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Stand By Me Doraemon, Rurouni Kenshin Win Japan Academy Prizes

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Robot cat's 1st 3D film competed with When Marnie Was There, Giovanni's Island, Conan, Doraemon, Buddha 2

Stand By Me Doraemon, the first 3D CG film starring the anime robot cat Doraemon, won the animation category in the 37th Annual Japan Academy Prizes on Friday. The film was competing against Studio Ghibli's When Marnie Was There, Giovanni's Island, Detective Conan: Dimensional Sniper, and Buddha 2: Tezuka Osamu no Buddha - Owarinaki Tabi.

The live-action Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Taika-hen and Rurouni Kenshin: Densetsu no Saigo-hen film sequels won the Japan Academy Prizes' All Night Nippon Wadai-Sho prize. For this audience award, listeners of the All Night Nippon radio program voted for their favorite film and actor.

The Best Picture of the Year honor went to the live-action film Eien no 0 (The Eternal Zero). The film also earned eight other awards, including Best Director and the All Night Nippon Wadai-Sho's actor category for Junichi Okada's (From Up On Poppy Hill, Tales from Earthsea) leading role.

Disney's Frozen won the top award in the foreign film category. The other nominees included Interstellar, Jersey Boys, Fury, and Godzilla.

The late actor Bunta Sugawara (Spirited Away, Tales from Earthsea, Wolf Children) is one of five individuals who received posthumous Chairperson's Special Awards for lifetime achievement. Sound engineer Masashi Tara (From Up On Poppy Hill) received an Association's Special Award for lifetime achievement as well.

The Nippon Academy-Sho Association, a Japanese group roughly comparable to America's Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of Oscars fame, presents the Japan Academy Prizes every year. The nominees all receive "Awards of Excellence," but the actual top award in each category was presented in a ceremony on February 27 at the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa in Tokyo.

Movies were eligible if they opened in Japan between December 15 2013, and December 13, 2014.

The Animation of the Year category was only created eight years ago. Last year, Hayao Miyazaki's The Wind Rises won the award. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Tekkonkinkreet, Ponyo, Summer Wars, The Secret World of Arrietty, From Up On Poppy Hill, and Wolf Children were the previous winners. Before that, Studio Ghibli won the overall Picture of the Year Award for Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away.

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