Animation Kobe, an event run by the city of Kobe for the promotion of work in the various fields of animation, has announced the winners of its 15th Kobe Animation Awards for 2010 (the 2009 award are visible here.)
Some of the more notable winners include Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu for Best Movie, K-ON!! as Best TV Anime, Hatsune Miku’s 39′s Giving Day Concert for the mysterious “Network” Award, and To Aru Kagaku’s “only my railgun” for Best Theme Song.
The individual awards each have their own in-depth criteria explained on the official website, but basically all involve works of excellence in the animation industry that took place between July 2009 and August 2010:
Individual Category – 細田守/ Mamoru Hosoda
The “Individual Award”, given to a specific person involved with the oft-overlooked production or creative end of the industry, went to Mamoru Hosoda, a staff director at studio Madhouse who is best known for giving us the superb “Toki o Kakeru Shoujo”, as well as last year’s acclaimed “Summer Wars”.
This award serves to add yet more acclaim to Summer Wars, which also won this year’s Tokyo Anime Fair award for Best Movie.
Last Year’s Winner: 加藤久仁生 / Kunio Kato
Special Category – スタジオ美峰 / Studio Bihou
The “Special” Award, a catch-all category given in recognition of long-term contributions to the industry, goes this year to a company instead of a person – Studio Bihou (or “Bihou Corporation”, to go by the official award’s website).
Studio Bihou primarily deals with Background and Scenery work for anime series, movies and games, a very different sort of animation studio than those that those that are the principal producers of a series, and so might be unfamiliar to many, despite the considerable fame of many productions they have been involved with, which include the Evangelion 2.0 movie, the Gurren Lagann TV series and movies, the Persona games, Spice and Wolf, and many more.
For those able to remember the industry as it was a decade ago, Kyoto Animation prior to 2003′s Full Metal Panic – Fumoffu operated as a similar sort of animation studio, not producing any of its own series but instead performing backround work in assistance to other studio’s productions.
Last Year’s Winner: 雪室俊一 / Shunichi Yukimoru
Theatrical Film Production Award -
Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu / The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
The award for Best Movie goes to the truly excellent Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu film released to much acclaim this February.
The Kobe Awards came too early last year to catch the wave of anime movies that began in the 2nd half of 2009, even having to give the award the indignity of going to a Western animated movie; this year the candidates included such gems as the Macross F: Itsuwari no Hime, Nanoha the 1st, Fate/stay Night UBW, but the competition for the top spot could hardly have come between any other films besides Shoushitsu and the latest of the Evangelion revival movies, 2.0.
Last Year’s Winner: WALL-E
TV Production Award – K-ON!!
The winner of the award for Best TV Show went to KyoAni’s latest megahit, the second season of K-ON!!
Coming up with a winner for this particular category, as compared with movies, is inevitably a more involved process giving the sheer number of shows that come out in any given year, but considering the impact and influence of K-ON! before, during and after its run amongst the otaku subculture that dwarfed even other recent shows like To Aru Kagaku, Strike Witches, and even any of the year’s crop of movies, it is easy to settle on K-ON!! as being the top show of the year.
This win incidentally follows the first season’s tie (along with Higashi no Eden) for the equivalent award at the latest Tokyo Anime Fair.
Last Year’s Winner: Higashi no Eden
Network Production Award – Miku no Hi Kanshasai 39 Giving Day Project
The Network award, given for works of “Network Media” such as webshows, went this year to Vocaloid diva Hatsune Miku’s concert with the unwieldly name that essentially translates as Miku’s Thanksgiving Day.
The technologically brilliant event, which involved Miku and some of her Vocaloid sisters projected larger than life onto a stage before a huge glowstick-armed otaku audience was truly a memorable event, and it is hard to think of any other possible competition for this category, besides the possibly ineligible web-broadcast episodes of Bakemonogatari (which was not, strictly speaking, a webshow).
Last Year’s Winner: Suzumiya Haruhi-chan no Yuuutsu & Nyoron☆Churuya-san
Theme Song Award – only my railgun (To Aru Kagaku no Railgun 1st OP)
The final award, for Theme Song of the year, goes to the worthy “only my railgun”, performed by flipSide and used as the first of two OPs for the To Aru Majutsu no Index sidestory series To Aru Kagaku earlier this year.
The song was a surprise hit for a piece of otaku music, reaching the sort of widespread popularity shared by some of K-ON!’s songs among the general populace – even full sized billboards advertising the album were at train stations far from Akihabara throughout Tokyo earlier this year.
There were even more songs eligible in this category than there were series in the TV category, given that each show typically has several songs throughout its run counting both OP and ED, but this choice seems fairly well chosen. Some other candidates that come to mind might be K-ON!!’s ED “Listen”, Bakemonogatari’s ED “Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari”, or Shoushitsu’s theme song “Yasashii Boukyaku”.
Last Year’s Winner: Don’t say “lazy” (K-ON! ED Theme)
See also the 2009 results for last year’s details.