Note that this article will be a part of a series of articles about the Anime industry in 2021. Due to the size of the report, I have decided to split them into several sections. You can find the rest here:
This is just a slightly more detailed coverage of the report, plus additional information and analyses from myself. However, if you seek to obtain further information, feel free to help yourself to the report right here. Note that it is only available in Japanese. Or check out the Association of Japanese Animations (AJA) here for a summary of the industry made on yearly basis.
When looking at the numbers, please note that the figures may differ from the prior years since they are constantly updated (on a yearly basis).
Decent Recovery for Anime Videogram, Its Best Since 2018
Anime’s sales of video packages have reported a 42.07% increase over the prior year’s 46.57 billion yen (≈350.27 million USD) to 66.15 billion yen (≈497.60 million USD), the highest it has ever recorded since 2018 and the jump is much thanks to the release of Kimetsu no Yaiba Movie: Mugen Ressha-hen which will be discussed further below. The market reported a continuous slump from 2014 onward until 2020 before the recovery, nevertheless, its latest performance is still far less than the peak it hit in 2005 where the market was worth 138.75 billion yen (≈1.04 billion USD). Despite the growth, the overall sales made by package manufacturers have slumped to its lowest since 2002 where it noted 35.8 billion yen (≈269.30 million USD) in sales as opposed to only 5 billion yen (≈37.61 million USD) it made in 2021. Sales here, according to the report, were calculated based on the amount made as reported by production companies, in addition to the OVA production costs. Profit was not included here amid the inconsistencies that it may possess whereby the amount would greatly vary if the production company decides or decided to invest in a particular project.
The entire video package industry in 2021 remained flat with a decline of 0.15% y-o-y to 195.91 billion yen (≈1.47 billion USD) with domestic Anime-related packages accounting for 34.1% of the total market, overtaking Japanese Music packages that took 32.2% of the market share for the year (the first time since 2018). Much of the retention experienced here was thanks to Anime packages while other non-Anime releases performed poorly (refer to chart for the breakdown).
Kimetsu no Yaiba Movie: Mugen Ressha-hen and Uma Musume: Pretty Derby Season 2 Carried the Anime Blu-ray and DVD Market in 2021
As mentioned above, one of the reasons for the jump in the size of the market after many years of decline is due to the releases of titles: Kimetsu no Yaiba Movie: Mugen Ressha-hen and Uma Musume: Pretty Derby Season 2 that had such a stellar performance throughout the year.
Kimetsu no Yaiba Movie: Mugen Ressha-hen (left) and Uma Musume: Pretty Derby Season 2 (right)
discs were mega hits in 2021
Kimetsu no Yaiba Movie: Mugen Ressha-hen‘s discs were released on June 16, 2021 in Japan where it utterly crushed the weekly sales chart between June 14 and June 20, 2021 according to Oricon, selling a massive 1,310,783 copies in just 5 days. As of December 12, 2021, total copies sold for all of its editions combined stood at 1,643,719, making it by far the most successful domestic Anime film title to have been released since 2014. To compare, even Kimi no Na wa. which was the most successful Anime title (in terms of disc sales) in 2017 sold 859,810 copies in total (see: Blu-ray; DVD charts for 2017). Then again, if we were to compare with other non-dometic animation titles, Frozen still holds a higher advantage in terms of copies sold at 2,269,477 copies in 2014. The very high turnout puts Kimetsu no Yaiba Movie: Mugen Ressha-hen high in terms of sales in yen value, topping Oricon’s video package sales chart at a whopping 9.72 billion yen (≈73.11 million USD). Not as much as its box office returns, however, coupled with that, the film alone has made 50.15 billion yen (≈377.25 million USD) in sales with just its discs and screenings alone. Note that, Kimetsu no Yaiba also topped the video package sales chart in 2020, thanks to the strong individual copies sold of its TV Anime series’ first season that sold in total 1.88 billion yen (≈14.11 million USD).
