Cyberpunk: Edgerunners has emerged as the clear winner of the Crunchyroll 2023 Anime Awards, overshadowing other highly acclaimed nominees such as Attack on Titan Final Season, Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc, Lycoris Recoil, Ranking of Kings, and Spy X Family.
Crunchyroll’s Anime Awards event recognizes the best anime series and awards each year, and this year the show was held in person at the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa in Tokyo, Japan on March 4, 2023, but is also available to stream for those who couldn’t attend.
The winners are the result of a week-long voting period that ran from January 19, 2023 to January 25, 2023, during which fans were able to vote once per day in a variety of categories.
The awards were mostly dominated by runners-up, with the word “emerged” aptly describing how fierce the competition was. Among the notable anime achievements, Demon Slayer won Best Character Design, Best Animation, Best Direction, and Best Action, which is no surprise considering Studio Ufotable’s outstanding work, surpassing even its mastery of action in the Fate/Stay Night series.
In addition, author Koyoharu Gotouge’s exceptional writing in the action-packed and exciting Entertainment District arc ensured that the battles were always compelling, with just the right amount of action and drama to satisfy both newcomers and veterans, making each award well deserved.
This season, Attack on Titan focused less on action due to the political nature of the Marley arc, which ultimately leads to protagonist Eren Yeager unleashing the great rumbling apocalypse in response to the endless cycle of hate. However, it is these tense political events that earned the show awards for Best Main Character, Best Drama, and Best VA Performance (with Yūji Kaku – Eren’s voice actor – delivering an outstanding performance).
The anime also won awards for Best Opening Sequence, Best Score, and Best Anime Song in general (The Rumbling).
It is truly remarkable that Cyberpunk: Edge Runners was able to surpass these two iconic anime, much like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and God of War were surprise winners in their respective game award years, while games like Death Stranding and Red Dead Redemption 2 dominated all other award categories.
The fact that Cyberpunk Edgerunners won this year’s award was not unexpected, given its top-notch animation and the fact that it is adapted from the immensely popular video game Cyberpunk 2077, which has a devoted fan base. In addition, the anime presents a detailed and compelling narrative set in a futuristic world that was prevalent in anime shows of the 80s and 90s, inspiring not only excitement but also nostalgia among many anime enthusiasts.
In addition, Lycoris Recoil was awarded Best Original Anime for its unique combination of military action and slice-of-life drama, which is fitting for a show that has gotten praise from acclaimed game designer Hideo Kojima himself.
Spy X Family also won several notable awards, including Best New Series, Ending Sequence, Supporting Character, Must Protect at All Costs Character, and Comedy.
In the movie category, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 emerged victorious, surpassing even legendary anime titles such as Dragon Ball (Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero Movie) and One Piece (One Piece: Red), and solidifying its status as a rising anime legend.
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