Golden Issue Award 2022 for Best Anime Film Golden Issue Award 2022 for Best Anime Film

2022 has been one of the biggest years for anime in recent memory, not only when it comes to TV, but on screen to boot. With the medium’s steady rise in popularity, North America is getting in on the anime action, with films such as Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero and One Piece Movie: Red grossed millions of dollars at the Western box office. There were many options to choose from for this year’s Golden Issue Awards for Best Anime Film, and each entry differs significantly from the other.

On the Shonen front, as mentioned earlier, both One Piece and Dragon Ball Super hit the big screen, introducing both the Straw Hats and the Z-Fighters to some unique challenges that led to the introduction of Shanks’ daughter Uta in the former and the return of the Red Ribbon Army in the latter. The other three nominees were not focused on battles that decided the fate of the world, but had original premises that helped them stand out from the competition. Drifting Home focused on a group of kids sailing across the ocean on top of an entire apartment complex, Suzume is the latest from legendary anime director Makoto Shinkai and focuses on doors that spell disaster for a young teenager, and Fruits Basket – Prelude took the opportunity to to explore the lives of the main character’s parents in a bittersweet narrative.

And the winner of the 2022 Golden Issue Award for Best Anime Movie is…

(Photo: Toei Animation)

Dragon Ball Super: Super Heroes!

This was an exceptionally difficult decision, but the latest from Akira Toriyama injected new life into the Shonen series, taking a big risk by focusing the story on Gohan and Piccolo instead of Goku and Vegeta. With the return of the Red Ribbon Army, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero had a perfect combination of lively comedy with the trademark action that has made the Shonen series a success for decades.

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One of the biggest changes that this film saw from the anime films and series that came before it was the decision to use more of a CGI style of animation, which marked a major departure for the anime adaptation. Fortunately, the new style not only managed to capture the spirit of the characters, but also made it good to follow the fast and furious battles that have become a trademark of Dragon Ball series to date. The fight against Gammas and Cell Max took up the last half of the film and was able to set the stakes perfectly while also introducing some new elements not yet seen in Dragon Ball Super match to date.

Of course, what would one want Dragon Ball Super entry be without flashy character transformations, and boy does Superhero keep these in spades. With Piccolo finally getting power-ups that put him on par with the strongest of the Z-Fighters, both “Piccolo – Potential Unleashed” and “Orange Piccolo” seem like perfect additions to the Namekian’s list of upgrades. The clear winner of the movie could be Gohan’s new ultimate form, which gives him a menacing new form in the “Gohan Beast”, which we can’t wait to see appear in the future of the manga and TV series. Putting Goku and Vegeta in the background was surely the right decision to make for the film, as giving the stars from Superhero energy increases were long overdue.

From the beginning, you can see Akira Toriyama’s commitment to the film, capturing the spirit of the original Dragon Ball series in its comedic timing, while giving us some of the biggest fights in the sequel series to date.

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The nominees for Best Anime Film are:

  • Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero – WINNER
  • Driving Home
  • Fruit Basket: Prelude
  • One Piece Movie: Red
  • Suzume no Tojimari

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