The Crunchyroll Anime Awards are coming up and since voting is open, I decided to go ahead and throw my votes into each category… even though I don’t necessarily agree with some of their choices. That’s why I’m going to go through each and every category and give you my pick along with who I think should have won. So sit back, strap yourself in, and let’s dive right into this year’s offerings!

Anime of the Year

Nominees: Carole & Tuesday, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Mob Psycho 100 II, O Maidens in Your Savage Season, The Promised Neverland, Vinland Saga

My Vote: The Promised Neverland

Advertisement

My Actual Winner: Dororo (not nominated)

Winner Prediction: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

Dororo and The Promised Neverland battled for my AOTY vote. Both shows were phenomenal but in the end, Dororo just had a better emotional component to it than The Promised Neverland. Seeing Hyakkimaru’s story unfold was both filled with triumph and sadness. He couldn’t catch a break and found himself in a situation beyond his control. That’s all well and good but it didn’t even receive a nomination so I went with my #2 pick, The Promised Neverland.

Also, just for the sake of not sounding like a broken record, I’ll just lay it all out on the line here and now. I predicted this to be the Demon Slayer awards because the anime community is making this show out to be the greatest show of all-time. Heck, it even won Anime of the Decade from FUNimation… yes… of the DECADE… after ONE SEASON… completely exposing the fact that people simply react to the here and now and don’t even stop to think twice to think twice (not a typo.. just a subtle My Hero Academia joke! All hail Twice from the League of Villains!) about anything else. Because Demon Slayer is being treated like God’s gift to anime this year, I’m thinking it takes almost every award it’s nominated for, thus, becoming the new My Hero Academia of the Anime Awards. I really REALLY hope that’s not the case but, come on, people. We all know it’s going to happen.

Advertisement

Best Protagonist

Nominees: Emma (The Promised Neverland), Hyakkimaru (Dororo), Saitama (One-Punch Man II), Senku (Dr. STONE), Tanjiro Kamado (Demon Slayer: KNY), Tohru Honda (Fruits Basket)

My Vote: Hyakkimaru (Dororo)

My Actual Winner: Joro (Ore wo Suki nano wa Omae dake ka yo) (not nominated)

Winner Prediction: Senku (Dr. STONE)

Joro was such a breath of fresh air for main characters in that genre, he really stuck out head and shoulders above the rest. The timid facade up to his devious side created an amazing harmony. Sure, OreSuki may not be the greatest show on Earth, but its biggest and strongest point was one single character: Joro. He literally carried that show on his back from beginning to end. He also did so in a way where you never got tired of him, either. Usually, a main character compliments others in the main role and helps build a supporting cast around them. Joro WAS THE ENTIRE SHOW. He also made every episode more entertaining than it should have been. When you’re that good, you deserve the spotlight. Since OreSuki wasn’t nominated (for anything at all !!!! ???), I’ll go back to my Anime of the Year and pick Hyakkimaru from Dororo because his journey was simply incredible.


Best Antagonist

Nominees: Ai Magase (BABYLON), Angela (Carole & Tuesday), Askeladd (Vinland Saga), Garou (One-Punch Man II), Isabella (The Promised Neverland), Overhaul (My Hero Academia IV)

Advertisement

My Vote: Askeladd (Vinland Saga)

My Actual Winner: Askeladd (Vinland Saga)

Winner Prediction: Overhaul (My Hero Academia IV)

Askeladd.

Advertisement

Plain and simple.

I will fight anyone to the death if they disagree on this. (i.e. prepare to fight off a ton of My Hero Academia stans). I touched upon it in my review of the series but to TL;DR all of that, Askeladd is one of the most diverse villains I’ve seen in a LONG time. He can make you love him and hate him at the same time. He pretends to be a friend and then drops you when you’re no longer needed. He will plunder anything on a whim without the care of anyone’s opinions. He has his own agenda and will create a masterful plan to see it through. I don’t think there has ever been a more well-rounded villain in Askeladd… and that’s why he’s going to lose to Overhaul from MHA because we all know that even with Demon Slayer’s god-like status, MHA is the greatest anime to ever exist, right?