Then, Uma Musume: Pretty Derby Season 2 made for a huge and positive impression in 2021 as its Blu-ray copies sold 754,726 copies, placing behind Kimetsu no Yaiba Movie: Mugen Ressha-hen at 7.49 billion yen (≈56.38 million USD). The TV Anime series witnessed four volumes released each subsequent month from June to August 2021. Nearly each volume hit the 200,000 copies sold mark while Volume 1 easily breached that number to alone sell 209,982 copies. To compare, Love Live! Sunshine!! Volume 1 sold 83,074 copies in 2016 while Yuri!!! on Ice was about 45,000 copies a volume in 2017. A major reason attributable to the success of this particular Anime series was the serial code included in the package that came with a number of benefits, deemed lucrative for fans and players of the game.
The third most successful title in 2021 was Jujutsu Kaisen at 1.62 billion yen (≈12.18 million USD), sitting slightly above Princess Connect! Re:Dive from the year before that sold Anime video packages worth 1.51 billion yen (≈11.37 million USD). Violet Evergarden Movie came in 4th at 1.34 billion yen (≈10.08 million USD), below Tenki no Ko’s 1.44 billion yen (≈10.81 million USD) in 2020. The only other title that surpassed 1 billion yen (≈7.52 million USD) in Anime video package sales in 2021 would be Number 5’s Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Doukoukai at 1.07 billion yen (≈8.05 million USD).
Anime Video Package Sales Ranking (2021)
|1||Kimetsu no Yaiba Movie: Mugen Ressha-hen||9,719,600,000|
|2||Uma Musume: Pretty Derby Season 2||7,494,900,000|
|4||Violet Evergarden Movie||1,339,600,000|
|5||Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Doukoukai||1,070,300,000|
|6||Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel – III. Spring Song||970,900,000|
|8||Gintama: The Final||570,700,000|
|10||Detective Conan Movie: The Scarlet Bullet||534,500,000|
|11||IDOLiSH7 Second Beat!||496,800,000|
|12||Love Live! Superstar!!||476,500,000|
|13||Soukou Kihei Votoms Series||473,000,000|
|14||Love Live! Sunshine!!||460,500,000|
|16||Kidou Senshi Gundam: Senkou no Hathaway||431,400,000|
|17||Kimetsu no Yaiba||427,900,000|
|19||Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken 2nd Season||397,200,000|
|20||Zombieland Saga Revenge||395,500,000|
When it comes to Blu-ray disc sales, Kimetsu no Yaiba Movie: Mugen Ressha-hen and Uma Musume: Pretty Derby Season 2 top the list from Number 1 to 6 whereas Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel – III. Spring Song [Limited Edition], Umayon Blu-ray BOX, Violet Evergarden Movie [Special Edition] and Gintama: The Final [Limited Edition] were placed from Number 8 to 10. As for the DVD chart, Kimetsu no Yaiba Movie: Mugen Ressha-hen was also the best-selling title while Doraemon Movie: Nobita no Shin Kyouryuu [Regular Edition] took the 3rd spot at 29,083 copies.
There are a couple of important things to note as you scrutinise the lists below. There are releases that may have not been reported to Oricon, therefore they would have not been counted. While Oricon tracks huge swathes of stores, it does not count sales from all stores in Japan. Also, live performances’ discs are counted as Anime-related content. The 2021 charts you see below took into account sales that occurred from December 14, 2020 to December 12, 2021.
