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The Most Successful Anime Movies Ever in Japan

[Image: Toho}
[Image: Toho}
Kotaku EastEast is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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.

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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 twelve 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 seventeen. It’s followed by The Wind Rises, another Ghibli film!

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

Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

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DISCUSSION

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

Seeing as this is my favorite film ever made, this makes me very happy to see how successful it was at the time.

But holy crap that is a huge haul for Spirited Away!