Best Boy

Nominees: Bruno Bucciarati (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind), Hyakkimaru (Dororo), Kanata Hoshijima (ASTRA LOST IN SPACE), Naruzou Machio (How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift?), Shigeo Kageyama (Mob Pyscho 100 II), Tanjiro Kamado (Demon Slayer: KNY)

My Vote: Hakkimaru (Dororo)

My Actual Winner: Hakkimaru (Dororo)

Winner Prediction: Tanjiro Kamado (Demon Slayer: KNY)

This one is a little weird for me because I am a manga reader for Domestic na Kanojo. In fact, if they anime adapted more of the manga, I would have picked Natsuo and Rui to be the Best Couple and Natsuo as Best Boy without any competition or second thought but since the anime stopped well short of a time where that would have backed up my claim, I did the next best thing and picked Hyakkimaru from Dororo. Obviously, Demon Slayer wins this, though.


Best Girl

Nominees: Carole (Carole & Tuesday), Chika Fujiwara (KAUYA-SAMA: LOVE IS WAR), Emma (The Promised Neverland), Kohaku (Dr. STONE), Nezuko Kamado (Demon Slayer: KNY), Raphtalia (The Rising of the Shield Hero)

My Vote: Raphtalia (The Rising of the Shield Hero)

My Actual Winner: Oono (Hi-Score Girl II) (not nominated)

Winner Prediction: Nezuko Kamado (Demon Slayer: KNY)

I voted for Raphtalia because she was the original waifu of 2019. It was always Raphtalia this, Raphtalia that. Now that Nezuko exists, it’s become “Raphtalia who?” Still, I voted for her because raccoon girls need to be remembered! My actual winner is Oono from Hi-Score Girl. I have only seen it one other time where a character conveyed tons of emotion without speaking much (if at all) and that was with Shoko from 2016’s A Silent Voice. Oono doesn’t talk but her mannerisms, little grunts, her laughter, her facial expressions say it all! She is absolutely adorable and more of a waifu candidate than Raphtalia and Nezuko! That’s right, I said it! Come fight me!

Advertisement

But come on, Nezuko’s going to win anyway so what does it matter. All you KNY nerds will get your wish.


Best Director

Nominees: Tatsuro Araki (Attack on Titan III), Kiyotaka Suzuki (BABYLON), Shinichiro Watanabe & Motonobu Hori (Carole & Tuesday), Yuzuru Tachikawa (Mob Psycho 100 II), Kunihiko Ikuhara (Sarazanmai), Shuhei Yabuta (Vinland Saga)

My Vote: Tatsuro Araki (Attack on Titan III)

My Actual Winner: Yoshiki Yamakawa (Hi-Score Girl II) (not nominated)

Winner Prediction: Yuzuru Tachikawa (Mob Psycho 100 II)

Hi-Score Girl took you back to the second golden age of gaming: the 1990’s. Capcom arcade games were everywhere and the whole otaku love story was nearly flawless. Yamakawa did an outstanding job working with a full CG show and made it so that the CG didn’t even matter… something very hard to do in 2019! The music direction, the story direction, the emotion he brought to the forefront… it was superb… but he wasn’t nominated so I went with Attack on Titan only because Yabuta got some shade thrown his way over poor animation in Vinland Saga and since that incident is recent and still in people’s minds, we’ll have to go with WIT Studio’s other show for the win… that is until Mob Psycho 100 takes it because of that one fight scene that just happens to be nominated later…

Advertisement

Best Animation

Nominees: Attack on Titan III, Demon Slayer: KNY, Fate/Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia, Mob Psycho 100 II, Sarazanmai, Vinland Saga

My Vote: Attack on Titan III

My Actual Winner: Attack on Titan III

Winner Prediction: Demon Slayer: KNY

As aforementioned about Vinland Saga’s animation hiccup, I think Attack on Titan would be the winner had Demon Slayer never existed. KNY gets another one.


Best Character Design

Nominees: Tsunenori Saito (Carole & Tuesday), Satoshi Iwataki (Dororo), Yuko Iwasa (Dr. STONE), Yuko Yahiro (KAGUYA SAMA: LOVE IS WAR), Kayoko Ishikawa (Sarazanmai), Takakhiko Abiru (Vinland Saga)

My Vote: Satoshi Iwataki (Dororo)

Advertisement

My Actual Winner: Satoshi Iwataki (Dororo)

Winner Prediction: Yuko Iwasa (Dr. STONE)

I thought the characters from Dororo were well-designed and really gave off that old samurai war vibe. Traditional, classic Japanese clothing was everywhere. Nothing seemed over the top. It all seemed to just fit and fit well. Also, Hyakkimaru with swords for arms… come on… that’s just incredible! Too bad it won’t hold up against the other show that people can’t stop talking about. If there is an award that has Dr. STONE in it but no Demon Slayer, rest assured Dr. STONE is going to take it.


