It can be tough for the world to see how the anime industry pushes the boundaries of art and storytelling if the majority of anime represented in popular media is oversaturated along the lines of Pokèmon, Gundam, Studio Ghibli, and hentai.
Movie award ceremonies elevate representation for films, but the ratio of animated films winning is horribly skewed towards Western animation. The last time an anime film won an Academy Award (aka an Oscar) was of course in 2002, for the classic Studio Ghibli film Spirited Away. But, with the 94th Academy Awards coming up next March, six new anime films have met the Academy’s criteria to be nominated for an Academy Award.
The films in question include BELLE, Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko, The Laws of the Universe — The Age of Elohim, Pompo: The Cinephile, Poupelle of Chimney Town, and Josee, The Tiger and the Fish. Also up for nomination is the European-made The Summit of the Gods, which is based upon the manga of the same name by Jiro Taniguchi.
While my personal nomination goes to BELLE for the Paprika reminiscent animation style alone, the Academy’s board may see it quite differently, as we’ve learned over and over again that members of the judging committees of these award ceremonies often don’t watch the majority of the movies they’re supposed to be judging.
But the committee would be remiss if they don’t nominate or award any of the films mentioned above, seeing as the 94th Academy Awards marks twenty years since Spirited Away won its Oscar. Not to mention the vicious irony in the recently opened Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in L.A. daring to honor Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli with its opening exhibits after snubbing his and his contemporaries films for so long.
Whether or not the board decides to stick to the status quo, interested parties won’t have long to wait to find out if any of these great films earned themselves a shot. All nominees will be announced on February 8th, 2022, with the awards ceremony happening a month after on March 27th, 2022.
Source: Otaku USA Magazine