The Anime Awards will be handed out across 14 different categories -- with nominees from all anime platforms -- including: Hero of the Year, Villain of the Year, Best Couple, Best Fight Scene and more. Starting today, all categories will be listed on the Anime Awards official website, including the nominees for each award which have been determined in advance by a team of independent judges, all anime enthusiasts. This year's panel of judges include WWE superstar and known anime-lover, Xavier Woods aka Austin Creed; animation director (The Boondocks & Black Dynamite and creator of Crunchyroll's upcoming project Children of Ether) LeSean Thomas; editor and host of IGN's Anime Club, Miranda Sanchez; and more.
Fans are encouraged to vote for their favorite nominees in every category beginning January 3rd, when voting officially opens. Until then, Crunchyroll will be releasing videos featuring titles in each category daily on its Facebook page, and once voting has opened, will host lively debates among its own community influencers on its YouTube page about which title deserves to win the coveted Anime of the Year Award.
"2016 has been an amazing year for anime, with fandom reaching new heights around the globe. Now more than ever, creators and everyone involved deserve to be recognized for their creativity and work in anime, which is experiencing a renaissance," said Kun Gao, General Manager and Founder of Crunchyroll. "The Anime Awards is intended to bring the community together to celebrate the medium. At Crunchyroll, we're all about bringing fans new ways to connect around the content they love, and we're excited to start this new tradition in honoring the amazing work and talent we've all had the privilege to be a part of. We are extremely excited to celebrate the amazing year in anime."
The Anime Awards will culminate in a celebration on January 28 at the Folsom Street Foundry in San Francisco, where The Anime of The Year Award will be announced and streamed live for fans not in attendance. This year's finalists include: ERASED, Joker Game, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, Mob Psycho 100, My Hero Academia, Re:Zero, Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū and Yuri!!! on ICE. Fans attending the Crunchyroll Anime Awards Party can expect a live DJ, anime screenings, video game lounges, custom T-shirt printing and more. Details on how fans can attend the event in-person will be released in early January.
Crunchyroll is the official destination for the largest and latest lineup of anime as well as popular drama and manga. Crunchyroll brings hit shows like Naruto Shippuden, Attack on Titan, and One Piece to millions of viewers around the world and allows them to purchase related merchandise through its online store. Through its app on game consoles, set-top boxes, mobile devices and more, Crunchyroll delivers content from leading Asian media producers directly to viewers translated professionally in multiple languages. The service is available for free or through a premium offering that allows users to watch ad-free with access to simulcasts -- top series available immediately after Japanese broadcast. Crunchyroll's majority investor is Otter Media, a joint venture between AT&T and The Chernin Group. Crunchyroll has offices in San Francisco and Tokyo, and is a member of the Association of Japanese Animations (AJA).