Best Score

Nominees: Hiroyuki Sawano (Attack on Titan III), Mocky (Carole & Tuesday), Go Shiina/Yuki Kajura (Demon Slayer: KNY), Tatsuya Kato/Hiroaki Tsutsumi/YUKI KANESAKA (Dr. STONE), Yugo Kanno (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind), Kevin Penkin (The Rising of the Shield Hero)

My Vote: Hiroyuki Sawano (Attack on Titan III)

Advertisement

My Actual Winner: Hiroyuki Sawano (Attack on Titan III)

Winner Prediction: Go Shiina/Yuku Kajura (Demon Slayer: KNY)

This one is tough because two of the three members of The Holy Trinity of anime music are nominated here… those being Hiroyuki Sawano and Yuki Kajura. I want Sawano to win because he’s my favorite of the three but Demon Slayer and Yuki Kajura are just too powerful.


Best Fight Scene

Nominees: Emperor Crimson vs Metallic (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind), Levi vs Beast Titan (Attack on Titan III), Mob vs Toichiro (Mob Psycho 100 II), Tanjiro & Nezuko vs Rui (Demon Slayer: KNY), Thorfinn vs Thorkell (Vinland Saga), Ushiwakamaru vs Tiamat (Fate/Grand Order)

My Vote: Thorfinn vs Thorkell (Vinland Saga)

My Actual Winner: Hyakkimaru vs Tahomaru (Dororo) (not nominated)

Winner Prediction: Tanjiro & Nezuko vs Rui (Demon Slayer: KNY)

Advertisement

Hyakkimaru vs Tahoimaru had me on the edge of my seat. I loved the animation, the swordplay between the two, fighting in the burning building that was once their home… the meaning, the symbolism, the choreography… all of it made this anticipated fight special… and it wasn’t even nominated. So I went with the other most-anticipated fight (for me) with Thorfinn for Thorkell which didn’t have as much of an impact as I would have liked it to have. Oh, wait… Demon Slayer is here and it involves Waifu of the Year. It wins.


Best Couple

Nominees: Raki Hanma & Kozue Matsumoto (Baki), Kaguya Shinomiya & Miyuki Shirgane (KAGUYA-SAMA: LOVE IS WAR), Mafuyu Sato & Ritsuka Uenoyama (given), Reo & Mabu (Sarazanmai), Rika Zonazaki & Shun Amagi (O Maidens in Your Savage Season), Ymir & Historia (Attack on Titan III)

My Vote: Ymir & Historia (Attack on Titan III)

My Actual Winner: Oono & Haruo (Hi-Score Girl II) (not nominated)

Winner Prediction: Ymir & Historia (Attack on Titan III)

Oono and Haruo… were they even a couple? That long, slow build-up to the final episode and everything was left open for interpretation but it was SUPER CLEAR that there was mutual love there between the two of them. No other couple this year made me feel the way these two made me… .and they’re nowhere to be found on this list… I, honestly, didn’t care about any of the other couples so I threw a dart and picked Historia and Ymir. I don’t know who wins this so I’ll just say for LGBTQ representation reasons, let’s go with my dart-picked winner. I mean, we can’t have social justice warriors throwing fits and arguing on the internet in 2020, can we?


Best VA Performance (JP)

Nominees: Mamoru Miyano as Reo Niiboshi (Sarazanmai), Saori Hayami as Shinobu Kocho (Demon Slayer: KNY), Yuichi Nakamura as Bruno Bucclaratt (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind), Yukino Kaida as Isabella (The Promised Neverland), Yusuke Kobayashi as Senku (Dr. STONE)

My Vote: Mamoru Miyano

My Actual Winner: Naoya Uchida as Askeladd (Vinland Saga) (not nominated)

Winner Prediction: Yusuke Kobayashi as Senku (Dr. STONE)

Okay… I’ve seen none of these shows… so I picked Naoya Uchida because Askeladd reasons. An amazing character needs an amazing voice to be brought to life, right? So, since he wasn’t even nominated, I picked Mamoru Miyano, my favorite Japanese voice actor for biased reasons. But Dr. STONE will win even with Demon Slayer present because it wasn’t Nezuko that was nominated.


Best VA Performance (EN)

Nominees: Kyle McCarley as Mob (Mob Psycho 100 II), Laura Bailey as Tohru Honda (Fruits Basket), Erica Mendez as Retsuko (Aggretsuko II), Billy Kametz as Naofumi (The Rising of the Shield Hero), Faye Mata as Aqua (KONOSUBA), Casey Mongillo as Shinji (Neon Genesis Evangelion)

My Vote: I just threw a dart at the board and picked Kyle McCarley

My Actual Winner: No one… I don’t watch dubs

Winner Prediction: Eh… Mob Psycho 100 looks to be the most popular out of all of these shows so let’s go with that.

