Shueisha

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure may have debuted in 1987, but its unique sensibilities have always been ahead of its time.

Created by manga artist Hirohiko Araki, the long-running (still going strong after 23 years!) JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series is most easily described as a genre-fluid anthology that follows various members of the Joestar family bloodline across generations. But the premise of JoJo is almost besides the point.

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Culture Feature

A Message to Olivia Jade, David Guetta, and Other White Celebrities: You Can Just Shut Up

Some people have a responsibility to speak up, others should really just listen

Olivia Jade Giannulli, the 20-year-old social media influencer and daughter of actor Lori Laughlin (Full House) and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli has come under fire for comments she made on the topic of racial justice and white privilege.

In the context of ongoing protests filling the streets of American cities, Giannulli—who goes by Olivia Jade—must have felt she has some responsibility to add her voice to the conversation. Here's the thing though: She doesn't.

While nothing she said was necessarily wrong—it's true that "not being racist isn't enough" and that white people need to be active in the fight against racism—her comments quickly invited criticism from people who noted the strangeness of this message coming from someone who so recently came to prominence as a symbol of privilege. Jade, along with her parents, became central to the 2019 college admission scandal known as Operation Varsity Blues when it was revealed that they had paid $500,000 in bribes and fabricated a fraudulent athletic record in order to get her into USC.

olivia jade's instagram post

On top of the immense privilege that whole situation points to—with Jade potentially taking an admission spot from someone far more deserving and less fortunate—others noted that her parents (who recently pled guilty to conspiracy charges after more than a year of fighting for the charges to be dismissed) were expecting relatively light sentences–likely due to the white privilege which Jade calls on people to "use" in the fight for racial justice. Clearly she and her family know a thing or two about using white privilege.

Of course, in this situation it can be hard to know what to say, and it's clear that Jade's heart was in the right place. She was trying her best to be a sensitive and thoughtful ally for the protesters. Unfortunately, she may just not be cut out for that role, and for people like her, there is another option: Just shut up.

In recent days there have been a number of stories about people failing to take this route. Glee's Lea Michele was called out on Twitter by Samantha Ware and several other black Glee cast members who found her message of support for the Black Lives Matter movement at odds with her past cruelty. Most stunning of all was French DJ David Guetta's new EDM track dedicated to the memory of George Floyd, featuring a portion of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech." Along with inducing levels of cringe that scientists believed to be impossible, the song raises an important question, namely: Who asked for this?

The answer (obviously) is no one. While it's genuinely great that Guetta wanted to livestream a rooftop concert to raise money for coronavirus relief, no one needed or wanted that event to include a "shout out" to George Floyd's family, and the image of a 52-year-old white man dancing to a beat that he has for some reason combined with what is already the most abused and misappropriated speech of all time is simply breathtaking. Would some other tribute have been more well-received? Maybe (it's hard to imagine one being worse), but it was a minefield that Guetta chose to navigate at literally no one's behest. Instead of that, he could have said... nothing.

Not just about this topic, but about everything. If you want to help and you're not sure how, then you can just stop talking for a little while. Make some room for people who are more equipped to handle these complex and serious topics by taking a couple days—or a couple weeks—away from sharing every thought on social media. That was supposed to be the point of the #BlackoutTuesday hashtag, but the fact that it instead ended up co-opting the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag and burying important information is indicative of the problem.

Olivia, you can use your platform to signal boost black voices without the clumsy commentary—it's the equivalent of lip-syncing along to "Happy Birthday" when you know that you can't sing (though in your case you're only figuratively tone deaf). For instance, if you'd just shared that chart differentiating covert and overt white supremacy with your little note to "read this and keep educating urself," you would have been fine. And David, you can still raise money for the coronavirus, but if you want to touch on the protest movement, just give up a portion of your livestream concert for someone more qualified to make a statement. in other words: Shut up and listen.