Anime Blu-ray Ranking According to Copies Sold (2021)
|1||Kimetsu no Yaiba Movie: Mugen Ressha-hen||459,173||June 2021|
|2||Kimetsu no Yaiba Movie: Mugen Ressha-hen
|3||Uma Musume: Pretty Derby (TV) Season 2 Umabako The 1st Corner [Trainer Box]||209,982||May 2021|
|4||Uma Musume: Pretty Derby (TV) Season 2 Umabako The 2nd Corner [Trainer Box]||191,366||June 2021|
|5||Uma Musume: Pretty Derby (TV) Season 2 Umabako The 3rd Corner [Trainer Box]||177,746||July 2021|
|6||Uma Musume: Pretty Derby (TV) Season 2 Umabako The 4th Corner [Trainer Box]||175,632||August 2021|
|7||Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel
– III. Spring Song [Limited Edition]
|8||Umayon Blu-ray BOX||81,000||December 2021|
|9||Violet Evergarden Movie [Special Edition]||71,570||October 2021|
|10||Gintama: The Final [Limited Edition]||36,394||August 2021|
|11||Fate/Grand Carnival 1st Season [Limited Release]||34,607||May 2021|
|12||Violet Evergarden Movie [Regular Edition]||33,712||October 2021|
|13||Fate/Grand Carnival 2nd Season [Limited Release]||30,323||October 2021|
|14||Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol
Doukoukai Vol. 1 [Limited Release]
|15||Hypnosis Mic: Division Rap Battle – 6th LIVE ≪2ndD.R.B≫ 1st Battle・2nd Battle・3rd Battle Blu-ray||26,402|
|16||Pui Pui Molcar [Limited Release]||25,471||July 2021|
|18||Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol
Doukoukai Vol. 3 [Limited Release]
|19||Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol
Doukoukai Vol. 4 [Limited Release]
|20||Detective Conan Movie: The Scarlet Bullet
Anime DVD Ranking According to Copies Sold (2021)
|1||Kimetsu no Yaiba Movie: Mugen Ressha-hen||633,426||June 2021|
|2||Kimetsu no Yaiba Movie: Mugen Ressha-hen
|3||Doraemon Movie: Nobita no Shin Kyouryuu
|4||Tonari no Totoro||21,479|
|5||Detective Conan Movie: The Scarlet Bullet
|6||Gintama: The Final [Limited Edition]||18,845||August 2021|
|7||Detective Conan Movie: The Scarlet Bullet
|8||Stand By Me Doraemon 2 [DVD]||16,419||April 2021|
|9||Violet Evergarden Movie [Regular Edition]||15,413||October 2021|
|10||Jujutsu Kaisen Vol. 1||13,245||January 2021|
|11||Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi||13,185|
|12||Pui Pui Molcar||12,391||July 2021|
|13||Majo no Takkyuubin||11,674|
|14||Hypnosis Mic: Division Rap Battle – 6th LIVE ≪2ndD.R.B≫ 1st Battle・2nd Battle・3rd Battle Blu-ray||11,559|
|16||Jujutsu Kaisen Vol. 3||10,557||March 2021|
|17||Crayon Shin-chan Movie: Gekitotsu! Rakuga Kingdom
to Hobo Yonin no Yuusha
|18||IDOLiSH7: Third Beat! Vol. 2 [Limited Release]||9,821||November 2021|
|19||Jujutsu Kaisen Vol. 2||9,703||February 2021|
|20||Pokemon Movie: Koko||9,631||July 2021|
As for package makers, Sony Music Entertainment was the biggest earner at 16.45 billion yen (≈123.72 million USD), mainly due to Aniplex, the distributor Kimetsu no Yaiba Movie: Mugen Ressha-hen being a wholly owned subsidiary of the company. Toho with a significant jump y-o-y is 2nd at 10.59 billion yen (≈79.65 million USD) as it was the sole distributor of Uma Musume: Pretty Derby Season 2’s Anime video packages for the year. BANDAI NAMCO Arts is third at 7.01 billion yen (≈52.73 million USD).
Refer to the chart for makers right here.
All that said, Anime video package sales are expected to contract for the year 2022 seeing as no releases have even made it onto Oricon’s Top 10 charts for either Blu-ray and DVD. Jujutsu Kaisen is the best we have so far, but even with copies sold of its Blu-rays and DVDs being put together, it has sold nearly 200,000 copies, still very far from what Kimetsu no Yaiba had achieved in 2021.
If you find any faults with the article above, please do not hesitate to let me know! Also, don’t shy away from dropping a comment or two down below and share your thoughts with us!
Note. The data from AJA included for Blu-ray and DVD comes from Oricon Entertainment Market White Paper here.
In the event that the graphs above do not work well for you, please utilise the Google charts below:
Anime Videogram Sales Trend
Additional Graph for Reference:
Anime Video Maker Sales Trend
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