DARLING in the FRANXX might have won the most number of awards, but it did miss the most important award of Anime of the Season (AOTS), with Laid-Back Camp scoring a magnificent come-from-behind win for the Winter 2018 Anime Awards. With the win, it became the 2nd episodic and slice-of-life anime to win the top title, with Natsume’s Book of Friends being the first in both. Laid-Back Camp also won an award for Favorite Comedy, Favorite Slice-of-Life, and most surprisingly, Favorite Opening Theme Song for “Shiny Days” performed by Asaka, beating the season’s early favorite “Flashback”, which is the OP Theme Song of Kokkoku: Moment by Moment.
It also came close to winning the award for Best Girl as two of its lead characters Rin Shima and Nadeshiko Kagamihara came in at 2nd and 3rd place respectively, with the former trailing behind by only 375 votes to Zero Two from Darling in the FranXX.
Ultimately, with its strong impression and presence in the past season, Laid-Back Camp will be nominated for Anime of the Year (AOTY) for the 5th Anime Trending Awards (ATA 2019), alongside Darling in the FranXX, Violet Evergarden, and A Place Further than the Universe which met the new requirement for qualification, the latter three anime making it within Laid-Back Camp’s 5% lead.
Almost a sweep
Laid Back Camp’s closest competitor, Darling in the FranXX almost swept this season’s character awards, with the anime just missing the award for Favorite Male Character to Kondou Masami from Love is Like After the Rain, who made Anime Trending history as the oldest character to win a character award at the age of 45. The previous record-holder was Kenjirou Shibazaki from Terror in Resonance, who won the same award at the age of 40 at the Summer 2014 Anime Awards.
Pitchforks and torches were raised when Ichigo was announced to have won Winter 2018’s Favorite Supporting Female Character for Darling in the FranXX, which was ironically on the same day she received negative reception for her actions in the 14th episode of the anime. On the other hand, a completely different reception was given to her partner Gorou, who many consider as the ‘best bro’. He won the award for Favorite Supporting Male Character, with many fans pressing the ‘F’ keys out of respect and pity to what he went through in the same episode of Darling in the FranXX.
As mentioned earlier, Zero Two won as this season’s Best Girl in a surprisingly close race despite dominating the charts four weeks in a row. It could be said her backstory in the anime’s 13th episode which propelled her back to the #1 spot on the Week#11 issue of the character charts was critical for her win.
Darling in the FranXX also won the ‘Favorite Action or Adventure’ and ‘Favorite Mecha or Sci-Fi’ awards, becoming the highest ranking mecha/sci-fi anime in a final seasonal anime ranking ever since Aldnoah.Zero (Summer 2014 and Winter 2015).
The pairing of Yuzu and Mei Aihara from Citrus failed to break the losing streak of non-straight ships as they bowed down to the pairing of Nishikata and Takagi from Karakai Jouzo no Takagi-san, in which the latter scored a CRITICAL HIT as this season’s favorite couple-ship. This would be the 3rd time that a non-straight ship ended up being a runner-up, as the previous instances include the pairing of Sorey and Mikleo of Tales of Zestiria the X which lost to Subaru Uchimaki and Mizuki Usami of This Art Club Has a Problem! in the Summer 2016 Anime Awards; and Yuuri Katsuki and Viktor Nikiforov of Yuri on Ice! losing to Asuma Mutsumi and Kae Serinuma of Kiss Him, Not Me! in the Fall 2016 Anime Awards. This is ironic considering that Kae is a non-straight shipper.
Despite failing to make history for the couple-ship award, Citrus still made Anime Trending history as it surprisingly won the award for Favorite Romance over Love is Like After the Rain and Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san, which placed 2nd and 3rd respectively. This marked the first time ever that the romance award was given to a non-straight themed romance anime, though it would also be the second time that the award was given to a controversial anime, the first being Scum’s Wish back in the Winter 2017 Anime Awards.
