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5 highest-grossing anime films of all time

Anime is a kind of hand-drawn and computer-animated cartoon from Japan. It alludes to the distinctive style of animation in Japan that is often depicted by colorful graphics, lively characters, and great themes. When thought about anime films, the famous Studio Ghibli often comes to everyone’s mind as the dominating studio in terms of ratings and earnings. However, there are so many other studios with great anime movies that caught the audiences’ attention. Add to your watch list these five highest-grossing anime films of all time!

Top 5: Ponyo ($204 million)

Created by Studio Ghibli and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, our top 5 highest-grossing anime movie was released in 2008. Ponyo follows Brunhilde, a little mermaid who dreams of entering the human world. After getting trapped in a glass jar and being washed ashore, Ponyo is discovered by Sosuke. This denotes the start of a deep connection between the two which pushes the story forward. The film revolves around how Ponyo deeply wants to be changed into a human girl.

In the animated film, Miyazaki has surprised us with amazing colored-pencil backgrounds, epic framing, and a beautiful blend of warm and cooler tones. The storyline is surreal, with the differentiation between the genuine and the fanciful imagery, just like a kid's world and a grown-up's perception are squashed mashed into one film.

highest-grossing anime films - Ponyo

Top 4: Howl's Moving Castle ($236 million)

Howl’s Moving Castle is also a combination of Hayao Miyazaki, Ghibli, and Toho just like Ponyo. The animation film tells the story of Sophie, an unfortunate hatmaker who was cursed by a witch and then turns into a 90-year-old woman. Later, Sophie meets the romantic wizard Howl. Throughout the film, Howl would protect her in her journey to find a way to break the curse. She makes a deal with Calcifer that if she sets him free of Howl and their contract, Calcifer promises to break her curse. A strongly emotional story from Studio Ghibli paired up with touching animation really helps the film earned the amount it did.

highest-grossing anime films - Holw's moving castle

Top 3: Your Name ($357 million)

Released in 2016, Your Name is a story about two strangers swapped souls magically. The anime film has been one of the biggest surprises in recent year as it is loved by people all around the world. Your Name or Kimi no na wa was written and directed by Makoto Shinkai and has since grossed just over $ 357 million at the box office worldwide.

Watch the trailer of Your Name: Your Name - Trailer [English Subtitled]

Most reviews of the anime say that it is something that makes people believe in love again. In the film, Mitsuha and Taki realize that they will have to get used to their new life, with their new identities, without being able to change anything. With a greatly unique storyline that we have never seen before in other films, the anime movie really touched the deepest desires of the audiences. This creative story is great for a bevy of reasons, but chief among them are its visuals. Entirely made of hand-drawn animation, “Your Name” is a beautiful work that can blend together the life-like vitality with a traditional anime style. As a result, the staging, setting, and other features quite frequently leave the viewer amazed.

highest-grossing anime films - Your Name

Top 2: Spirited Away ($383 million)

This is another anime movie by Studio Ghibli and the director Hayao Miyazaki in the top 5 highest-grossing anime films ever and is also the second most popular anime film in the world. Since 2001 to date, it has managed to raise approximately 383 million dollars and won numerous awards, such as the Oscar and Academy Award for Best Animated Film

Spirited Away does not only make its mark in Asia as other animes do, but it was the animation that puts Studio Ghibli on North America's radar, setting the precedent of the standard for an amazing anime movie. With beautiful scenes and the help of talented voice actors, Spirited Away became even easier to watch for children and adults in all locations. About the storyline, the film covers many themes and problems that are relevant even in 2021 such as environmentalism, Western consumerism, and supernaturalism, so that it is super relatable for viewers of all ages.

highest-grossing anime films - Spirited Away

Top 1: Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train ($410 million+)

The film "Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train" officially became the highest-grossing anime film of all time. Reuters reported that according to new statistics released in 2021, the anime has grossed about 410 million USD from the global box office. This achievement surpassed the $383 million revenue of Spirited Away (2001), an animated film produced by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli.

The film is made from the best-selling manga of the same name by author Gotouge Koyoharu, revolving around the journey against the cannibal demons of Tanjiro, a teenager, and his teammates. The success of Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train when it hit theaters amid the complicated situation of Covid-19 was a big surprise. Debuting in 2020 in Japan, the movie Demon Slayer: Mugen Train has already been an unprecedented hit in the country. Although most films of this type try to avoid the canon arc from the original manage, Mugen Train still adapts and becomes successful.

The epidemic might be one of those factors that helped the film become successful at the box office. Social distancing makes time for people to reach to comics and films for entertainment. Therefore, when cinemas opened, and Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train got shown, the viewers instantly crowded the theaters to enjoy the movie.

highest-grossing anime films - Demon slayer


Just the top 5 of the highest-grossing animes will never be enough to talk about how big the animation industry has grown and is loved by children and adults all over the world. If you haven’t watched these movies, then now is the perfect time to enjoy those masterpieces and immerse yourself in the colorful cartoon world!

Hope that this article by DeeDee Animation Studio has given you some suggestions of the best anime films! What do you think of this list?

References:, 15 highest-grossing anime movies ever (where to stream them), List of highest-grossing anime films


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