top of page

My 2019 Anime Awards Winners

It's that time of year again! Time to look back and remember all the great anime we had in 2018.

And we really did have a phenomenal year (probably the best since 2007???). There were so many shows in a variety of genres to gush over, commit ourselves to, and love. Crunchyroll is holding their 3rd annual Anime Awards and I'm here to weigh in. In total honesty, I don't really think these awards matter for anything. Nominations are probably decided by popularity, sponsorships and the like; there's always something lacking in the nominees that should be there. So I take these awards with bags and bags of salt.

But it's still fun to make your picks and see who will come out on top! Check out my picks and qualms with this year's nominations...and find out what I think is deserving of the coveted title of anime of the year!

(For the Crunchyroll Awards, you can only vote once, but some reason I was able to vote twice, once on my work computer and once on my home laptop. So some of the categories have two picks.)

Best Protagonist

Retsuko, Aggretsuko

Yumeko Jabami, Kakegurui

Joe, Megalobox

Violet, Violet Evergarden

Rimuru Tempest, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime

Sakuta Azusagawa, Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

My Pick: Retsuko

Out of these choices, Retsuko takes it for me. She is the most relatable out of everyone listed. She is fun and trouble and messy. It makes her an absolute joy to watch.

I felt very disconnected from Joe from Megalobox. There was something in the show that made him feel distant, which isn't a bad thing. I love Joe and Megalobox was awesome but on a character writing level it did not accomplish much. I did not watch Slime or Kakegurui, so they are out of the running. Sakuta... I like him, but not enough to give him top protag. That's just a preference thing.

As you may or may not know, I am a huge Violet Evergarden fan girl. Why didn't I choose Violet? Because to me, she is less of a character and more of a lens I use to experience the beauty of her show. She was great to watch and I loved her character arc; I sympathized with her. I empathized with Retsuko. And, to me, that was more impactful.

What's missing: Sugimoto (Golden Kamuy), Historia (Attack on Titan S3) [yes, she was the protag this season, fight me], Mari Tamaki (A Place Further Than the Universe)

Best Antagonist

Ryo Asuka, Devilman Crybaby

Akane Shinjo, SSSS Gridman

All For One, My Hero Academia

Yuri, Megalobox

Tokushiro Tsurumi, Golden Kamuy

Momonga, Overlord III

My Picks: Ryo and Tsurumi

I didn't watch Gridman or Overload so those were out. All For One was a better threat than he was a villian. In the seasons prior to S3, he was a daunting faceless menace. But then he was taken out in two episodes and immediately incarcerated, removing all his mystery and, for me, his appeal. Now he's just a scary, ugly dude. Not who I would pick for this best antagonist. Yuri wasn't even an antagonist; he was just a guy that wanted a challenge. That left Ryo and Tsurumi and, thank god for loop holes, I got to pick both of them.

Ryo's tragedy is absolutely enthralling. His mistakes makes him an unforgettable character and despicable being in the show (no spoilers: he should've taken the baton). Tsurumi, on the other hand, is a complete joy. He steals the show every time he is on screen with his ragtag group of minions, his crazy ideas and, of course, his missing brain. Where Ryo is a tragic and emotionally gut-busting antag, Tsurumi is the most entertaining bad guy you've ever seen. It was apples and oranges between these two. Good thing I get both.

What's missing: Ogata (Golden Kamuy), Golzine (Banana Fish), Kenny (Attack on Titan S3), the script writing team (Darling in the FRANXX), the bully (March Comes in Like a Lion S2)

Best Boy

Kotaro Tatsumi, Zombie Land Saga

Honda-san, Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san

Izuku Midoriya, My Hero Academia

Sakuta Azusagawa, Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

Haida, Aggretsuko

Joe, Megalobox

My Pick: Honda-san

I didn't even watch all of Honda-san, but come one! This one is pretty obvious, This sweet, sweet bag of bones just wants to make sure everyone finds the book they are looking for. He is kind, courteous, patient, and hard-working. That's best boy material right there. The only way I wouldn't vote for Honda-san would be if Eiji Okumura from Banana Fish was nominated. But unfortunately, I am not that lucky.

