Crunchyroll Reveals 2023 Anime Awards Categories [UPDATED]

The event goes down in Tokyo for the first time on March 4, 2023

Anime Awards


UPDATE 1/27/23: Updated list of Anime Awards categories.


The 2023 Crunchyroll Anime Awards are set to expand with a live show in Tokyo on March 4, 2023, and now we know which categories we can expect to see in the spotlight. Crunchyroll announced everything from the anticipated Anime of the Year category to the Special Achievement Award and fan stream categories, so let's take a look at the honors that await! 


RELATED: The 2023 Crunchyroll Anime Awards: Your Ultimate Guide


Here's a breakdown of all the categories viewers can look forward to during the main ceremony:


  • Best Original Anime - An original anime is not adapted from source material; it is entirely a unique creation. While that itself is an accomplishment, these shows also present an impactful and entertaining story that elevates the title to another level.
  • Best Character Design -. This category celebrates artists who have either created iconic anime characters or breathed life into one from other sources like manga or light novels. Thanks to their understanding of design principles, great character designers can tell a story from how someone is drawn, while the legendary ones create characters you recognize by their silhouette.
  • Best Animation - Here we recognize anime that are visually stunning in the ways they bring their stories to life. No matter the style of animation, these shows provide a visual feast for viewers to enjoy, immersing audiences into previously unimaginable worlds.
  • Best Continuing Series - Sustaining excellence is no small feat, particularly when it comes to anime. Considering all the creativity, effort, and planning that goes into one season, the ability to hold a fan’s attention year after year is worthy of celebration.
  • Best Romance - A great romance can thaw the heart of the coldest cynic. These captivating stories draw us in and remind us of the best part of being alive. With their hopeful messages, these shows find a way to make you believe in the power of love.
  • Best Fantasy - Best Fantasy is all about imagination, creativity, and a bit of magic. These shows don’t  just take us to other worlds, they craft deep, original universes full of mythical creatures where even the smallest detail is fueled by ideas that previously were unthought.
  • Best Comedy - Whether they catch you off guard with a unique point of view, or the dialogue seems crafted by a stand-up comedian, these are the shows that make you laugh out loud and have your side hurting by the end. 
  • Best Score - A vital part of an unforgettable anime is the original music composed for it. A well-crafted score adds another dimension of depth and emotion to any scene with compositions that are not only tightly associated with an anime, but can also stand alone as masterpieces of music. 
  • Best Anime Song  -  This category recognizes a vocalist, instrumental, soloist, duo, group, or collaborative recording played during any part of an anime series. These are the songs that get stuck in your head, make you want to sing along, or give you a rush of emotion.
  • Best Film - Here we celebrate non-episodic anime with runtimes longer than a standard episode, whether they were released in theaters, on DVD, or online. The best of the best live up to the hype, leaving fans wondering where the time went.   
  • Best Director - To paraphrase Hayao Miyazaki, “An anime is a reflection of its director.” Of central importance, directors work behind the scenes, conveying their vision and imagination to animators, making critical decisions, and managing the creative aspects of production. 
  • Anime of the Year -  This is the show that sets the standard for anime over the last year, towering over all others. Its compelling story, beautiful artistic execution, unforgettable characters all combine in a unique way to create a masterpiece that deserves singular recognition. Whether the show was an unexpected hit, or delivered on fans’ high expectations, Anime of the Year represents absolute excellence. 


RELATED: Sally Amaki and Jon Kabira to Host the Anime Awards 2023


Here are the categories to be awarded during the fan stream: 


  • Best Main Character - Whether hero, anti-hero, or villain, a main character is the face of their series. But it’s not just their personalities or characteristics that make them beloved, it’s their well-developed stories and the journeys they take us on that make them worthy.
  • Best Supporting Character - This category celebrates sidekicks like they were number one. Supporting characters come in all shapes and sizes, but the best among them are able to shine as bright as their main character counterparts when called upon.
  • “Must Protect At All Costs” Character - These are the characters that make the world feel like a kinder, more special place. Whether they're an earnest protagonist who always gets back up or a pure hearted cinnamon roll who holds a group together, these characters remind us that there are some things in life worth protecting.
  • Best New Series - While countless new anime are created each year, this category honors the series and spin-offs that stand out. These instant classics possess something unique that keep viewers transfixed and passionately awaiting season two.
  • Best Opening Sequence - Through striking visuals and irresistible music, a great opening sequence sets the table for what’s to come. Whether it’s creating a quirky mood for an off-beat rom-com, or striking a dark and serious tone for suspense, a memorable opening has as much creativity and passion as the show it introduces.
  • Best Ending Sequence - Similar to the opening, an unforgettable ending sequence pairs design and music to delight and surprise. Often a place where the art style can be taken in entirely new directions, a great closing sequence lets viewers catch their breath and enjoy small moments with a character.
  • Best Action - This category rewards a show that has action at its core. These titles should leave the audience with their hearts pounding, their palms sweaty, and everyone gasping for breath at the mind-blowing sequences that were depicted.
  • Best Drama - These anime convey something essential about the human experience. Their mastery of building and relieving tension sets fans on the edge of their seats, feeling all their feelings, compelling them to invest deeply in the characters and their stories.  
  • Best Voice Artist Performance: Renowned voice artists not only breathe additional life into design, they also re-envision what a character sounds like in a different language. Through their command of tone and the emotions their voices elicit, these talented artists add depth, transforming anime characters into anime icons. This award will be honored to voice actors across Arabic, Castilian, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish.


Nominees in each category will be selected by the Anime Awards judges, which represent more than 50 anime creatives, tastemakers and influencers from around the world. You can read all about those judges right here. Anime Awards nominees will be announced early next year and fans are encouraged to vote across all categories.  


The Anime Awards live ceremony will be held on Saturday, March 4, 2023 at the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa, and will also be streamed across many of Crunchyroll's social media channels.


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