How I Voted for The 2018 Crunchies

Jared Popelar · January 12, 2019

The third annual Crunchyroll awards are upon us for the 2018 season and that means it’s time for us to fulfill our civic duty as anime lovers and figure out which shows deserve the prestigious honor of being “we all really liked that one for this one very specific thing.” And although the 2016 Crunchies were ruined slightly by the fact that Yuri!!! on Ice got nominated for close to every category and, in an even more baffling turn of events, won the majority of them - infamously including edging out Mob Psycho 100 for Best OP - it was still a pretty fun event that actually got me to check out a few shows that flew under my radar that year.

Today, I’m going to be casting my ballot for this year’s Crunchyroll Awards, and I thought it’d be interesting to talk about what I voted for and why as a fun analytical exercise. I’m not trying to sway anybody towards voting for the things I voted for - even though I am Golden’s utmost authority on anime and nobody can tell me otherwise - but in the likely case you aren’t voting for things because you don’t know what they are or didn’t have time to watch them, hopefully I can make a decent case for you to get caught up on some of 2018’s best as we kick off 2019. This’ll be a good learning experience for me as well, as this will also tell me what needs to be put in my backlog for shows I should probably check out too.

So with that lengthy intro out of the way, let’s get right into the ballot! Starting off with:

Best Protagonist: Retsuko (Aggretsuko)


Fair warning: I think Aggretsuko was the best new show of 2018 and hence you’re going to see a lot of it come up on this list, so we might as well cut all of the pretense early. Yumeko Jabami was fun to watch, Gearless Joe had a fantastic Rocky Balboa impersonation, Sakuta Azusagawa was witty and sharp-tongued, and Rimuru Tempest was just…well, adorable, at the lack of a better word. But Retsuko beats all of them here just on the basis of being relatable, which in my opinion is the best thing about her character. Her design is iconic, her dialogue is simple but impactful, and her character on the whole is well-written and of course, she’s relatable. That ticks off just about all my boxes for being an excellent protagonist to rally around no matter what happens to her.

Best Antagonist: All for One (My Hero Academia 3)

Well, we’ve been waiting for two years for All for One to show up finally and when he did, holy hell, were we in for a ride. There was a long, patient build up to his reveal, starting as just some guy in a TV Shigaraki had some deep emotional attachment towards, and time progressed, even though we never really saw All for One at any point, we knew that he was gonna have to show himself and deal with All Might one on one. The actual fight I’m going to reserve for another time, but I’ll say that the shadow of All for One loomed over the series for a very long time and that slow burn up to one of the most riveting fights in anime history is the reason he gets my vote.

Best Boy: Haida (Aggrestuko)

This category messed with me a little bit, because two-thirds of the nominees are the protagonists of their respective series, and that kinda makes them best boy by default, doesn’t it? I mean, right? And even without that stipulation, I kinda thought the point of best boy/girl was that there was some sort of attractive factor to them for the audience. They’re people you wouldn’t mind sitting down and talking with over a cup of coffee or something like that…am I taking this too seriously? Whatever, Haida gets the vote for not only being another relatable character as far as his character motivations go but also for being the star in one of the best holiday anime specials I’ve seen in a while.

Best Girl: Mai Sakurajima (Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny-Girl Senpai)

I don’t think I need to justify this one.


Best OP: Fighting Gold (Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure: Golden Wind)

The Jojo’s OPs have been historically been some of my favorite OPs of all time, and this one is no exception. I’m sorry Aggrestuko, much as I liked your heavy metal theme song, the fact that JBA 5 is able of combining some catchy tunes to some stunning, symbolic and meaningful animation to accompany it puts it high and above your run of the mill OP. It’s a great opening to a great installment of a fantastic series.

Best ED: Akatsuki no Requiem (Attack on Titan Season 3)

I had mixed feelings in general about the third season of Attack on Titan, but the OP and the ED were both pretty damn spot on for the tone the show wanted to set. Add that onto the fact that it still goes out of its way to make its ED animated and have the impact of an OP, and I really don’t mind throwing AoT a bone on this front.

Best Japanese VA: Soma Saito (Skull-face Bookseller Honda-San)

I don’t think I need to justify this one either.

Best English VA: Erica Mendez (Aggretsuko)

Remember when I said that Aggretsuko’s dub was arguably better than its sub? Erica Mendez is at least 75% of the reason I think that. She needs to be in more shows. Or possibly less, I’m not sure how much Aggrestuko got to her when she was off voicing the main character.

Best Director: You Moriyama (Megalobox)

I love Masaka Yuasa and I love Devilman Crybaby but the reason Megalobox gets the vote here is because of its art style more than anything. Reminiscent of older 90s classics like Bebop and Evangelion, You Moriyama made sure that his show was a faithful recreation of the techniques of old, using modern day tech to provide a vintage feel to his series that we haven’t seen in a while. The care given and dedication to the gimmick is immediately visible and is one of the major attractions for the show.


Best Animation: Science Saru (Devilman Crybaby)

That said, just about all the animation in Yuasa’s work looks downright stunning. While Hero Aka 3 definitely had its high points animation wise and I still love everything about Megalobox’s artistic decisions, Science Saru did an absolutely amazing job on Crybaby that I don’t think I can offer the award to anything else. The simplistic art style gives way to some super creative and gorgeous animations that I legitimately don’t think was matched by anything else this year.

Best Film: My Hero Academia: Two Heroes

It was the only one on the list I saw. I liked it. I voted for it.

Best Character Design: Sanrio (Aggretsuko)

I don’t know exactly what circumstances need to come about for the Hello Kitty guys to get get snuffed an award for character design, but I’m pretty confident that didn’t happen this year.

Anime of the Year: Devilman Crybaby

If Aggretsuko was on this list, I would have voted for it in a heartbeat. That’s all I’ll say about it. That’s not to say Devilman Crybaby doesn’t deserve Anime of the Year, because it absolutely does out of the nominees. Everything from the story to the animation to the character designs were great and unlike a lot of shows this year, there is a lot of replay value to it, as there are plenty of allusions and hidden symbolism and character motivations that a first viewing simply doesn’t capture. If you haven’t seen this show yet, fix that as soon as you’re done reading this.

Best Fight Scene: All for One vs. All Might (My Hero Academia 3)

If your fight scene can make me cheer and make my neighbors below me post a notice on my door the next day telling me I was too loud, then you did something right.


Best Continuing Series: The Ancient Magus' Bride

I have no idea why this is in this category, but I loved it to death, the second half of it aired during last winter, which makes it a 2018 anime, and it was my personal anime of the year last year. Not to mention I’m more fond of seasonal anime as opposed to super long runners which most of the nominees for this category were. I don’t really feel like this is an especially weighty category considering that some of the nominees were Dragonball Super, Boruto, One Piece, and goddamn Black Clover of all things, but it did allow me to call attention to one of the best shows in recent memory, so I’ll take what I can get.

And there’s my ballot for the 2018 Crunchies! Let me know what I missed out on, and feel free to talk about what you voted for yourselves! See you all next time!

Next time: Another isekai show

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