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).
As Market Returns to Normalisation, Character Merchandise and Music Market Also Went Up
The overall Character Merchandise market has gone up by 3.03% y-o-y to 1,530 billion yen (≈11.51 billion USD) as the market slowly recovered throughout the year from the pandemic. Although the state of emergency declared was temporarily lifted in March, it was reissued again between April and July and as such, making it difficult for the market to reach its optimum potential as many events had to be either be cancelled or held in a limited sense, nevertheless, that still gave it room for growth. In 2019, the market was worth 1,550 billion yen (≈11.66 billion USD) before the pandemic wreaked havoc in Japan. However, it was 2014 that became the market’s best performance ever since 2011, reaching a high 1,690 billion yen (≈12.71 billion USD). Out of the 1,530 billion yen (≈11.51 billion USD) it was worth in 2021, 663.1 billion yen (≈4.99 billion USD) alone belonged to the Japanese Anime Character market, which would put its share at 43.34% and presenting a 13.95% growth y-o-y. Like the entire Character Merchandise market, the Anime Merchandise market also reached its highest point since 2011 in the year 2014 where the market was valued at 655.2 billion yen (≈4.93 billion USD).
Note that this market is extremely crucial as it took up 24.2% of the entire Japanese animation market in 2021, sitting behind the Overseas market that accounted for 47.9% of the market which counts a broader spectrum of factors, hence receipts from sales of character merchandise overseas may be less than the total 47.9%. Therefore, if the market were to suffer a major setback, it would deal quite a significant blow to the overall market.
One of the reasons attributable to the rise of the market was the sales made from Kimetsu no Yaiba which continued to carry on at a strong momentum from the year 2020. The series saw new joint ventures with other major companies throughout the year such as with Universal Studios Japan, KDDI (a Japanese telecommunications operator), All Nippon Airways etc. Prior to 2021, the series had already had numerous tie-ups with Lawson, Bandai Namco, Asahi Soft Drinks and many more.
The Universal Studios Japan x Kimetsu no Yaiba collaboration that happened from September 17, 2021.
More about the collaboration can be learned here.
The KDDI x Kimetsu no Yaiba collab under their mobile operator AU brand in Japan
The All Nippon Airways x Kimetsu no Yaiba tie up
But, it was not just Kimetsu no Yaiba having a stellar year, other titles rallied on as well. The Pokémon card game and its other related licensed products performed amicably, then demand for Gunpla models from the Mobile Suit Gundam series were strong despite the pandemic. Various other commercialization efforts for both new and old titles such as Jujutsu Kaisen and Tokyo Revengers were great too.
The market will most likely see another strong year in 2022 as the momentum builds on, coupled with the normalisation of the market and the emergence of new titles or new works such as Spy x Family and One Piece Film Red, and supported by an aggressive social network promotion strategy, will spur demand for products related to these titles.
As for Music
The market for Anime music has grown by 15.10% from 27.55 billion yen (≈207.23 million USD) in 2020 to 31.71 billion yen (≈238.52 million USD) in 2021 which is still quite far from the 41.42 billion yen (≈311.56 million USD) it achieved in 2009. Of the total, sales from CDs alone were valued at 19.12 billion yen (≈143.82 million USD), a 9.04% increase from the prior year, accounting for 60.28% of the total market while digital market, valued at 12.60 billion yen (≈94.78 million USD), a 25.71% improvement from the year before, accounted for 39.72% of the total market share in 2021. As for Anime CD sales, this is its second weakest to date since 2008 after reaching its peak at 30.67 billion yen (≈230.70 million USD) in 2009 and as for digital sales, this would be its best performance by far since 2008 with its second best being for the year 2010 where the market was valued at 10.91 billion yen (≈82.06 million USD). It remains to be seen how well the market will perform from 2022 onwards as streaming has gotten stronger in recent years.
As for performance title-wise, Black Clover was still the best-selling series when it comes to its music for the second year in a row. The previous year, the series topped the list at 1.71 billion yen (≈12.86 million USD), though for 2021, sales had settled down a little by 0.96% to 1.70 billion yen (≈12.79 million USD). Still large considering the end of its Anime that occurred in March 2021. Likewise, Love Live! Sunshine!! which was Number 2 the year before has its position remains unchanged for the year 2021, selling 1.24 billion yen (≈9.33 billion USD) worth of audio software, up by 9.19% y-o-y. However, if you consider other Love Live! related titles that occupy the list, the series would have comfortably placed 1st with total sales at 2.23 billion yen (≈16.77 million USD). As for Number 3, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations slipped in at 757.20 million yen (≈5.70 million USD), yet lower than Fugou Keiji: Balance:Unlimited that occupied the same spot the year before at 1.01 billion yen (≈7.60 million USD).
Note that the below charts onward are based on Oricon’s yearly sales data that measured sales occured from December 14, 2020 to December 12, 2021.