Day of Record Breakers
Artist Sayuri further extended her theme song win streak to 4, with her 6th single “Tsuki to Hanataba” claiming the Favorite Ending Theme Song award for Fate/Extra: Last Encore. Her previous winning singles were “Mikazuki” for Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace (Summer 2015), “Sore wa Chiisana Hikari no you na” for ERASED (Winter 2016), and “Heikousen” for Scum’s Wish (Winter 2017).
Violet Evergarden finally broke Kyoto Animation’s (KyoAni) medal drought after it placed in the final overall tally for the top anime of Winter 2018. It also won Favorite Drama, which was the first time that a KyoAni anime placed within the Top 3 after 16 seasons. The last time it did so was with Love, Chunibyo, and other Delusions!, which placed 3rd in the overall tally for the Winter 2014 Anime Season. KyoAni is one of the more well-known anime studios out there, notably because of their very detailed art and animation, and most importantly, their moe characters. In the last Annual Anime Trending Awards, it had its first ever anime to get nominated for Anime of the Year with Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, though the series ended dead last in the race for the said title.
MADHOUSE, another well-known studio, finally made it back on the awards table after quite a long time of absence, notably not having at least one anime nominated for the 4th Anime Trending Awards. Its Overlord II won for Favorite Supernatural Anime and placed 2nd for Favorite Sequel or New Season Anime – losing to another MADHOUSE anime, Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card Arc, which is quite ironic for a studio not known for producing sequels or as some would say, doesn’t know how to count to two. Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card Arc also won for Favorite Fantasy or Magical Anime, showing that it still has that aspect which many of its fans from over a decade ago loved and missed. Its main couple, Sakura Kinomoto and Syaoran Li placed 5th in the final couple-ship rankings, making them qualifiers of the final Couple-Ship of the Year for the 5th Anime Trending Awards. Last but not the least, perhaps the star among the three anime the studio produced, A Place Further than the Universe won Favorite Original Anime in a close race over Darling in the FranXX. Even though it only won one award, A Place Further than the Universe made quite a presence among the community in the latter half of the season as it started making its way up the top anime charts. It eventually won the last two weeks, including the Last Week Advantage, which earned them a double-week win enough to make the 5% trail cut for an Anime of the Year nomination. The anime, thought to be just another anime about “Cute Girls Doing Cute Things”, surprised everyone with how well it narrated–according to its fans–the story of 4 lead female characters who dreamt of going to Antarctica and the surprising level of depth it had to it.
Road to #ATA2019: the 5th Anime Trending Awards
With the final results released, the anime which met the qualification requirements to have at least one nomination for the 5th Anime Trending Awards were announced. A total of 18 anime made the cut and those are listed below based on most number of nominations:
DARLING in the FRANXX– 9 nominations
Laid-Back Camp – 6 nominations
Citrus – 5 nominations
Karakai Jouzo no Takagi-san – 4 nominations
Love is Like After the Rain – 4 nominations
Overlord II – 4 nominations
Violet Evergarden – 4 nominations
Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens – 4 nominations
Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card Arc – 3 nominations
A Place Further Than the Universe – 3 nominations
Kokkoku: Moment by Moment – 3 nominations
Beatless – 2 nominations
School Babysitters – 2 nominations
The Seven Deadly Sins S2 – 1 nomination
Record of Grancrest War – 1 nomination
Pop Team Epic – 1 nomination
Fate/Extra: Last Encore – 1 nomination
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. S2 – 1 nomination
Highlighted in bold are anime that are nominated for Anime of the Year
The number of nominations will change as the staff of Anime Trending will decide this coming week on which anime will be nominated for the 6 Aspect Awards which are: Best in Animation Effects and Sequences, Best in Adaptation, Best in Character Design, Best in Sceneries and Visuals, Best in Soundtrack, and the newly added award, and Best Ensemble – which seeks to give recognition to anime that has an outstanding cast.
Updated List of Nominees of the 5th Anime Trending Awards can be seen here
Full Results can be seen here