|Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year|
|Awarded for||Excellence in animation films of Japan|
|Presented by||The Nippon Academy-sho association|
Although the Japan Academy Prize has been awarded annually since 1978 to Japanese films, animation films - or anime films - were disregarded in the early years of the Prize. Animation films have included top grossing Japanese films of the year, such as Doraemon (1981), Studio Ghibli's Kiki's Delivery Service (1989), Only Yesterday (1991), Porco Rosso (1992), Pom Poko (1994), and Whisper of the Heart (1995). Yet no animated film received a nomination for a Japan Academy Prize during those years. This was notably different from other major Japanese film awards, such as the Mainichi Film Award and Kinema Junpo, which both awarded Picture of the Year to My Neighbor Totoro in 1988.
In 1990, the Japan Academy Prize Association gave a Special Award to Kiki's Delivery Service at the 13th the Japan Academy Prize, and again in 1995 to Takahata's Pom Poko. However, there was still no nomination for these animated box office hits.
But in 1998, the Japan Academy Prize Association's attitude toward animated films changed with the hugely successful Princess Mononoke, the highest box-office record ever in the history of Japanese cinema, which dominated the other major film prizes (See: Awards). As a result, at the 21st Japan Academy Prize that year, Studio Ghibli's Princess Mononoke became the first-ever animation film to be nominated for and win the Japan Academy Prize Picture of the Year. Yoshiyuki Tomino, famed for Gundam, mentioned it: "A hole that Hayao Miyazaki made spending ten years".
In 2002, at the 25th Japan Academy Prize, another animated film by Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, Spirited Away, was again nominated and won the Picture of the Year.
In 2007, the Japan Academy Prize followed the American Academy Awards, which instituted the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2002, by creating the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year. Only one film is awarded Best Animation of the Year (最優秀アニメーション作品賞?), but all five nominees are recognized by the association with the awarding of Excellent Animation of the Year (優秀アニメーション作品?).
List of winners and nominees
- 2007 - The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
- 2008 - Tekkon Kinkreet
- 2009 - Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea
- 2010 - Summer Wars
- ↑ Box-office ranking in Japan, 1981
- ↑ Box-office ranking in Japan, 1989
- ↑ Box-office ranking in Japan, 1991
- ↑ Box-office ranking in Japan, 1992
- ↑ Box-office ranking in Japan, 1994
- ↑ Box-office ranking in Japan, 1995
- ↑ The 13th Prize results
- ↑ Talk: Yoshiyuki Tomino and Mamoru Hosoda at the 10th Media Arts Festival in 2007
- ↑ General information on the awards