Rafu Wire Service and Staff Reports
The Japanese anime “Oni: Thunder God’s Tale,” a story about a girl growing up in a world of gods and monsters, won two prizes in the TV/Media category at the 50th annual Annie Awards ceremony held on Feb. 25 at UCLA’s Royce Hall.
The stop-motion animation directed by Daisuke “Dice” Tsutsumi won in the categories of Best TV/Media-Limited Series and Best Production Design-TV/Media, both for the episode “The Demon Moon Rises.”
“I cannot believe it. There were many nominations of very high-quality work, so I am extremely happy,” Tsutsumi told reporters.
“Oni” was also nominated for Best Character Animation-TV/Media (winner: “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse”), Best Character Design-TV/Media (winner: Love Death + Robots”), Best Direction-TV/Media (winner: “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse”), and Best Music-TV/Media (winner: “The Cuphead Show”).
The four-episode anime series released on Netflix was produced by Tonko House, which has studios in California and in the central Japan city of Kanazawa.
The studios were launched by Tsutsumi and Robert Kondo, his co-director of “The Dam Keeper,” which was nominated for best animated short at the Academy Awards in 2015.
Another Japanese production, “Inu-Oh,” a fantasy musical depicting maverick artists in 14th-century Kyoto, was nominated for Best Indie Feature and Best Writing for a Feature Film but did not win. Both awards went to “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On.”
The Disney/Pixar film “Turning Red,” directed by Domee Shi and featuring a Chinese Canadian main character, came away empty-handed after receiving seven nominations in six categories: Best Feature, Best Character Animation-Feature, Best Direction-Feature, and Best Music-Feature, all of which went to “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio”; Best Writing-Feature; and Best Editorial-Feature (winner: “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish”).
Competing for Best Animated Feature at the upcoming Academy Awards are “Turning Red,” “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,” “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On,” “The Sea Beast” and “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.”
Other Asian-themed nominees at the Annies included:
“Abominable and the Invisible City,” winner for Best TV/Media-Children.
“Baymax,” nominee for Best TV/Media-Limited Series, Best Direction-TV/Media and Best Writing-TV/Media (winner: “Love Death + Robots”).
“Exception,” nominee for Best Direction-TV/Media.
“Cyberpunk: Edgerunners” and “Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight,” nominees for Best Storyboarding-TV/Media (winner: “Love Death + Robots”).
For a complete list of winners, go to: https://annieawards.org