2013 (36th) Japan Academy Prize Award Winners

Genki 36th Japanese Academy Awards

The 36th Japan Academy Prizes were announced on Friday and an interesting line-up of winners has been announced.

The big news is that Hiroshi Abe (Survive Style 5+) and Kiki Kirin (Villain) take the outstanding acting awards. Abe won for his performance in the phenomenally successful Thermae Romae , beating out Koji Yakusho (who was nominated twice!) and Kirin won for the drama Chronicle of My Mother, beating out Erika Sawajiri (Ghost Train) who was in Helter Skelter. The other big news is that The Kirishima Thing, a film that interested me last year, took Picture of the Year and earned its director Daihachi Yoshida the award for Director of the Year beating far more experienced directors. Screenplay of the year went to Kenji Uchida for Key of Life which was a brilliantly written comedy. Outstanding Foreign Language Film went to The Intouchables.

The star filled film Dearest took the awards for Outstanding Performance by an Actress/Actor with Kimiko Yo (For Love’s Sake, The Story of Yonosuke, Departures, Suicide Club) and Hideji Otaki (Alley Cat, Izo) takng the awards. The Kirishima Thing and A Chorus of Angels split the technical awards between each other.

The Animation of the Year went to the brilliant The Wolf Children, my favourite film and anime of last year and it beat out A Letter to Momo and Evangelion 3.0.

AKB48’s Yuko Oshima won Most Popular Actor for her role in Ushijima the Loan Shark.

Being a Japanese film fan in the west is hard because we are usually a year or two behind the releases by the time we see them and it is only thanks to film festivals and enterprising film labels like Third Window Films that we get in touch with them in their year of release so it is hard to voice an opinion on how right or wrong the choices are. I have to admit that I am only familiar with most of these films thanks to my weekly trailer posts but I have had the pleasure of seeing some of the winners (Wolf Children, Key of Life) and I wholeheartedly back the awards given to them. Here is the full list of the nominees and winners complete with trailers for the winners and some of their posters:

Picture of the Year                                                          The Kirishima Thing Poster

  • The Kirishima Thing – Award Winner
  • Dearest
  • A Chorus of Angels
  • The Floating Castle
  • Chronicle Of My Mother


Animation of the Year

  • Wolf Children – Award Winner
  • Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo
  • A Letter to Momo
  • Friends Naki on Monster Island
  • One Piece Film Z

                                           The Wolf Children Poster

Most Popular Film

  • The Kirishima Thing


Director of the Year

  • Daihachi Yoshida (The Kirishima Thing) – Award Winner
  • Shinji Higuchi, Isshin Inudo (The Floating Castle)
  • Junji Sakamoto (A Chorus of Angels)                                       Key of Life Movie Poster
  • Masato Harada (Chronicle Of My Mother)
  • Yasuo Furuhata (Dearest)


Screenplay of the Year

  • Kenji Uchida (Key Of Life) – Award Winner
  • Takeshi Aoshima (Dearest)
  • Kohei Kiyasu, Daihachi Yoshida (The Kirishima Thing)
  • Machiko Nasu (A Chorus of Angels)
  • Masato Harada (Chronicle Of My Mother)


Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Roleテルマエ&スパワールド

  • Hiroshi Abe (Thermae Romae) – Award Winner
  • Masato Sakai (Key Of Life)
  • Mansai Nomura (The Floating Castle)
  • Mirai Moriyama (The Drudgery Train)
  • Koji Yakusho (Admiral Yamamoto)
  • Koji Yakusho (Chronicle Of My Mother)


Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

  • Kirin Kiki (Chronicle Of My Mother) – Award WinnerChronicle of my Mother Poster
  • Tamiyo Kusakari (A Terminal Trust)
  • Erika Sawajiri (Helter Skelter)
  • Takako Matsu (Dreams for Sale)
  • Sayuri Yoshinaga (A Chorus of Angels)


Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Hideji Otaki (Dearest) – Award Winner
  • Teruyuki Kagawa (Key Of Life)
  • Kengo Kora (The Drudgery Train)
  • Koichi Sato (Dearest)
  • Koichi Sato (The Floating Castle)                                               Anata e Film Poster
  • Mirai Moriyama (A Chorus of Angels)


Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Kimiko Yo (Dearest) – Award Winner
  • Shinobu Terajima (Helter Skelter)
  • Ryoko Hirosue (Key Of Life)
  • Hikari Mitsushima (A Chorus of Angels)
  • Aoi Miyazaki (Chronicle Of My Mother)


Most Popular Actor                                                          

  • Yuko Oshima 

Outstanding Achievement in Music                Kita no Kanariatachi Movie Poster

  • Ikuko Kawai (A Chorus of Angels) – Award Winner
  • Koji Ueno (Helter Skelter)
  • Yusuke Hayashi (Dearest)
  • Joe Hisaishi (Tenchi: The Samurai Astronomer)
  • Harumi Fuuki (Chronicle Of My Mother)


Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography

  • Daisaku Kimura (A Chorus of Angels) – Award Winner
  • Akiko Ashizawa (Chronicle Of My Mother)
  • Shoji Ebara, Motonobu Kiyoku (The Floating Castle)
  • Takeshi Hamada (Tenchi: The Samurai Astronomer)
  • Junichiro Hayashi (Dearest)


Outstanding Achievement in Film Editing

  • Mototaka Kusakabe (The Kirishima Thing) – Award Winner
  • Souichi Ueno (The Floating Castle)
  • Junichi Kikuchi (Dearest)
  • Eugene Harada (Chronicle Of My Mother)
  • Shinichi Fushima (A Chorus of Angels)


Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction              Floating Castle Movie Poster

  • Norihiro Isoda/Nariyuki Kondo (The Floating Castle) – Award Winner
  • Mitsuo Harada (A Chorus of Angels)
  • Mitsuo Harada (Thermae Romae)
  • Kyoko Heya (Tenchi: The Samurai Astronomer)
  • Kyoko Yauchi (Dearest)
  • Hidemitsu Yamazaki (Chronicle Of My Mother)


Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Direction

  • Takashi Sugimoto (A Chorus of Angels) – Award Winner
  • Hidenori Nagata (Chronicle Of My Mother)
  • Takashi Sugimoto (The Floating Castle)
  • Kiyohito Ando (Tenchi: The Samurai Astronomer)
  • Yuuki Nakamura (Dearest)


Outstanding Achievement in Sound Recording

  • Fumio Hashimoto (Admiral Yamamoto) – Award Winner
  • Osamu Onodera (Tenchi: The Samurai Astronomer)
  • Junichi Shima (A Chorus of Angels)
  • Junichi Shima (The Floating Castle)
  • Tsutomu Honda (Dearest)
  • Masahito Yano/Showa Matsumoto (Chronicle Of My Mother)


Outstanding Foreign Language Film

  • The Intouchables (France) – Award Winner
  • Argo (USA)
  • The Dark Knight Rises (USA)
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (USA)
  • Skyfall (UK)

12 thoughts on “2013 (36th) Japan Academy Prize Award Winners

  1. When you do get around to watching The Kirishima Thing (and I’m sure you will), could you possibly explain it to me? I never knew the movie was SO popular, and even though I had the chance to watch it, I just don’t see why it’s so good. Is it something I’m missing? Or is it just me?

    1. It’s an omnibus film based on a popular novel with a few stars. I read a review on the Japan Times website which left me intrigued but I never would have guessed it would do so well. I’m even more interested in seeing it!

  2. I think the big news is Wolf Children winning! Okay, I’m biased here…

    And I’ve seen barely anything from the list of nominees/winners, so I can’t really relate to it much.

    Of the two I know on the animation list, Wolf Children deserves the award over Momo, although the latter is lovely, I think it’s, ummm, less daring and particularly the climax is not particularly original (it gave the story a bit of ‘have seen this before’ feel). Wolf Children goes deeper into emotions and doesn’t feel the need to explain (not the death of the father, not much of Ame’s final choice), which makes it a more interesting and better film.

    1. I agree with you. It is hard to comment much on it without having seen the rest of the field but The Wolf Children was so good that I just cannot imagine the other titles coming close apart from A Letter to Momo – the Eva movie and One Piece movie struck me as instalments in a wider sequence and playing the usual shounen game respectively and not a satisfying story with characters you want to follow.

    1. Heck, you do a brilliant jobs covering awards! I’m just covering this one and that’s it for the rest of the year!

      I’m also totally intrigued by The Kirishima Thing. It must be really good to beat some of these other films and I’m also pleased to see Key of Life take the award for best script because it is one of the best written films out there not to forget one of the best directed as well.

  3. this is a great post, Jason.
    I am confuse which one I want to say first.
    I am so going to search that movie by Mirai Moriyama….I really like him!! Have you seen Fish Story??? love him sooo much.

    congrats to Abe…noted his movie down.

    I am still looking for Key of Life…so difficult here 😦

    I am bookmarking this post because so many I want to see here

    1. I have not seen Fish Story yet but I think it’s on UK television (Film4) some time this week so I may watch it if it’s not on too late. I do have to go to work early and Film4 don’t have the guts to show foreign many films on at 21:00…

  4. The Kirishima Thing winning Best Picture was a pleasant surprise. Covering Japanese movies and drama, with emphasis on young talents, I’m always excited to see how youth-oriented films fare in awards. The two leads, especially Masahiro Higashide is very good.

    1. Ah, I want to watch the film even more now! I wonder if we will see The Kirishima Thing in the UK/at a festival or if this is going to be an import job… Masahiro Higashide really impressed me in episode 2 of XXXHOLiC.

  5. Pingback: “THE KIRISHIMA THING” | Column

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