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Japanese Academy Awards names 'Animation Of The Year' Nominees

It's not only the US and UK that get involved in the Awards Season, and every year awards are doled out across the world. Over in the Land Of The Rising Sun the Academy Prize Association hosts Japan's equivalent of the Oscars- The Japan Academy Prizes. This year will mark the 39th ceremony, but despite Japan having had a thriving animation industry for many years, the Animation Of The Year category is relatively new, being introduced just nine years ago. Prior to the introduction of the animation category, the overall Best Picture Of The Year award had been given to animated films on two occasions (Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the top animation prize has been given to Studio Ghibli more than anyone else (4 times) but the films of Mamoru Hosoda run it a close second, with his previous three films all winning the top prize. Hosoda gets the chance to draw even this year as his latest The Boy And The Beast is among this year's nominees.

Hosoda's latest is competing with Production I.G's biographical drama Miss Hokusai and  A-1 Picture's Anthem Of The Heart. The final two nominations are much more commercial efforts, with Love Live: The School Idol Movie and Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F taking the last two spots.

Based on previous form, Boy and The Beast has to be the favourite to take home the top prize. Upsets in the category are not unheard of however, with Stand By Me Doraemon taking the honours last year over Ghibli's possibly final feature When Marnie Was There.

The ceremony will take place on March 4th in Tokyo.