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Animonozukuri Awards Honor Anime Business Collaborations, Promotional Goods

posted on by Jennifer Sherman

A prominent part of Japanese culture is monozukuri (literally, "thing making"), wherein Japanese people take pride in carefully crafting products. Although the term commonly appears alongside traditional Japanese items such as paper fans or pottery, the concept can also apply to goods produced for the anime and popular culture industries. The otaku market brings in a large part of its revenue through merchandising, so applying the concept of monozukuri to anime goods is perhaps an inevitable progression.

Companies in Japan have come to recognize and capitalize on business opportunities available through partnering with anime, manga, and related works. In acknowledgement, the first Animonozukuri Awards was held at the Machi Asobi Vol. 18 event on Friday from 6:00 p.m to 8:00 p.m. Voice actress Marika Kōno (Akiba's Trip: The Animation's Niwaka Denkigai, Scorching Ping Pong Girls' Hanabi Tenka; pictured below right) served as MC at the awards ceremony. Gari-Gari editor-in-chief Ryūtaro Hayashi, In This Corner of the World producer Taro Maki, journalist and former Anime! Anime website editor-in-chief Tadashi Sudo, and journalist and content producer Atsushi Matsumoto also appeared at the event.

The awards honored collaborative products and promotions in four categories: Animation Commercial, Content Collaboration, Original Content, and Craft Design. The awards accepted recommendations from February 20 to April 5 and announced the nominees at the end of April.

Nominees in the Animation Commercial category included zipper maker YKK's "Fastening Days" anime short, Mercedes-Benz's "Next Stage with YOU" campaign, Toyota's "Prius! Impossible Girls" campaign, the your name. film's water ads, the Puzzle & Dragons smartphone game's "Anime Tenkōsei" and "Fuyu no Seishun" commercials, the McDonald's "Mirai no Watashi" anime short, Marukome's "Ryōtei no Aji" commercials, and Marubeni's "Chōjū Giga" scrolls ad.

Nominees in the Content Collaboration category included Asahi Shimbun's "Kikasete Tensei Jingo" literacy campaign, Saga Prefecture's Mr. Osomatsu-themed Saga Matsuri promotion, the Japan Sumo Cup campaign, the TAKA no Tsume's ("Eagle Talon") Megane Super and Nomura Holdings projects, the live-action Yowamushi Pedal television series' integrated promotion, Cup Noodles' Girls und Panzer merchandise, and Square Enix's Romancing SaGa 2 and Romancing SaGa 3 games. "Next Stage with YOU" and SUNTORY's your name. water promotion were also nominated in the category.

Nominees in the Original Content category included "Fastening Days," "Prius! Impossible Girls," and the McDonald's "Mirai no Watashi" commercial.

Nominees in the Craft Design category included Tokyo Otaku Mode's Neon Genesis Evangelion kimono, Hobby Stock's Hatsune Miku ukiyo-e woodblock prints, Hobby Stock's Girls und Panzer kasama-yaki vase, TakaOtacraft Committee's "Kuromukuro" bust, and TakaOtacraft Committee's Gurren Lagann Children's Day helmet.

The four categories included a total of 58 nominations, with some collaborations nominated in multiple categories.

The "Animonozukuri Seminar" was also held at ufotable Cinema on Friday from 1:00 p.m to 2:00 p.m. The event introduced methods for creating advertising promotions and collaborative goods using anime, manga, and popular characters. Advertising, marketing, and merchandising personnel from interested companies were encouraged to attend.

Update: Fixed spelling of name of awards to Animonozukuri. Thanks, Mohammad.

Source: Anime! Anime! (Katsunori Takahashi)

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