Anime Industry Report 2021 (Part 4): Music and Merchandise Sales Slowed Down

A couple of things to note before you guys jump in to read. All of the information that you see below is accessible via the Anime Industry Report 2021 which must be purchased. You can check out the summary report available here. Note that I was unable to include all of the information included in the 130-page report. In addition, some of the charts will not be displayed as usual since I had trouble making them look good. Nevertheless, I have left all of their respective Google charts all the way down below. Also, I have decided to split the report into several sections, of which the rest of the sections are viewable down below:

Anime Industry Report 2021 (Part 1): Market Fell for the First Time Since 2008, Overseas Market has Surpassed Domestic Market
Anime Industry Report 2021 (Part 2): TV and Theatrical Animations at Low Production Minutes
Anime Industry Report 2021 (Part 3): The Crumbling Videogram Market, but is There Still Hope?

Past reports: 2019, 2020


The Anime Music CD and Digital sales have plummeted year-on-year by 18.16% to 27,553 million yen (≈244.24 million USD) amid a lack of new titles. Previously, in 2019, the number of titles was at 805, but the number has decreased by 288 titles to 519 for 2020. The report suggested that the major drop of new releases is tightly bound to the decrease in the number of works of Anime titles as the two are directly intertwined such as Anime related songs and background music (BGM). Note that this is also the lowest number of music titles the industry has seen since 1989 of which the number of titles was at 734. However, the higher number of music titles may not necessarily mean huge sales. For instance, in 2015, the number of titles was at 1,022, however sales only amounted to 32,408 million yen (≈287.27 million USD). Compared that to 2016’s 831 titles, but sales were larger at 36,877 million yen (≈326.89 million USD).

As for the best Anime audio software, that would be Black Clover at 1.71 billion yen (≈15.20 million USD). The makers that would benefit from sales made would be: avex trax, JIJI Records, Virgin Music, rhythm zone, A.S.A.B and YGEX. 2nd would be Love Live! Sunshine!! at 1.13 billion yen (≈10.04 million USD), of which the maker would be Lantis. However, Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Doukoukai and Love Live Series are also on the list placing 6th and 17th respectively with 31.62 million yen (≈2.80 million USD) and 93.50 million yen (≈828.81 thousand USD) worth of sales each, together that would be 1.54 billion yen (13.67 million USD). Fugou Keiji: Balance:Unlimited came in 3rd at 1.08 billion yen (≈9.61 million USD), its maker would be SME Records and Ariola Japan. Kimetsu no Yaiba is also on the list, however its film “Mugen Ressha-hen” was separated from the TV Animation series. If put together, the two would see sales amounting to 588 million yen (≈5.21 million USD)

As for Singles CD, LiSA takes two spots on the chart, both thanks to Kimetsu no Yaiba with GURENGE at 1,048,345 copies, and HOMURA at 948,730 copies sold. Black Clover’s KISSIN’MY LIPS / Stories is 2nd at 1,030,718 copies. As for Digital Singles, LiSA once again dominated the chart, this time placing side by side at Number 1 and 2 with 942,691 copies sold for GURENGE and 709,966 copies for HOMURA. Placing 3rd on the list is another Kimetsu no Yaiba title, “Kamado Tanjirou no Uta” by Go Shiina and Nami Nakagawa at 214,332 copies sold. The full list is as follows:

Top 20 Anime Audio Software

Rank Title Sales (¥)
1 Black Clover 1,714,300,000
2 Love Live! Sunshine!! 1,132,300,000
3 Fugou Keiji: Balance:Unlimited 1,083,800,000
4 Hanyou no Yashahime 740,800,000
5 Kimetsu no Yaiba Movie: Mugen Ressha-hen 370,000,000
6 Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Doukoukai 316,200,000
7 Kimetsu no Yaiba 218,000,000
8 Detective Conan 165,200,000
9 BanG Dream! 3rd Season 137,900,000
10 Runway de Waratte 137,400,000
11 Mobile Suit Gundam Series 123,200,000
12 Neon Genesis Evangelion 121,700,000
13 BanG Dream! 121,100,000
14 Doraemon Movie: Nobita no Shin Kyouryuu 119,000,000
15 Fate TV Series 95,600,000
16 Tower of God 94,300,000
17 Love Live! Series 93,500,000
18 Duel Masters! 90,900,000
19 Macross Δ Movie: Zettai Live!!! 88,900,000
20 Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel – III. Spring Song 86,500,000

