The Nippon Academy-Sho Association, a Japanese group roughly comparable to America's Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of Oscars fame, has announced the recipients of the Awards of Excellence in the 34th Japan Academy Prizes in Tokyo on Friday. The awards honor excellence in motion pictures that premiered in 2010, and will be presented in a ceremony on February 18, 2011.
Keiichi Hara and Asention's Colorful, Hiromasa Yonebayashi and Studio Ghibli's Karigurashi no Arrietty, Kôzô Kuzuha and Shinei Animation's Eiga Doraemon: Nobita no Ningyo Daikaisen, Yasuichiro Yamamoto and TMS Entertainment's Detective Conan: The Lost Ship in The Sky, and Munehisa Sakai and Toei Animation's One Piece Film Strong World will all receive Awards of Excellence in the Animation category. These five films will next compete to be the sole winner of the Animation of the Year award.
Grand Funk Inc. was also honored for its music in Yukihiko Tsutsumi's live-action film adaptation of Harold Sakuishi's Beck manga. Actress Riisa Naka (Zebraman: Zebra City no Gyakshū, animated and live-action The Girl Who Leapt Through Time) and actor Shōhei Miura (The Last Message: Umizaru) received nods in the New Actor category.
The Chairman's Special Awards will honor five people in the film industry who passed away in the past year: director Umetsugu Inoue, actress Tanie Kitabayashi, art director Takeo Kimura, actor Keiju Kobayashi, and director Katsumi Nishikawa.
The Animation of the Year category was created only four years ago; The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Tekkonkinkreet, Ponyo, and Summer Wars were the previous winners. Before that, Studio Ghibli won the overall Picture of the Year Award for Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away.