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Japan Academy Prizes Animation Nominees Announced

On January 15 the Japan Academy Prize Association announced their nominees for their 41st annual awards ceremony. The JAPA are Japan's equivalent of The US Academy or BAFTA, and for the last 11 years, they have included a category for Animation Of The Year.

This year's nominees are  Mary And The Witch's Flower, Fireworks, Detective Conan: The Crimson Love Letter, Night Is Short Walk On Girl and Napping Princess.

This year in Japanese animation was an interesting one as it had no new film from the top tier animation directors such as Hayao Miyazaki, Makoto Shinkai or Mamoru Hosoda. As a result, this year feels like much more of an open competition. Having said that, last year the JAPA chose to reward In Thie Corner Of The World rather than Your Name, so they don't always automatically pick the biggest name.

The Japan Academy Prizes are unusual in that they award each nominee in each category an Award of Excellence, with the winner taking home the grand prize.

Will Hiromasa Yonebayashi's  past Ghibli credentials (he won for Arriety back in 2011) help Mary And The Witch's Flower triumph? Or will animation industry darling Masaaki Yuasa take home his first Animation Of The Year prize? All will become clear on March 2, when the ceremony will take place in Tokyo.

[source via ANN]