Suzume Poster/ The Boy and the Heron still Image via: Toho Studios/Ghibli Studios

Anime Is Finally Feeling the Love With Two Historic Golden Globe Nominations

Anime has come a long way in the U.S. in the last decade, taking up more space in the cultural conversation and spreading its influence to the highest echelons of media. In a historic moment, two anime films, Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron and Makoto Shinkai’s Suzume, have both been nominated at the Golden Globes.

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Anime is one of Japan’s super soft powers, and I should know. I, and many others, live in Japan all thanks to getting hooked on it almost a decade ago. Once considered as only existing within the realm of nerd-dom (which, over a decade ago, was nowhere near as cool as it is now), anime has become so much more mainstream, with musicians and actors discussing their favorite anime or even cosplaying as their favorite characters for Halloween.

Despite this, anime has struggled in the past to find its way into the award circuit. One exception was the stunning animation Spirited Away, a Miyazaki classic, which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2003. There hasn’t been another win at the Oscars for Japanese anime since. Though there have been nominations, they’ve been beaten out by the bigger American studios such as Disney and Pixar, and they rarely, if ever, are up against other anime.

This year marks a break in that tradition as not one but two animated films have received Golden Globe nominations for the first time in history. Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron and Shinkai’s Suzume have both been nominated along with Disney/Pixar’s Elemental, Sony’s Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Disney’s Wish, and Universal’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie.

The Golden Globes—which have ditched the controversial HFPA—have rarely considered anime for animation in the past, with only two other anime being nominated before 2023, Masaaki Yuasa’s Inu Oh and Mamoru Hosada’s Mirai. This will be the first time that both Miyazaki and Shinkai have been nominated for a Golden Globe.

Another indication of how anime has entered the cultural zeitgeist in the West is how well both of these films have done at the box office. Miyazaki recently gained another historic first after The Boy and the Heron gained number one status at the U.S. box office last weekend, pulling in $12 million upon making its debut. Suzume has had an impressive haul as well, making $320 million globally since it became available in theaters, making it the fourth highest-grossing anime film of all time.

Though popular in its own niche circles for decades, the world is now opening up to anime as it becomes more mainstream. This has been reflected in anime films’ box office results, and now, with anime becoming more visible at award ceremonies, Japan’s soft power is looking stronger than ever.

(featured image: Toho)

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Laura Pollacco
Laura Pollacco (she/her) is a contributing writer here at The Mary Sue, having written for digital media since 2022 and has a keen interest in all things Marvel, Lord of the Rings, and anime. She has worked for various publications including We Got This Covered, but much of her work can be found gracing the pages of print and online publications in Japan, where she resides. Outside of writing she treads the boards as an actor, is a portrait and documentary photographer, and takes the little free time left to explore Japan.