The nominees for Best Film at the Crunchyroll Anime Awards are out, and the top contenders are One Piece Film: Red and Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero.
The nominees for Best Film at the 2023 Crunchyroll Anime Awards are out, and while there are plenty of great picks, it’s probably going to come down to One Piece Film: Red or Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero. The Crunchyroll Anime Awards have been a yearly tradition since 2017, and one of the most significant categories of the event is Best Film. There were plenty of great anime movies in 2022, but Crunchyroll narrowed it down to six movies: Bubble, Inu-Oh, The Deer King, Jujutsu Kaisen 0, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, and One Piece Film: Red.
All the nominees for Best Film are great in their own right, but special attention needs to be drawn to Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero and One Piece Film: Red. Both were the latest movies for two of the biggest anime franchises of all time, Dragon Ball and One Piece, and sure enough, they were both met with incredible critical and financial success worldwide. Those movies were undoubtedly the biggest anime movies of 2022, so it stands to reason that the winner of Best Film will come down to one of them.
What Made One Piece Film: Red & Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero So Great
The Best Film award will likely go to either One Piece Film: Red or Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, so that invites the question of what made them such big movies, in the first place. Both movies stand out for being far more story-driven than previous movies, with One Piece Film: Red focused on Uta’s character and her relationships with Luffy and Shanks, and Super Hero focused on Piccolo and his relationship with Gohan’s family. Both cases provided a welcome change of pace to their respective franchises, and they mostly succeeded in selling their stories and the emotional beats attached to them made that work even better.
Adding to the strengths of the movies are their stellar art and animation. Red maintains the same level of quality that the One Piece anime has exhibited since the Wano arc, and having songs from the incredibly talented Ado accompanying it further emphasizes that fact. Super Hero was no slouch, either, something made even more impressive by being 3D animated. 3D has a reputation for looking and moving terribly in anime, but not only does Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero always look good, but the quality of the animation is just as good as Dragon Ball’s 2D animation, if not better, making it a visual treat from start to finish.
Which Movie Will Be Crunchyroll’s Best Anime Movie?
One Piece Film: Red and Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero were both incredible movies, but in all likelihood, Crunchyroll will award Best Film to Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero. As good as Red was, the fact that it’s another non-canon anime movie is likely a point against it, especially since Super Hero is meant to be canon. Not only that, but while both movies had great animation, Super Hero being able to make something great out of 3D animation can be seen as a bigger achievement than Red simply having high-quality animation.
The biggest advantage Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero likely has over 2022’s One Piece Film: Red is the public vote. While Dragon Ball and One Piece are both massively popular franchises, Dragon Ball has far more mainstream appeal than One Piece in the West, with Super Hero even having far more success than Red in the United States, despite Red becoming the fifth highest-grossing Japanese film in history. Because of that, the public vote is far more likely to go to Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero than One Piece Film: Red, and while that only counts for thirty percent, it could easily be enough to secure a win.
More: Dragon Ball Creator Officially Confirms Super Hero’s Timeline