It's actually easy! You might be doing it right now, without even meaning to! Just notice how there are massive, historic events taking place and realize that you will survive people paying attention to something other than you. As a fellow white person online, I get it—it's tough feeling left out—but you can actually still play a part in history without trying to make it about yourself: You can join the protests (where you really can use your white privilege to help shield activists from racist violence), contact your legislators about policies that can help, donate to bail funds, and point your friends and followers to educational sources that have a stronger foundation to speak from.

If you need to say something, you can always try focusing a little more on self-criticism, rather than trying to direct others on how to be as enlightened as you. And, as always, if you feel like you're out of your depth (you do feel that, right?) and you're worried about the backlash you'll face if you get things wrong, you can just choose to keep your mouth shut.

TV

A Definitive Guide to the Crunchyroll 2020 Anime Awards

The top picks for "Anime of the Year," and more importantly, "Best Boy."

Shogakukan

When winter winds howl through the air and the snot dribbling down your nose starts to freeze into tiny icicles, that's how you know that the most hallowed time of year is upon us once again–the time of year when anime fans gather round and vote for which anime bishounen is truly "Best Boy."

The 2020 Crunchyroll Anime Awards are finally here.

But how do you possibly choose between Mob and Bucciarati? And if that's not hard enough to decide as is, what do you nominate for "Anime of the Year?" Don't worry. I gotchu' fam'.

Anime of the Year

Demon Slayer Shueisha

Upfront, I placed my Anime of the Year vote with a major caveat––my real top anime of 2019 (not to mention, my top TV show period) was not on Crunchyroll's shortlist. That show is, of course, Attack on Titan. Season 3 was a genuine masterpiece of storytelling, character-building, tension, and animation, and Crunchyroll's failure to include it in their top 2020 category will forever be a stain on their record.

That said, of the options we do have, it really comes down to Demon Slayer and Mob Psycho 100 II. The Promised Neverland, and Vinland Saga––both great shows––didn't quite make the cut for me (although I'm sure Vinland Saga will as it catches up to the manga).

Mob Psycho 100 II, the phenomenal second season of Mob Psycho 100, easily solidified the series amongst the best shows of the entire decade. It's ridiculously wholesome with a solid emotional core and gorgeous battle sequences. I'd go so far as saying it's better than Demon Slayer on every front short of actual animation.

But to me, "Anime of the Year" isn't necessarily reserved for "the best" anime of the year, so much as "the most definitive." And in that regard, Demon Slayer gets my vote. The series went from a decent manga that most people didn't care about to one of the most talked about shonen series of the decade. Ufotable's incredible battle animation is largely to thank, but Demon Slayer also has a lovable cast of characters that keeps me wanting to come back. I'm hoping the next season will live up to the hype.

Best Protagonist

Tanjiro Shueisha

Keeping in line with "Anime of the Year," Demon Slayer's Tanjiro is an easy choice for "Best Protagonist" category. He shirks a lot of the traditional shonen hero tropes, displaying unprecedented levels of empathy to even his most evil opponents. As a result, despite the fact that Demon Slayer marches to the same tune as plenty of past shonen fare, Tanjiro makes the series feel like a nice change of pace.

Best Antagonist

Garou Shueisha

As horrendous as Isabella was in The Promised Neverland, my vote for "Best Antagonist" could only ever possibly go to Garou from One Punch Man. A great antagonist is one who believes that they're the protagonist of their own story, and in Garou's story, he's a beacon of hope for monsters who get a bad rap. That doesn't stop him from saving kids or being a big dweeb. Dude just wants to be a monster.

Best Boy

Mob Psycho 100 Shogakukan

Ah, "Best Boy." Always the hardest category. A "Best Boy" isn't just "nice" or "likable." He's husbando material, your one and only. Tanjiro is nice, but he's not "Best Boy." Mob, on the other hand… Well, he's the kind of guy you'd need to lift up out of the dumps every now and again. But at the same time, he's loyal to a fault and would always support you in following your passions.

