The Most Successful Anime Movies Ever In Japan

This year's big hit is anime feature film Your Name. It's earned critical praise and raked in massive amounts of yen. But it's not the biggest anime movie ever released in Japan. It is, however, one of them.

[Image: Toho}

Via Cinema Ranking, here are the highest grossing movies ever in Japan. Not all of them are anime, obviously, and those will be pulled out into a separate list down below.

For now, here are the top 12 earners.

12. The Last Samurai - 13.7 billion yen (US$133 million)

11. Ponyo - 15.5 billion yen (US$150 million)

10. Avatar - 15.6 billion yen (US$152 million)

9. Your Name - 17.19 billion yen (US$167 million)

8. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - 17.3 billion yen (US$168 million)

7. Bayside Shakedown 2 - 17.35 billion yen (US$169 million)

6. Princess Mononoke - 19.3 billion yen (US$188 million)

5. Howl's Moving Castle - 19.6 billion yen (US$191 million)

4. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - 20.3 billion yen (US$197 million)

3. Frozen - 25.48 billion yen (US$248 million)

2. Titanic - 26.2 billion yen (US$254 million)

1. Spirited Away - 30.8 billion yen (US$299 million)

And now, minus the live-action and Disney, here are the top five anime.

5. Ponyo - 15.5 billion yen (US$150 million)

4. Your Name - 17.19 billion yen (US$167 million)

3. Princess Mononoke - 19.3 billion yen (US$188 million)

2. Howl's Moving Castle - 19.6 billion yen (US$191 million)

1. Spirited Away - 30.8 billion yen (US$299 million)

Notice anything? That's right, except for Your Name, the list is all Studio Ghibli. What's fascinating is that in the highest earning Star Wars film in Japan, The Phantom Menace, comes in at number 17. It's followed by The Wind Rises, another Ghibli film!

If you are not familiar with Your Name, check out the subtitled trailer below:

Your Name is coming to Australian cinemas on November 24, and to New Zealand on December 1.


    I'm genuinely surprised that The Last Samurai ranks so highly.
    I mean, I really enjoyed it for its gorgeous visuals and sound, but I thought local pushback against the most common complaint I hear about the film would've made it less popular than, say... oh, I don't know. STAR WARS?

      Japan loves Tom Cruise apparently? Also the Satsuma Rebellion which it's based off is a fairly popular bit of history there, and it's not often that you get a large-budget Hollywood film with a Japanese setting that doesn't involve WW2.

    The best Makoto Shinkai movies are those that focus in character development and inter-personal relationships over plot, so I have high hopes for this one.

      General consensus is that this is the film that people were wanting him to make since way back when he first started making waves and people started talking about him as potentially the next Miyazaki. Strikes the balance between his introspective stuff like The Garden of Words and more plot-driven stuff like The Place Promised In Our Early Days.

      Also if there's one thing you can guarantee, it's that it has ridiculously pretty skies.

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