Weeb Report: 2023 Anime Awards!

Popular anime titles. They are from left to right: Blade of the Guardians, Trigun Stampede, Heavenly Delusion, and Hell's Paradise. | Source: Fortress of Solitude

2023 has been a great year for anime. With highly-anticipated debuts, momentous conclusions, and rising dark horses, there’s a plethora of shows that have blown audiences away. To end the year off, I present to you . . . The 2023 Weeb Report Awards!!! We’ll be splitting the awards into four sections: Best Action, Best Slice-of-life, Best Drama, and last but not least, Best Romance (the best genre). For each section, we’ll have an overall winner and a few honorable mentions. 

Winner of Best Action – Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan’s main characters. | Source: Cultured Vultures

Synopsis: Attack on Titan tells the story of a humanity that has been forced to hide behind the towering walls of Paradis Island to escape the man-eating titans that surround them. However, humanity’s temporary peace ends when the Titans break through a layer of the walls one day, and humanity is forced to grapple with the challenge of what to do next. Following the story of Eren Yeager,  Attack on Titan quickly develops over its four-season runtime into an enormous saga of victory, revenge, sacrifice, and betrayal as Eren and his friends try to navigate an increasingly mysterious world. 

Review: I talked about Attack on Titan just a few weeks ago, which you can check out here. In this review, I’ll just reiterate a few of my main points. With a decade-long runtime, Attack on Titan has had its ups and downs. It hasn’t always been perfect, and there have been plenty of times when I’ve started to lose interest, but in the end, it’s still one of the best action anime out there. With a unique concept executed to its fullest, Attack on Titan utilizes its dynamic cast to tell a story that the 2010s era of anime will never forget. 

Honorable Mentions

  1. Hell’s Paradise
  2. Heavenly Delusion
  3. Jujutsu Kaisen Season Two

Winner of Best Slice-of-life – Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End

Frieren lying in a pool. | Source: Destructoid

Synopsis: Animated by MADHOUSE, Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End is undoubtedly this season’s best slice-of-life show. In its opening episode, the audience is placed in media res amidst a large celebration as a band of heroes return after defeating the world’s greatest evil, uncreatively named the Demon Lord. Among the ragtag group is our story’s heroine, Frieren, a powerful elven mage who, due to her race, has a lifespan far exceeding that of humans. Despite having lived for over a thousand years, she appears no older than a young adult. With the Demon Lord defeated, the world enters an era of peace, and our heroes must find their paths in life. Generations pass, which to Frieren feels like just a blink of an eye, and she quickly comes face to face with the painful reality of the far shorter lifespans of the human heroes that accompanied her. Taking on a human apprentice as a friend of hers’ dying wish, she embarks on a new journey, trying to come to terms with humanity, death, and what it means to live.

Review: Funnily enough, I’ve also already talked about Frieren in the past here for those who want to get my longer thoughts. But to sum it up, Frieren is one of those shows that excels at emotional storytelling. With excellent episodic stories paired with a compelling overarching saga, Freieren is a show that will no doubt make you laugh, cry, and smile from ear to ear. 

Honorable Mentions

  1. Spy x Family Season Two
  2. Skip and Loafer
  3. Horimiya: The Missing Pieces

Winner of Best Drama – Oshi No Ko

AI Hoshino performing. | Source: QooApp

Synopsis: With one of the most convoluted anime plots this year, Oshi No Ko tells the story of Gorou Amemiya, an idol-obsessed gynecologist living in the rural countryside. One day, his favorite idol, Ai Hoshino, announces she will go on a hiatus for mysterious reasons. Later, she ends up showing up to his office pregnant with twins. Gorou is tasked with taking care of her through pregnancy, which he does until the night of her delivery when he is murdered by one of Ai’s obsessive fans. He then wakes up reincarnated as one of Ai’s kids with a previous patient of his’, Sarina Tendōji, as his sister. Growing up, they must navigate the treacherous world of entertainment as Gorou and Sarina try to make a name for themselves. 

Review: Although the initial setup of Oshi No Ko may seem weird, to say the least, it can use it to its fullest potential. Analyzing the ins and outs of Japan’s entertainment industry, Oshi No Ko tells a compelling story of revenge and rebirth, with a cast of nuanced characters that you can’t help but root for. 

Honorable Mentions:

  1. The Apothecary Diaries
  2. Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End
  3. Vinland Saga Season Two 

Winner of Best Romance – The Dangers in My Heart

Promotional poster announcing season two for The Dangers in My Heart. | Source: Anime Trending

Synopsis: The Dangers in My Heart relates the story of Kyotaro Ichikawa, a young high school boy at the bottom of the school social ladder. Thinking of himself as the main character in some deranged psychological thriller, he plans the murder of his classmate Anna Yamada, the popular girl in class. However, as he observes her in the library, they bump into each other more and more. His feelings slowly begin to change, and something romantic(?) begins to brew between the two of them. 

Review: Initially, I was quite off-put for obvious reasons by the beginning of this series. But as I began to watch more, the craziness of the set-up faded away, and what replaced it was a heart-warming tale of two budding lovers helping each other overcome their own insecurities. If you’re looking for a sweet romance that’ll make you grin like a doofus, then The Dangers in My Heart might be worth trying!

Honorable Mentions

  1. Skip and Loafer
  2. Horimiya: The Missing Pieces
  3. My Happy Marriage

I hope you guys enjoyed this format as much as I did making it! If you think a show out there has been snuffed in this year’s awards, feel free to comment below. I limited myself in this article to shows that I’ve seen or heard good things about, so there’s sure to be hidden gems that have slipped through the cracks. 

About the Author

Max Chen
Max Chen is a junior at IMSA who lives in 01 D-wing. He is from Champaign and is very excited to serve as a Staff Writer for The Acronym. Outside of writing, he likes to play guitar, tennis, and videogames.

1 Comment on "Weeb Report: 2023 Anime Awards!"

  1. OMG I’m so happy to see that weeb reports are back! Great recommendations!

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