Considered the Japanese equivalent of the Academy Awards, the Annual Japan Academy Prizes is Japan’s most prestigious film award, and its 37th awards ceremony has just announced the winners.
The awards are given to Japanese and Foreign films which showed excellence in film making, and this year’s crop of Animation Category nominees were some of the very best, and they included Studio Ghibli’s When Marnie Was There, Giovanni’s Island, Detective Conan: Dimensional Sniper, and Buddha 2: Tezuka Osamu no Buddha – Owarinaki Tabi. However, only one anime movie was awarded the highest honor for animation, and it was none other than Stand By Me Doraemon which captured the hearts of audiences not only in Japan, but worldwide.
A special award was also given and it is called the All Night Nippon Wadai-Sho prize. This is an audience award and it is won through fan voting, with listeners to the All Night Nippon radio program voting for the winner. The winner of this award is none other than the Rurouni Kenshin sequel movies, The Great Kyoto Inferno and The Legend Ends.
The awards’ highest honor, the Best Picture of the Year, meanwhile went to the World War II movie, The Eternal Zero (Eien no 0) starring Junichi Okada and Haruma Miura.
Though anime movies are a huge part of Japan’s animation industry, the Animation Category for the Annual Japan Academy Prize is a relatively new award and was just introduced eight years ago. Last year’s winner was Hayao Miyazaki’s final movie, The Wind Rises.
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Rurouni Kenshin sequels and Stand By Me Doraemon win big during the 37th Annual Japan Academy Prizes