Top 20 Anime Audio Software in 2021
|2||Love Live! Sunshine!!||1,236,400,000|
|3||Boruto: Naruto Next Generations||757,200,000|
|4||Love Live! Superstar!!||445,600,000|
|6||Hanyou no Yashahime||307,800,000|
|7||Macross Δ Movie: Zettai Live!!!||301,000,000|
|8||Santa Company: Manatsu no Merry Christmas||293,500,000|
|9||Hypnosis Mic: Division Rap Battle – Rhyme Anima||283,500,000|
|10||Kimetsu no Yaiba||270,100,000|
|11||Doraemon Movie: Nobita no Little Star Wars||253,000,000|
|12||Kick & Slide||220,400,000|
|13||Love Live! Series||194,800,000|
|14||Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Doukoukai||180,700,000|
|15||Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time||175,100,000|
|16||Love Live! Sunshine!! Series||170,100,000|
|17||Ryuu to Sobakasu no Hime||166,700,000|
|18||IDOLiSH7 Third Beat!||152,300,000|
|20||BanG Dream! Movie: Episode of Roselia – I: Yakusoku||139,800,000|
In terms of copies sold for CDs, Black Clover’s soundtrack Grandeur, performed by boy band Snow Man were ahead of others by a big margin, selling 1,003,113 copies. Santa Company: Manatsu no Merry Christmas is 2nd with Hitorigoto de Kataru Kurainara by Japanese idol group STU48 at 236,317 copies while Hanyou no Yashahime took the 3rd and 4th spots with its BURN and Mirai e / ReBorn singles at 155,010 copies and 137,906 sold each.
Top 20 Anime Singles CD in 2021
|Rank||Title||Related Anime||Copies Sold|
|2||Hitorigoto de Kataru Kurainara||Santa Company: Manatsu no Merry Christmas||236,317|
|3||BURN||Hanyou no Yashahime||155,010|
|4||Mirai e / ReBorn||Hanyou no Yashahime||137,906|
|5||KISSIN’MY LIPS/Stories||Black Clover||101,266|
|6||Boku Ga Motteru Mono Nara||22/7||78,893|
|7||Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ 10th Anniversary CD (STAR WISH,
QUARTET CROWN, ENDLESS SCORE）
|8||Homura||Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Ressha-hen||70,107|
|10||Akeboshi / Shirogane||Kimetsu no Yaiba||61,246|
|11||Ensemble Stars! ES Idol Song Season 1 Switch (Omoi no Kakera)||Ensemble Stars!||58,297|
|12||Universe||Official Hige Dandism||57,530|
|13||Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Shining All Star CD3 (Grateful Friends,
Graceful Ways / Ready Steady Race!)
|14||Ensemble Stars! ES Idol Song Season 2 Switch (Yubisaki no Ariadne)||Ensemble Stars!||50,559|
|15||LIVE with a smile!||Love Live! Series||48,842|
|16||Towazugatari / Honoo||Touken Ranbu Series||47,177|
|17||Butterfly / Solitude Rain / VIVID WORLD||Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Doukoukai||44,620|
|18||Kaibutsu / Yasashii Suisei||Beastars||44,096|
|19||Scarlet Lips||Touken Ranbu Series||41,551|
|20||not ALONE not HITORI / Miracle STAY TUNE! / Shooting Voice!!||Love Live! Series||40,864|
Digital sales witnessed Beastars’ Kaibutsu by Japanese music superduo Yoasobi leading the list at 331,548 copies. Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Ressha-hen’s Homura by LiSA which was the 3rd best-selling Anime single CD and 2nd best-selling digital single the year before maintained its 2nd position here at 327,197 copies, down 53.91%. Tokyo Revengers’ Cry Baby by Official Hige Dandism is 3rd at 276,716 copies sold.
Top 20 Anime Digital Singles
|Rank||Title||Related Anime||Copies Sold|
|2||Homura||Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Ressha-hen||327,197|
|3||Cry Baby||Tokyo Revengers||276,716|
|4||Kaikai Kitan||Jujutsu Kaisen||257,091|
|5||One Last Kiss||Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time||223,623|
|6||Akeboshi||Kimetsu no Yaiba||195,201|
|7||Niji||Stand By Me Doraemon 2||188,679|
|8||Gurenge||Kimetsu no Yaiba||150,887|
|9||U||Ryuu to Sobakasu no Hime||138,102|
|10||Senkou||Kidou Senshi Gundam: Senkou no Hathaway||123,686|
|12||Umapyoi Densetsu||Uma Musume: Pretty Derby||101,828|
|13||Kamado Tanjirou no Uta||Kimetsu no Yaiba||99,895|
|14||VIVID VICE||Jujutsu Kaisen||99,131|
|15||Zankyosanka||Kimetsu no Yaiba||93,040|
|16||Universe||Doraemon Movie: Nobita no Little Star Wars||89,968|
|17||Shirogane||Kimetsu no Yaiba||85,937|
|18||Yume wo Kakeru||Uma Musume: Pretty Derby||80,250|
|19||GIRLS’ LEGEND U||Uma Musume: Pretty Derby||67,749|
|20||Make Debut!||Uma Musume: Pretty Derby||63,273|
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.
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