Final Fantasy Wins at American Anime Awards

Square Enix’s CG-animated film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children picked up the award for Best Anime Feature at the inaugural American Anime Awards. Held in conjunction with the New York Comic-Con on Saturday, Feb. 24, the event is designed to honor the best in Japanese-style animation as voted by anime fans nationwide. Another big winner was the FUNimation series Full Metal Alchemist, which was named Best Long Series and claimed awards for its cast, its theme song and its DVD package design.

In the feature film category, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children beat a field of strong competitors including Full Metal Alchemist: The Movie, Akira, Inuyasha Movie 4: Fire on Mystic Island and Pokemon Movie 8: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew.

“Thanks to the dedication of our loyal fans, Final Fantasy VII has come to enjoy 10 years of undying popularity,” says producer Shinji Hashimoto. ‘Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, a direct sequel in the compilation of the Final Fantasy VII series, brings the series into the next century with today’s state-of-the-art CG, and we’re sure fans enjoyed seeing old friends brought to new life on the screen. As creators, we are very proud of the finished product, and as developers, it is truly an honor to receive an award of this magnitude.’

Released directly to home video by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children revisits the rich universe and memorable characters of Final Fantasy VII, one of the best selling video games of all time. The film is directed by famed character designer Tetsuya Nomura, whose credits include Final Fantasy VII, VIII, X and the Kingdom Hearts video game series, and features the voices of Steve Burton (The Last Castle, Taken), Rachael Leigh Cook (She’s All That, Josie and the Pussycats) and Mena Suvari (American Beauty, Rumor Has It). More info on the movie can be found at http://na.square-enix.com/dvd/ff7ac.

FLCL (Fooly Cooly) from Gainax, Production I.G. and director Kazuya Tsurumaki took home a pair of awards for Best Comedy Anime and Best Short Series. Meanwhile, the Best Manga award went to Fruits Basket, sh?jo manga series created by Natsuki Takaya and serialized in the semi-monthly Japanese magazine Hana to Yume (Flowers and Dreams), which is published by Hakusensha. A full list of winners for the first annual American Anime Awards can be found at www.americananimeawards.com.