‘Godzilla Minus One’ and ‘The Boy and the Heron’ Win Big at Japan Academy Film Prize Awards

The winners of the 47th annual Japan Academy Film Prizes were announced by the Japan Academy Film Prize Association at an awards ceremony held at the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa in Tokyo on Friday.

Godzilla Minus One Review

Godzilla Minus One, the latest installment in TOHO’s Godzilla franchise directed by Takashi Yamazaki, secured the prestigious Picture of the Year award, while Hayao Miyazaki’s newest feature film, The Boy and the Heron, won the title of Animation of the Year.

Films were considered eligible if they premiered in Japan from January 1, 2023, to December 31, 2023.

Godzilla Minus One also triumphed in several other categories, including Best Screenplay (Takashi Yamazaki), Best Supporting Actress (Sakura Andō), Best Lighting (Naruyuki Ueda), Best Sound Recording (Hisashi Takeuchi), and Best Editing (Ryuji Miyajima). Hiromi Uehara’s musical composition for Blue Giant earned the film the award for Best Music.

Nanoka Hara was recognized as Newcomer of the Year for her performance in the live-action film Do not say mystery (Mystery to Iu Nakare).

In a poignant moment, the late composer Ryuichi Sakamoto and the late producer Shuji Abe of Godzilla Minus One were posthumously honored with the Chairman’s Special Award.

Actor Yuki Yamada, known for his roles in live-action adaptations such as Kingdom, Tokyo Revengers, and Godzilla Minus One, received the Popularity Award in the actor division. Tokyo Laboratory, which ceased operations on November 30 after 68 years, was granted a Special Award for its significant contributions to video editing, film development, and archiving in the anime industry.

Other nominees for Animation of the Year included Kitarō Tanjō: Gegege no Nazo (Kitarō Birth: The Mystery of Gegege), Totto-Chan: The Little Girl at the Window, Detective Conan: Kurogane no Submarine (Iron Submarine), and Blue Giant.

At last year’s awards, The First Slam Dunk clinched the Animation of the Year title. RADWIMPS and Kazuma Jinnouchi were honored with the Best Music award for their work on Makoto Shinkai’s film, Suzume (Suzume no Tojimari).

IMDB describes the Godzilla Minus One movie:

In 1945, near the end of World War II, kamikaze pilot Koichi Shikishima feigns technical issues with his plane and lands on Odo Island. Lead mechanic Tachibana implies that Shikishima fled from his duty. That night, a dinosaur-like creature, Godzilla, attacks. Shikishima gets in his plane but cannot bring himself to shoot the monster and is knocked unconscious. He wakes up to learn that Tachibana is the only other survivor, who blames Shikishima for failing to act.

In 1946, Shikishima returns home to find his parents were killed in the bombing of Tokyo. Plagued by survivor’s guilt, he works as a minesweeper and begins supporting a woman, Noriko Oishi, whose parents also died in the bombing, and an orphaned baby, Akiko, whom Noriko rescued.

Film distributor GKIDS describes The Boy and the Heron as follows:

A young boy named Mahito

yearning for his mother

ventures into a world shared by the living and the dead.

There, death comes to an end,

and life finds a new beginning.

A semi-autobiographical fantasy

about life, death, and creation, in tribute to friendship,

from the mind of Hayao Miyazaki.

Source: Japan Academy

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