The Tokyo Anime Award started from 2002, but was named in 2005. The first, second and third awards were only named simply 'Competition'. The award ceremony was held at the Tokyo International Anime Fair (TAF) until 2013. In 2014, after the merger of Tokyo International Anime Fair with Anime Contents Expo and formation of AnimeJapan convention, Tokyo Anime Award started as a separate festival called Tokyo Anime Award Festival (TAAF).
Notably, there is Open Entry Awards for amateur creators (Grand Prize is awarded with one million yen). Though there are about ten main judges, total judges are over one hundred people. Various talents participate to judge, such as anime staffs, professors of the universities, producers and chief editors of various magazines including the anime magazines. (See also: Animation Kobe).
All anime released from December 1 of the year beforehand to November 30 of the previous year in Japan become candidates. The anime that represents the year in the works nominated to each section is chosen.
The awards for the creator of the non-commercialized work for TV, movie and OVA, to find new talents and to provide support for subsequent commercialization. The work must be an animation longer than 15 seconds, and no longer than 30 minutes. If the work was not commercialized before, professional creator also can enter this Grand Prize. The 2007 winner, Flutter, was the first work from a non-Asian country to win this award.