I published a timely review of the year that was in anime in 2022 last month. In that post, I listed my top-six anime of the year, headed by my series of the year, Teasing Master Takagi-san, and I also handed out category-specific awards for best female character, male character, aesthetics (overall animation and sound direction), writing, single episode, and opening/ending song and animation. I came across an interesting best of anime in 2022 list by Guardian Enzo at the Lost in Anime blog. This list featured many more specific categories than the broad list that I went with. I decided to make choices for the categories in Guardian Enzo’s list that are meaningfully distinguishable from the six that I included in my original review.
- Best song: I will restrict my consideration here to opening and ending songs. While my choice for best opening or ending sequence went to the special episode 5 ending in Kaguya-sama: Love is War, the best song was Natsu no Yuki by krage for Raven of the Inner Palace’s ending. It was an honorable mention on my best opening and ending list, but let down by a lack of accompanying animation.
- Best soundtrack: I do not have any strong opinions for best soundtrack in 2022. I will go with one of Guardian Enzo’s honorable mentions, Ranking of Kings (I agree as a general matter on Made in Abyss’s soundtrack, but like all things involving Made in Abyss, it worked better in season one).
- Best original screenplay: I agree in large part with Guardian Enzo’s take that 2022 was “a rotten year … for original anime.” My top four series, and five of my top-six, were all adaptations. As hard as it is for me to process, I suppose my choice is my sixth best anime of 2022, Heroines Run the Show: The Unpopular Girl and the Secret Task.
- Best adapted screenplay: It should come as no surprise that my pick for anime of the year, Teasing Master Takagi-san, is my choice for the honor in this category.
- Best art direction: This is a bit close to my aesthetics category, but I will interpret it as an award for creative animation that is well-executed. Thus, my aesthetics runner-up, Bocchi the Rock, takes the honor for best art direction.
- Best animation: I view this as a more technical than aesthetic category, but I will reserve some points for style and creativity. I had my issues with the writing of Lycoris Recoil, but its impressive technical quality and fluid animation make it memorable despite its faults and give it the nod here.
- Best character design: This is apparently an award for an individual character. Guardian Enzo Ms. Hitomi Hasegawa’s work in Dance Dance Danseur. In light of the fact that I specifically cited to Dance Dance Danseur’s character designs in giving it the crown for best aesthetics of 2022, it should be no surprise that I agree with Guardian Enzo here. While Dance Dance Danseur annoyed me enough to lose a spot in my top-six series, it is a very easy choice for best character design.
- Best supporting actress: I do not consider myself a voice acting expert, so consider my awards in these categories to be less than definitive. I will give the award to Ms. Tomita Miyu for her performance as Iino Miko in my runner-up for anime of the year, Kaguya-sama, and as Isana Higashira in My Stepmom’s Daughter is My Ex, which came uncomfortably close to the top six.
- Best supporting actor: I cannot disagree strongly with Guardian Enzo’s choice of Mr. Aiko Ootsuka as Ekubo in Mob Psycho. However, I give the nod to Mr. Suzuki Ryouta for his work as Yu Ishigami in Kaguya-sama.
- Best actress: Only one character in 2022 received a leaflet micropost about her voice. Heroines Run the Show is doing well in these extra awards. Congratulations to Ms. Inori Minase for her very energetic performance as the heroine of Heroines Run the Show, Hiyori Suzumi. (Note: She would also be my 2016 winner for her work as Rem in Re:Zero.)
- Best actor: If you voice my male character of the year and sing my ending song of the year, there’s little left to do but be named actor of the year. Congratulations to the voice of Kaguya-sama’s Miyuki Shirogane, Mr. Makoto Furukawa.
- Best director: I see little reason to diverge from my series of the year choice, which was nearly pitch-perfect and delivered three of my top-four episodes of the year. The honor goes to Mr. Akagi Hiroaki for his work on Teasing Master Takagi-san.
- Best romance: My top two anime series of the year fall in this category, and to the victor between those two, Teasing Master Takagi-san, goes the spoils (notably also Guardian Enzo’s choice).
- Best comedy: Both of my top two anime series of the year were romantic comedies. In choosing Teasing Master Takagi-san as my anime of the year, I noted that it was the best comedy since 2012’s Humanity Has Declined. But Guardian Enzo makes clear this is a category for comedy. Takagi was the best show, but the best comedy was provided by our category winner, Kaguya-sama: Love is War – Ultra Romantic.
- Best drama: This category is between my third-best series of 2022, Shadows House, and my fourth, Raven of the Inner Palace. While Shadows House was the better overall product, the better drama is found in Raven of the Inner Palace.
This wraps up my additional awards for anime in 2022. If you enjoyed the list, be sure to see my full year-in-reviews for 2022 and 2021 as well as my recommended series from 2011-2020 for general audiences. Thank you to Guardian Enzo of the Lost in Anime blog for the fun list and the inspiration for this short addendum to my year-in-review.