Top 20 Anime Singles CD

Rank Title Artist(s) Copies Sold
1 GURENGE LiSA 1,048,345
2 KISSIN’MY LIPS/Stories Snow Man 1,030,718
3 HOMURA LiSA 948,730
4 NAVIGATOR SixTones 714,162
5 NEW ERA SixTones 486,003
6 Yesterday Official Hige Dandism 373,022
7 Inferno Mrs. GREEN APPLE 306,203
9 HARUNOHI Aimyon 253,991
10 NIJI Masaki Suda 213,282
11 Hana ni Bourei Yorushika 192,681
12 Birthday / Kimi to Kasaneta Monologue Mr. Children 180,966
13 Negai / Higher Ground sumika 142,783
14 Sora no Aosa wo Shiru Hito yo Aimyon 134,076
15 ANIMA ReoNa 133,157
16 Haru wa Yuku / marie Aimer 119,447
17 Kaikai Kitan Eve 118,937
18 Uchiage Hanabi DAOKO 109,529
19 Gattan Gotton GO! BOYS AND MEN 99,828
20 unlasting LiSA 97,753

Top 20 Anime Digital Singles

Rank Title Artist(s) Copies Sold
1 GURENGE LiSA 942,691
2 HOMURA LiSA 709,966
3 Kamado Tanjirou no Uta Go Shiina feat. Nami Nakagawa 214,332
4 NIJI Masaki Suda 164,285
5 ANIMA ReoNa 160,814
6 HARUNOHI Aimyon 156,645
7 Yesterday Official Hige Dandism 134,682
8 Inferno Mrs. GREEN APPLE 132,838
9 from the edge FictionJunction feat. LiSA 125,110
11 Kaikai Kitan Eve 90,020
12 Hana ni Bourei Yorushika 90,426
13 Haru wa Yuku Aimer 83,966
14 SPARK-AGAIN Aimer 79,208
15 Birthday Mr. Children 74,144
16 Yakudou Maaya Sakamoto 66,197
17 final phase fripside 63,922
18 DADDY !DADDY ! DO ! feat. Airi Suzuki Masayuki Suzuki 57,909
19 Peace Sign Kenshi Yonezu 55,809
20 Geki! Teikoku Kagekidan – Shinsho Various Artists 51,065


Sales of Character Merchandise are also down 4.19% year on year to 14,850 million yen (≈13.16 billion USD) as it hit its lowest since 2011. The report attributed the slow down in sales to the closure of retail stores that sell these merchandise during the pandemic from April to May of 2020. The market is also affected by the delay and postponement of shows which in return have caused makers of merchandise to lose the timing to sell the products. During the closure, exhibitions and events were all either cancelled or postponed, making it hard for merchandise to sell. When the state of emergency came to an end in May, the market slowly returned, however with cases resurfacing near the end of 2020, retailers were once again caught in a tough situation.

Although the sales of character merchandise as a whole has plummeted, Anime related character merchandise has remained relatively unchanged with only a small decline of 0.84% noted between 2019 and 2020. Sales were still strong at 5,819 million yen (≈5.16 billion USD). One of the reasons for the market to not undergo any significant changes would be the presence of Kimetsu no Yaiba, and the sales of its related merchandise. The other Anime related merchandise that was noted to have sold well would be the Gundam series. Note that the report did not consider the inclusion of LINE stamps or smartphone game applications. However, it is mentioned that the anime-related smartphone game applications are expanding year on year and are expected to hit  400 billion yen (≈3.54 billion USD) in market capitalization within the next 20 years.

Let me know if you find any issues with the information above! Also, don’t shy away from dropping a comment or two down below and share your thoughts with us.

The Association of Japanese Animations

Google Charts:
Character Merchandise Retail Market and Japan’s Anime Character Merchandise Sales Trend
Anime Music CD + Digital Sales Trend

Download visualisations:
Top 14 Anime Audio Software 2020 (Part 1)
Top 14 Anime Audio Software 2020 (Part 2)

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