What's missing: Eiji Okumura (Banana Fish), Sachio (Megalobox)

Best Girl

Anzu, Hinamatsuri Hinata Miyake, A Place Further Than the Universe

Lily Hoshikawa, Zombie Land Saga

Asirpa, Golden Kamuy

Nadeshiko Kagamihara, Yuru Camp

Mai Sakurajima, Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

My Pick: Anzu

I loved Golden Kamuy this year; it is in my top 5 of 2018. Asirpa is mah gurl! Her sass, skill, and chitatat make her a bomb character. But for some reason, I couldn't vote for her. This came down to Anzu and Hinata for me...and it had to go to Anzu. Her character development and story in Hinamatsuri were hard not to love. I fell for her right away. Her story is, in a way, similar to Hinata's, but Anzu's such a cute muffin, I couldn't say no. There's not a lot of thought behind my choice but the category is Best Girl...I don't think there is supposed to be.

What's missing: Hina (March Comes in like a Lion), Narumi (Wotakoi), Rikka (SSSS Gridman), Mika (Devilman Crybaby), 002 (Darling in the FRANXX)

Best OP

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku

Darling in the Franxx

Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler

Pop Team Epic


JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind

My Pick: Wotakoi

Golden Kamuy should have been nominated for this category, so it does not matter.

Since there are no stakes with this award, I went with Wotakoi because it's fun and silly and my brother liked it so much. I think of him when I see it and smile, so that's the winner for me.

I liked Aggretsuko, but it should NOT have been nominated.

A LOT was missed in this category. I know you can't pick all of the good openings but still...please see my partial list:

Golden Kamuy OP1

Banana Fish OP 1

Megalobox OP

A Place Further Than the Universe OP

March Comes in like a Lion OP 4

Violet Evergarden OP

Devilman OP

Hanebado OP

My Hero Academia OP 4

Release the Spyce OP

Hikari Are

Best ED


Attack on Titan Season 3

After the Rain

FLCL Alternative

Revue Starlight

FLCL Progressive

My Pick: Revue Starlight

Did I love Revue Starlight? No. But I know a good ED when I see one. It adapted with the show; every episode had a different character as the focus and the ending highlighted that episode's character, emphasizing crucial story beats in the episode. The song was beautiful and was accompanied with a gorgeous hand-drawn style that brought playfulness to the sequence and reminded us that the courageous and talented girls are still children. It bookended each episode brilliantly and easily deserves the top spot.

My runners up were After the Rain (because Aimer) and Attack on Titan (hello gorgeous detailed art style!) but none of them had the impact that Starlight's ED did.

Best VA Performance (JP)

Mamoru Miyano, Zombie Land Saga

Soma Saito, Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san

Megumi Han, Devilman Crybaby

Nao Toyama, Yuru Camp

Rareko, Aggretsuko

Reina Ueda, SSSS Gridman

My Pick: No Contest

So this is awkward...the only shows I've seen on this list are Devilman and Retsuko and I watched both of them in English. I did see two episodes of Honda-san and he did a great job, but I don't feel educated enough to give him the award.

What's missing: Ash Lynx (Banana Fish), Mamoru Miyano (Tada Never Falls in Love), Asirpa/anyone who speaks Ainu (Golden Kamuy)

Best VA Performance (EN)

Kari Wahlgren, FLCL

Christopher Sabat, My Hero Academia

Erica Mendez, Aggretsuko

David Wald, Mr. Tonegawa: Middle Management Blues

Tia Ballard, Darling in the FRANXX

Erika Harlacher, Violet Evergarden

My Pick: Aggretsuko

This one was hard. Haruko from FLCL is always a pleasure to see and hear. Wahlgren's performance was great but I had heard it before and kind of eliminated it based off that. Again, I loved Violet Evergarden and Harlacher did a great job. But the role provided limitations that didn't let her show her full range, which is fine. Her performance fit the character. Retsuko, in contrast, goes through an amazing range of emotions throughout the show's run and Mendez portrays them all beautifully, comically, and tragically whenever the situation called for it.

What's missing: Adam Gibbs (Chihayafuru) [older anime but dubbed in 2018], Aaron Dismuke (Takagi-san), the guy who plays Mitta (Hinamatsuri)

Best Director

Masaaki Yuasa, Devilman Crybaby

Atsuko Ishizuka, A Place Further Than the Universe

You Moriyama, Megalobox

Yohei Suzuki, Planet With

Taichi Ishidate, Violet Evergarden

Hiroko Utsumi, Banana Fish

My Pick: Masaaki Yuasa & Taichi Ishidate

Banana Fish finally got nominated for something! But unfortunately it has to lose to the other shows. I'm not really that great at telling if something has good direction but I could feel the talent dripping off these shows. This was a hard choice between Devilman, Violet Evergarden and A Place Further Than the Universe. All three of them made me recognize the importance of staging a scene, thoughtful camera cuts, and dynamic cinematography. This was such a hard choice that I used my wild card. I picked two. Sorry Universe but I liked Devilman and Violet better overall, so you don't get my vote. You are great though, promise!

