INTERVIEW: Meet Anime Awards Judge Alejo N. Correa
The Anime Awards We look forward to posting the next in our series of interviews with some of the event judges! Today we caught up with Alejo N. Correa, Editor and Audiovisual Manager of Ramen Para Dos (Ramen for Two), about his love of anime, what it’s like to be a judge, and what he looks for when choosing anime nominees for awards.
Editor’s Note: This interview was originally conducted in Spanish and translated here for an English audience.
Crunchyroll: Hello! Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
Alejo N. Correa: Hi, I’m Alejo N. Correa Rodriguez, Editor and Audiovisual Manager at Ramen Para Dos. Besides formal speaking, I am 24 years old and work in video editing and audiovisual distribution. I have loved anime since I was very young. Now, with over three years of experience networking, reporting events, and networking with people in the industry, I’m going to try to offer my take on anime.
How did you get involved in the Anime Awards as a judge in the first place? Are you excited to be on the jury?
Correa: To my surprise, Sergio Vaca contacted me to be a judge. It was exciting to be judging this year’s Anime Awards with so many incredible people from all over the world. Most importantly, I am honored to share the voting room with some well-respected colleagues from Spain: Oriol Estrada and Daniel Rodriguez.
Can you tell us a little bit about your relationship with anime? What is your interest in this medium and what do you like about it?
Correa: My story is similar to that of all fans of my age, especially those from Catalonia. I started watching anime not knowing what it was, then gradually entered this world with the first manga or anime. I’ve always loved the audiovisual medium, and anime (or animation in general) allows for unique stories to be told in a unique language.
I’m also interested in video editing, so I started tinkering with programs that use music montages that I’ve seen series like Bleach. Much later, while still in college, I applied for a job at Ramen Para Dos and since 2019, I have been adventuring.
How would you rate your career in media and journalism? Give your unique perspective as a judge?
Correa: I don’t think it suits me to call myself a reporter, I’m not a reporter and I don’t intend to be one. At Ramen Para Dos, we always aim to inform and conduct our work as professionally as possible, but in the end we are a group of people who enjoy our passions: manga and anime.
So I would be lying if I said that as a judge I have unique views. Although the work I’ve done at Ramen Para Dos over the past few years has helped me delve deeper into the industry’s role in manga and anime production or distribution, something I couldn’t offer before. *)
What is the biggest challenge in judging an awards show like this? Which parts of it are the most interesting?
: The hardest part about being part of the Anime Awards jury is considering all the series throughout the year. let me figure it out. Every season the industry is churning out more and more anime of higher quality: some must-hits, some unexpected. We consume tons of content at a frantic pace and are used to keeping tabs on the latest releases. So our job as judges is to take a step back from that sense of urgency and look back at everything that was released that year, not forgetting the surprise that was there in the first place.
Still, the voting process was a lot of fun. I had a lot of fun voting for the best song, opening and ending. Revisiting all dramas and their animations and discovering new ones fascinates me.
What makes award shows so important to the industry?
: Anime awards, or any awards in general, have the relevance that audiences and the public want to ascribe to them. The numerous industry celebrities and influential figures who serve as jury members make this award very prestigious. But let’s face it; while total objectivity is key, it doesn’t exist. In the end, it’s all about taste.
Of course, some people may have a different opinion on the Anime Awards results. However, given the judges involved, the Anime Awards are a good overview of what the industry has to offer throughout the year.
As a professional judge, have you had similar experiences? If so, how do they compare? If not, what was the experience like?
I’ve been a judge on some university projects before and I recently participated in a professional vote for the 28th comic “Barcelona”. Overall, the voting process is very similar, luckily the awards usually include a list of all posted for the judges’ convenience. The task seemed quick and easy, but I spent hours thinking about my options and voting to be consistent with my decision and happy with my task at the Anime Awards.
What were your concerns when selecting the nominees? What aspects of anime do you value when making your selection?
: This varies by category. Voting for anime, best opening or best voice actor is a whole different thing. When choosing, no one aspect takes precedence over the others: plot, animation, world structure, characters, pacing, etc. Everything has the same value. Once you’ve made a fairly narrow choice, the real question comes: “What am I ruling out?” This is where things get tricky, some external factors become part of the decision: what does the series do for the anime? what – landscape? Does it stand out at a particular moment, or is there a quality that stands out? How does this series make you feel? Are you trying new things and contributing to the entire animation industry? These are the questions I had to ask myself while voting, and some categories made me nervous as we enjoy high-quality anime in 2022.
Have what you want? Want to say something to your fans (or Ramen Para Dos fans) around the world?
A: I don’t know how to giggle in a written interview, but I’ll laugh out loud here. I doubt I have fans or ever will. However, I have connections with several people in this scene and will use this room to talk to them.
I can’t thank Ramen Para Dos enough for giving me the opportunity to write about what I love and ultimately judge the awards. I would also like to thank those in the industry who took the time to talk to me and let me learn from the great expertise and knowledge they have. Thank you all for allowing me to grow with you.
Finally, in the run-up to the Anime Awards, is there anything else you would like to say to anime fans?
: We live in an exciting era of anime. As viewers, we should enjoy our hobbies and put aside all the conflicts, quarrels and arguments that don’t help. My message is simple: enjoy anime and support the industry.
Alejo is the editor and audiovisual manager of anime news site
(Ramen for Two). His love of anime since childhood has motivated him to cover events, connect with industry members and share his thoughts on anime. Ramen Para Dos