The Fourth Official Experience Anime Awards happened and the results were roughly what you could expect. Berserk slaughtered the competition (no pun intended) and took so many awards that pretty much nothing else won. Lucky Star, however, pulled off a surprising six wins, edging out series like Gilgamesh, an underground favorite to win at least five awards, Samurai Champloo, which one of my associates said would win at least eight, and Afro Samurai, which some had thought would win a lot until it only received six nominations. The fact that is missed Best Series, Best Lead Character, and Best Hero shocked some but when you look at the competition, it would never have beat Berserk. Berserk was a juggernaut. (Although, Afro Samurai won the minor category Most Underutilized Character for Jinnosuke.) I was admittedly happy to see Berserk bulldoze the competition. For clarification, it won nineteen out of the thirty awards. Combine that with Lucky Star and you literally only have five awards left over. Again, for clarification, those five awards went to Samurai Champloo, Gilgamesh, Afro Samurai, and the well-deserved but unexpected double win for Karas (Best Fight Scene and Best Animation). However, there was one thing about the proceedings that disappointed me. And that was the situation of FLCL.
If you've seen my earlier blog posts, you'll know that I absolutely adore FLCL and believe that many don't look at the series the way I do. That said, it is a critically acclaimed series. When I heard about its tremendous twenty-one nominations, I was ecstatic and expected it to win at least three and hopefully five or more (I was expecting Berserk would win the large awards, although I wasn't expecting it to literally win every single major category). When the awards were being handed out, I noticed that FLCL wasn't really winning a lot. Understandable, considering it's competition. However, when it got to the major awards, it dawned on me that FLCL hadn't won anything and likely wouldn't as Berserk won award after award. At that time, I was surprised by how many awards Berserk was winning (I thought it was only twelve but the after-the-fact tally put it at a solid and surprising nineteen). So how did this show I love so much miss out on every single award it was nominated for?
My theory is that it was simply the competition. When they announced the rankings after the ceremony (which series or character got x% of the votes), I noticed something rather shocking. FLCL was the runner up in eight categories. It was close but it just couldn't beat Berserk or Lucky Star. I love FLCL more than Lucky Star and while that may be the case, Lucky Star deserved Best Writing and Funniest Anime. Even though I love FLCL, the quality of Lucky Star cannot be denied and at least it went to a quality show.
Another theory is favoritism. Lucky Star is vastly more popular than FLCL. So did Lucky Star win simply because of popularity and not actually quality? I know I just said that Lucky Star is a quality show but I feel that people may have voted for it simply because it was Lucky Star.
Another theory is that people just haven't seen FLCL. If this is the case, I'm not surprised. Then again, how did Karas win two awards? How did Gilgamesh win Best Atmosphere over Berserk, Samurai Champloo, and, yes, FLCL? I don't know but I do have to say that those shows absolutely deserved to win. (Seriously, Gilgamesh's atmosphere was incredible.) It doesn't make it any less difficult to accept that a show I love so much lost twenty-one times. But that's my problem.
Any thoughts on why a critically acclaimed show like FLCL would lose every single award it was nominated for? Send me a message if you have one.