Also, shout out to Megalobox. You looked great too. But you aren't a DEVILMAN!!!

What's Missing: March Comes in Like a Lion S2 (My God, how is it not on here!)

Best Animation

Violet Evergarden

Devilman Crybaby


A Place Further Than the Universe

Bloom Into You

My Hero Academia

My Pick: Violet Evergarden

That's all.

Best Film

The Night is Short, Walk On Girl

My Hero Academia: Two Heroes


Liz and the Blue Bird

Mazinger Z: Infinity


My Pick: No Contest

I have only seen Mirai and I didn't like it enough to give it best movie. I think it should probably go to Liz and the Blue Bird but I haven't see it so I can't say...

What's missing: Maquia: The Promised Flower

Best Character Design

Violet Evergarden

Devilman Crybaby

Zombie Land Saga



JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind

My Pick: Violet Evergarden

This one was another hard choice. Everyone looks SO GOOD in these shows. But in the end it went to Evergarden because the characters did more than look good; the clothing choices and style made the world and time period feel real. This show takes place in a post-WWI-ish European county and the costuming helps make that mental leap possible for the viewer. The character designs act as a vehicle to bring the audience back in time and does so with great success.

What's missing: Release the Spyce, Hinamatsuri

Best Fight Scene

Hina vs Anzu, Hinamatsuri

All for One vs All Might, My Hero Academia

Naruto & Sasuke vs Momoshiki, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations

Jiren vs Goku, Dragon Ball Super

Yami vs Licht, Black Clover

Satan vs Devilman, Devilman Crybaby

My Pick: Boruto & Devilman Crybaby

My brother is going to kill me because I did not pick My Hero Academia and I have a good reason. My interpretation of best fight means which show had the most exciting fight choreography, exciting music, edge-of-your-seat action, and countless thrills. All Might's fight was great; it was very emotional and impactful to the story. But the fight itself was meh. It's only a handful of punches. The physical battles in Boruto and Devilman align to my interpretation the most. They are movie level, sakuga bursting fights that are a marvel to watch.

What's missing: Ash vs Arthur (Banana Fish), Battle at the Wall (Attack on Titan), Otter Meat Sumo (Golden Kamuy), Final Battle (FLCL Progressive)

Best Continuing Series

The Ancient Magus Bride

Dragon Ball Super

Black Clover

March Comes in Like a Lion

One Piece

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations

My Pick: March Comes in Like a Lion

I didn't even have to think about this one. I do not watch DBS, Black Clover or One Piece. I dropped Boruto because what was it anyway? I was also never a fan of The Ancient Magus Bride. It looked beautiful and had great music, but the content wasn't enough to keep me engaged. And why pick that one when I can pick a show that I'm obsessed with and have been shouting praises at for two years.

Hey y'all, it's March Comes in Like a Lion.

What. A. Show. Bonus points for having its best two arcs take place in 2018. Hina's bullying arc should've also gotten the show nominated for best direction. Talk about beautiful. And the story of the older man carrying the burden of his friends who have given up their dreams of competing. This show is bursting with heavy, contemplative material and is so underrated. March won this prize last year. Can it take it again? It definitely deserves it.

Anime of the Year

A Place Further Than the Universe

Devilman Crybaby


Violet Evergarden


Zombie Land Saga

My Pick: Violet Evergarden

All these shows have a shot at winning. I've seen them all except Zombie Land Saga. They were all very, very good shows. But for me, shocker everyone, it's Violet Evergarden. I talk about it a bit here but let reiterate a few things. Violet Evergarden is beautiful in every way, visually, musically, emotionally, and morally. More than just being an entertaining show, it reminded me to feel deeply, act generously, and listen intently to other people's stories. It opened my eyes to a lot of life lessons that I never expected an anime to teach me.

Yes, Violet as a character may be lacking. Like I said under Best Protag, she is more of a lens than a character. But if she is the reason that you oust a show of this magnitude, you are closed minded. Watching Violet slowly turn into more a human throughout the show is an amazing journey; watching the people around her teach her along the way portrays humanity's gift to one other. I obviously speak very highly of this show. I think it's a masterpiece. Violet Evergarden's impactful vignettes, brilliant direction and emotional exploration blow every other show from this year out of the water.

It is my anime of the year. I don't care what Crunchyroll or anyone else says.


OST of the Year


Come on, Anime Awards. Come on.

Subscribe to my blog! Never miss a post!

bottom of page