I’ll say it again. I don’t watch dubs.

Next.


Best Comedy

Nominees: Aggetsuko II, How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift?, Isekai Quartet, KAGUYA-SAMA: LOVE IS WAR, My Roommate is a Cat, Sarazanmai

My Vote: Isekai Quartet

My Actual Winner: Ore wo Suki nano wa Omae dake ka yo (not nominated)

Winner Prediction: Isekai Quartet

How in the HELL did OreSuki not get nominated? Sure, that show was carried by one character in Joro, but Joro was that whole show! The reason why we laughed was Joro. The reason why the 4th wall was broken was Joro! All of the comedic situations were all based around Joro! Despite it being a one-character show, it was hilarity incarnate! I don’t even know who wins this but I’ll pick Isekai Quartet because popularity rules and when you have a show jammed up with Waifu for Eternity (Rem), KONOSUBA characters, Overlord characters, and you advertise that Waifu of 2019 #1 (Raphtalia) is coming in Season 2, it’s gotta win, right?


Best Fantasy

Nominees: Ascendance of a Bookworm, ASTRA LOST IN SPACE, Attack on Titan III, Demon Slayer: KNY, The Promised Neverland, Sarazanami

My Vote: The Promised Neverland

My Actual Winner: The Promised Neverland

Winner Prediction: Demon Slayer: KNY

Demon Slayer is nominated. Demon Slayer will win but I think The Promised Neverland will give it a huge run for its money. This show was so good, it forced me to go out and buy the manga because I didn’t want to wait until season two to find out what happened. This show kicked 2019 off with a bang and I think if it weren’t for Demon Slayer, it would have ran away with this awards show… and still might. You never know… but that would require the anime community to realize other shows besides Demon Slayer exist.


Best Drama

Nominees: BABYLON, Carole & Tuesday, Fruits Basket, Stars Align, The Promised Neverland, Vinland Saga

My Vote: The Promised Neverland

My Actual Winner: The Promised Neverland

Winner Prediction: The Promised Neverland

No Demon Slayer? No Dr. STONE? The Promised Neverland will run away with this one.


Best Opening

Nominees: Kiss Me (Carole & Tuesday), Kawaki wo Ameku (Domestic Girlfriend), Inferno (Fire Force), 99.9 (Mob Psycho 100 II), Touch Off (The Promised Neverland), Mukanjyo (Vinland Saga)

My Vote: Touch Off (The Promised Neverland)

My Actual Winner: Touch Off (The Promised Neverland)

Winner Prediction: Touch Off (The Promised Neverland)

UVERworld knows how to make a banger of an opening. People have even commented that “we went from You Ready? Are You Excited? to “Na na na na na na na na” when this theme song hit. It’s also a song that I still listen to on repeat to this day. Heck, truth be told, I was listening to it just last night before writing this editorial. It is, hands-down, my favorite song of 2019 and I think none of the other songs here (as good as they are) can touch (off) this one. It sweeps this category.


Best Ending

Nominees: Hold Me Now (Carole & Tuesday), Sayonara Gokko (Dororo), veil (Fire Force), Chikatto Chika Chikaa (KAGUYA-SAMA: LOVE IS WAR), Stand (Sarazanmai), Torches (Vinland Saga)

My Vote: Sayonara Gokko (Dororo)

My Actual Winner: Sayonara Gokko (Dororo)

Winner Prediction: Torches (Vinland Saga)

Dororo’s first ending theme was so somber and amazing that all of the emotion you felt during an episode was just amplified when this ending theme hit. It was absolutely perfect but it’s not going to win because Vinland Saga is fresh is people’s minds and since Dororo was passed over for Anime of the Year, I think the more recent Vinland Saga is going to grab it… even with an inferior song (imo.)


There you have it! Those are my picks, my wishes, and my predictions for the 4th annual Crunchyroll Anime Awards!

Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments below or contact me via joshpiedra@theouterhaven.net!

 

About The Author

Josh Piedra

Josh (or J.J. as some have come to call him), is a long-time geek culture enthusiast with a deep passion for anime, manga and Japanese culture. Josh also has a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design and is a creative writer who has created original content for over 20 years! He is also the author of the original English light novel Final Hope.