Bucciarati, on the other hand, would straight up die for you. He's a bad boy with a heart of gold, the kind of person who would join the mafia with the goal of getting drugs off the street. I love Bucciarati, and if the real world was as bizarre as JoJo's, I'd give him my vote. But I'm looking for a boyfriend, not a martyr. As hard as it is to reject Bucciarati, my point goes to Mob.

Best Girl

Nezuko Shueisha

Nezuko. No question. Come on.

Best Director

Attack on Titan Levi Kodansha

Finally, we get a category with an Attack on Titan Season 3 nomination. Tetsuro Araki's direction of the Return to Shiganshina arc was absolutely unparalleled. From its full display of the sheer terror leading up to Erwin's charge to the incredible shots throughout the Levi/Beast Titan fight, and everything beyond, it's hard to imagine a more perfect season of anime. This one is a no brainer.

Best Animation

Armored Titan Kodansha

Again, Attack on Titan Season 3 takes the cake. Demon Slayer certainly had the more beautiful battle animation, but the animation in Attack on Titan Season 3 served a greater goal that enhanced the narrative. For instance, the POV ODM gear shots placed viewers directly into Levi's shoes as he sped through the streets in his life-or-death fight with Kenny. The animation in AoT wasn't just badass; it was immersive.

Best Character Design

Dr. Stone Shueisha

As far as new character designs go, it's hard to top Dr. STONE. With his crazy green-tipped hair and tan robe-coat, Senko Ishigami truly feels like a young anime Bill Nye, assuming Bill Nye existed somewhere in the JoJo-verse.

Best Score

attack on titan fallen angel Kodansha

I'm just going to keep saying it: Attack on Titan Season 3 was perfect. The score exacerbated the intensity of every scene, and the gorgeous, haunting opening of the first half of the season perfectly set the mood for the rest of the show.

Best Fight Scene

Levi vs Beast Titan Kodansha

Oh man. Levi vs. Beast Titan. Did you really think I'd pick anything else?

Best Couple

Ymir and Historia Kodansha

Yes, I picked Ymir and Historia.

"Attack on Titan again? Really?" you're thinking.

Yes. Really. I'll admit, there are strong arguments to be made for other entries here. Baki Hanma & Kozue Matsumoto was a strong contender. But the beauty of Ymir and Historia's relationship was its subtlety––an unrequited LGBTQ+ romance that took a backseat to everything else happening in the story (as one would expect of any romantic relationship in a world as brutal as Attack on Titan), while ultimately influencing and changing both participants' actions and character development in major ways. It's not just a great romance. It's an amazingly written one.

Best VA Performance (JP)

Bucciarati Shueisha

Yuichi Nakamuro killed it as Bucciarati. No contest.

Best VA Performance (EN)

LOL Dubs. Nah, I'm good. I abstain from voting.

Best Comedy

kaguya sama love is war shueisha

KAGUYA-SAMA: LOVE IS WAR had an especially clever take on the romantic comedy genre, so it's hard to pick anything else as the standout comedy of the past year.

Best Fantasy

Attack on Titan Season 3 Kodansha

Attack on Titan Season 3. Shut up.

Best Drama

Promised Neverland Shueisha

I have to give it to The Promised Neverland. While Vinland Saga will, no doubt, reign supreme in later seasons, the first season of The Promised Neverland was simply more consistent.

Best Opening Sequence

Mob Psycho 99 Shogakukan

Since, again, Attack on Titan isn't listed, Mob Psycho 100 II is the clear winner. "99.9" is super fun, catchy, and high-energy. I didn't even skip it once––what better compliment can one give an opening sequence?

Best Ending Sequence

Vinland Saga Torches Kodansha

Sorry to end on a bit of a fizzle, but none of the listed ending sequences were absolute knock-outs. I did enjoy "Torches" from Vinland Saga, but it's not a passionate choice like a lot of my other votes.

Ultimately, when it comes to the Anime Awards, it's best to vote with your heart. But if your heart says anything other than Attack on Titan, I'm here to inform you that you're wrong.