Now, this is a topic that nearly everyone has covered but I wanted to give my two cents. Before I get too far into this, I want to say that I don’t believe Yuri on Ice deserves nothing. I completely understand the majority of categories it was awarded and, for the most part, I agree with it. However, there are some things about the awards that just aren’t sitting right with me.
The first thing that I wanted to talk about was the fact that this entire thing seemed pretty rigged to begin with. Anything that is a popularity contest has no chance of being objective. On all of my social media outlets, all I saw was people telling others to go vote for Yuri On Ice. Everywhere it was “Go vote for Yuri on Ice”, not “Go vote in the Anime Awards”. That already creates an immediately bias that people are setting out to get the results that they want. This wasn’t a group of people who would be considered experts on the genre conversing with each other and coming to a consensus about what was the best in that genre. To that end, calling these awards “best of” is kind of joke.
I recently participated with a group in putting together a list of the best and worst anime of the past year. There were a few categories where I wanted to discuss why Yuri on Ice should be a runner up and not selected as the best, but I knew that my opinion was not everyone’s opinion so I let them go for the most part. The one that I would not move on, and the one on the Crunchyroll awards that annoyed me the most, was the Best Male category going to Yuri Katsuki. Originally, I was going to say Yurio and allow them to still have Yuri On Ice as the best in the category. But when I said that I honestly had a different candidate in mind, another member of the group agreed with me and said that Izuku Midoriya from My Hero Academia deserved it. We then launched into a near two hour discussion about which one should be chosen. In the end, it was down to only one person who really fought for Yuri while every one else would have said they thought Izuku was the better character.
To me, that’s what these “best of” lists should be about. Genuine discussion instead of just a simple poll to decide. People will spread the poll to a bias audience to make sure their pick wins. That is not an accurate representation of the anime community as a whole. While I do know plenty of fans who adore Yuri on Ice and think it deserved the best of everything this year, I can think of just as many fans of other shows who thought their show deserved everything as well. Honestly, this whole thing would probably not gotten as much attention if they called this the “Anime Fan Awards” instead of just calling them anime awards.
I want to give credit and say that Crunchyroll had a good idea. It’s difficult to have fans involved with these end of the year awards list, so allowing the fans to have a voice among all the lists that are going to exist out there is a great idea. And, in all honesty, I want to see this come back again next year. But, changes would need to happen. I think having a core group of judges deciding the best pick along with the fan picks would be interesting to see. Maybe the judges saw more of the shows than the fans did and can offer another perspective that fans didn’t know or even vice versa with fans talking about shows that the judges could have thought were awful. It would still be a form of discussion, even if it’s a little indirect.
I’m curious what you guys thought of the picks from the Crunchyroll Anime Awards. Did you vote? Was there a category that you thought another show should have won? Do you think Yuri on Ice was deserving or overhyped? Would you like to see the awards next year? Let’s get some discussion going!