season 2. The latter was also granted the popular vote for Compositing and Storyboarding, while the jury was impressed with Ayumu Watanabe’s Children of the Sea for the same awards.
Jujutsu Kaisen did manage to pick up a few wins for its irresistible soundtrack: it also managed to bring the jury and public together, with the Season 1 Ending theme ‘Lost in Paradise feat. AKLO’ by Ali winning Best Ending Song across the board. (As if anyone could disagree, right? It’s been months and we’re STILL groovin’ along with those dance moves.)
Given all the chatter about Pokémon over the past week, it’s worth mentioning that the YouTube series Pokémon: Twilight Wings received a slew of Jury awards, from Short of the Year and Animation to Character Design and Compositing.
The complete list of winners can be found at the /r/anime awards official website, while the livestream has also been uploaded to YouTube in its entirety. Going forward, the OTAQUEST staff is excited to see this yearly event grow, and we’d implore our audience to gear up for next year’s vote!