On January 11th, Crunchyroll opened the polls for their 3rd annual Crunchyroll Anime Awards. The awards, which were first presented in 2016, are given in recognition of popular and well-received anime series based on voting from both fans and Crunchyroll selected judges. The awards show features categories such as “Best Protagonist,” “Best Opening Sequence,” and “Best Character Design,” among others.
However, many fans noticed a glaring omission from the list of nominees for the 2018 awards. Despite it’s widespread popularity and growing fanbase, last year’s controversial Goblin Slayer was not eligible to receive an Anime Award in any category. Fans immediately began to speculate that Goblin Slayer’s absence from the ballot was a result of the widespread, negative response that social justice oriented viewers leveled at Goblin Slayer due to it’s mature content (such as gratuitous violence and depictions of sexual assault).
In a post made by Crunchyroll reporter Miles Thomas, Thomas explains how the nominees were selected for the 2018 Awards:
We reached out to 20+ fantastic individuals within the anime community at established outlets that cover anime and community leaders with established, unique, or meaningful followings who watch and read and learn about a lot of anime. They come from different backgrounds and perspectives, and all have a lot of anime credentials backing them up—sidenote: it’s pretty incredible that ‘anime credentials’ are a thing. These judges were asked to be independent and partial to their own personal assessments of which anime were most worthy, and after being given the parameters for each category, went through two rounds of judging.
Thomas also states that all nominees had to meet specific criteria in order to qualify for a nomination:
You might be asking what anime are the judges able to choose from? Well, aside from the category “Best Film”, all nominees must meet the following qualifications, or be from an anime that meets the following qualifications, to be considered for this year’s Anime Awards:
1) The nominee must be an animated series
2) Primary production for the show took place in Japan
3) Was broadcast in part in Japan either on television or online
4) At least one episode was legally distributed in the U.S. in 2018
The anime series was created by Japanese animation studio White Fox Co., Ltd., was broadcast from October 7, 2018-December 30, 2018 across four Japanese networks (Tokyo MX, AT-X, Sun Television, and Nippon BS Broadcasting), and was legally simulcast in the United States by Crunchyroll themselves in 2018. Despite Goblin Slayer meeting every one of Crunchyroll’s qualifications, it still did not receive a nomination.
While none of the judges working with Crunchyroll have publicly stated the reasons behind their voting decisions, and many do not publicly focus on social politics, some have written about topics such as Battle Angel Alita’s upcoming ‘Latinx [sp] representation’, Disenchantment’s gender stereotypes and class dynamics, and how The Greatest Showman is a “disgusting celebration of The White Exploiter”, leaving fans cautious regarding the panel’s voting decisions.
Crunchyroll has not commented on the absence of Goblin Slayer from the Awards show. The winners of the 2018 Crunchyroll Anime Awards will be announced on February 16th through Crunchyroll’s Twitch channel.