In many ways, I do not feel like I am the best qualified to discuss this topic.
I have only regularly been watching anime for about three years. By no means have I watched as many shows each season as many other anime watchers. I lack the knowledge of anime’s long history and some of the most famous shows in the genre. With that out of the way, I can say honestly that anime really should be considered within Emmy’s Animated Program competition.
With all the talk about how animation is doing new and exciting things, anime has already done a great deal of that and more. Anime series have tackled topics of loss, abuse, romance, action, and broader emotional growth. Take Ao Haru Ride, which deals with two old friends who lost touch and are now reconnecting in high school but peer pressure and bad history are creating barriers. Or Code Geass, an action show with huge robots fighting that also deals with individuals within a conquered society reduced to a number not a person. It offers the complexity about fighting back while seeing the truly horrible things people will do to keep people enslaved and to free them. Plus, if you want just straight up laughs, shows like Kaguya-sama: Love is War, with two teenagers determined to make the other confess their love first so they will have the upper hand, has been one of the most consistently funny (as well as heartfelt) shows the past three years.
Beyond that, the animation itself is beautiful to look at. The way water is drawn in anime is a work of art. Watching rain hitting the ground in these shows is extremely realistic in a way I have never seen captured in any other animation. On the opposite end, the way violence and blood is shown can be incredibly terrifying so that you feel the pain of the characters as they are going through this experience. Then on the more ridiculous side of things, the expression of a jerk boy getting hit by a girl and going flying is still extremely funny no matter how many times it is done.
One thing I know will cause problems is the amount of anime that comes out each year. With winter, spring, summer, and fall seasons each releasing new and returning shows, there is a lot of content that it can be hard to get through. Plus, with so many genres of anime, it can also cause great debates about what is truly great anime. I am partial to slice-of-life and romance over the more action or horror-oriented myself. Admittedly, there is a lot of bad material as well as good: fan service (women scantily drawn or worse), old storylines reused, bad jokes, and over the top violence. Anime is like everything else in media; it takes work to find what is great.
While once upon a time it was hard to find anime, that is no longer a factor. With Netflix and Disney+ starting to stream new anime and Sony acquiring longtime anime streamer Crunchyroll, there may be more of a push to get these great TV shows into the Emmy race. There may be too many to consider, or the style and kind of stories may not work. And we all know how the Television Academy often takes the easy option of re-nominating the same shows. However, the Emmys should try to broaden their Animated Program net as many anime series deserve to be in the conversation.