Toei Animation Achieves Record-Breaking Performance Thanks to Blockbuster Films in FY2023

Toei Animation has achieved its highest-ever recorded sales, surpassing its initial sales forecast of 76,000 million yen (≈561.51 million USD). Instead, the company saw a 53.38% jump in net sales, reaching 87,457 million yen (≈646.16 million USD), the steepest recorded since FY2012, while net income soared 63.03% to end the fiscal year at 20,900 million yen (≈154.42 million USD). Although this growth in net income was not the largest year-over-year, it was still the second-best since FY2012.

The company’s latest success is largely attributable to its main and latest projects, particularly the three major films released throughout the fiscal year that have had a positive effect on other segments. Sales from outside of Japan maintains its importance, accounting for around 55% of its total sales, some of which were heavily influenced by the depreciating yen, allowing Toei Animation to record higher sales from overseas regions. However, the depreciating yen was not the main factor for the company’s recent performance. The films it produced have performed well in the overseas markets, and their performance domestically was also strong. With a positive reaction to its latest films, Toei Animation’s Overseas and Domestic Licensing scenes, in addition to sales of related merchandise, have seen strong demand, contributing significantly to sales.

Please note that FY2023 occurred from April 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023.

Overseas Film Continues to Lead: Toei Animation’s Strong Performance in International Markets

Toei Animation’s Overseas Film segment has delivered its strongest performance ever, with sales surging 71.94% year-over-year to 21,917 million yen (≈161.93 million USD), marking the first time the segment has crossed the 20,000 million yen (≈147.77 million USD) threshold. This represents a substantial increase from the 12,747 million yen (≈94.18 million USD) achieved in FY2022, which was already the segment’s second-best result. The segment’s sales were nearly 1.72 times higher than the previous year and 10.73 times higher than in FY2012, when it generated only 2,042 million yen (≈15.09 million USD).

Toei Animation released several works during the fiscal year, including Oshiri Tantei Movie: Shiriarty, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, One Piece Film: Red, and The First Slam Dunk. While Oshiri Tantei Movie: Shiriarty was released in Japan on March 18, 2022, contributing mostly to FY2022 sales, the other three films were released during the fiscal year. Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero premiered on June 11, 2022, followed by One Piece Film: Red and The First Slam Dunk on August 6 and December 3, 2022, respectively.

All three films were highly successful, with Dragon Ball and One Piece driving streaming rights sales and renewals in North America, and the overseas distribution rights for all three films contributing significantly to international sales. Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero was screened in North America throughout the third quarter of the fiscal year, while One Piece opened in the US on November 4, 2022. The First Slam Dunk has not yet been released in the US, but has been screened in several Asian countries, boosting sales for the Overseas Film segment.

With the US release of The First Slam Dunk film expected to further increase earnings for the segment in Q1 FY2024, Toei Animation’s success in international markets is likely to continue driving the company’s growth.

Impressive Growth in Movie Sales: A Look at Toei Animation’s Year-over-Year Results

The company’s Movie segment achieved a historic milestone in FY2023, with a staggering year-over-year increase of nearly 1,559%, earning 7,500 million yen (≈55.40 million USD). This is a remarkable improvement compared to the 452 million yen (≈3.34 million USD) earned in the previous year. For reference, the second-highest performance for the segment was in FY2014, when the company recorded 2,741 million yen (≈20.25 million USD) in sales. Notably, the segment’s latest achievement is 6.68 times higher than what was achieved in FY2012, and almost 3 times as much as it earned in FY2014. This exceptional success can be attributed to the recent releases of its major films, which were Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, One Piece Film: Red, and The First Slam Dunk.

TV and Content Segments Experience Y-o-Y Decline, While Others See Decent Rise

For the TV segment, the company aired six works throughout the fiscal year: One Piece, Delicious Party♡Precure, Hirogaru Sky! Precure, Digimon Ghost Game, Fushigi Dagashiya: Zenitendou, Oshiri Tantei, and Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibouken. However, due to a fall in the number of broadcasts during the fiscal year, the segment’s performance dropped by 13.14% year-over-year to 2,868 million yen (≈21.19 million USD). This is not the worst performance to date, which was in FY2012 when the company recorded 2,276 million yen (≈16.81 million USD), representing a 26.01% decline from the latest result. The company achieved its highest ever result for this segment in FY2015, with sales amounting to 4,046 million yen (≈29.89 million USD).

From left to right: One Piece, Hirogaru Sky! Precure and Digimon Ghost Game
were among the TV shows aired throughout FY2023

The Content segment, previously known as DVDs, reported its worst result since FY2012, with sales of 389 million yen (≈2.87 million USD), representing a 3.23% drop from the previous fiscal year’s 402 million yen (≈2.97 million USD). For comparison, the segment sold 2,435 million yen (≈17.99 million USD) worth of products in FY2012, which was 6.26 times more than the latest performance. Despite selling around 33,000 or more copies of Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero Blu-rays and DVDs in its first five days in December 2022 (according to Oricon and my own estimates), the segment could not show any improvement. However, the release of One Piece Film: Red in June 2023 and the expected release of The First Slam Dunk Blu-ray and DVD later in FY2024 may turn the situation around.

In contrast, the Others segment saw an 18.84% increase in sales year-over-year, reaching 4,592 million yen (≈33.91 million USD). This is the best performance to date for this segment, along with the second-highest result achieved in FY2013 at 4,166 million yen (≈30.77 million USD). According to Toei Animation, the segment’s positive performance can be traced to the success of the company’s domestic streaming rights sales.

Toei Animation’s Film Segment Soars to All-Time High

The Film segment achieved its best performance ever in history for FY2023, driven by the release of three major films that heavily skewed total sales. Sales rose by 79.4% year-over-year to close at 37,267 million yen (≈275.29 million USD) from 20,769 million yen (≈153.42 million USD). This marks the first time in the company’s history that the Film segment has reached sales beyond the 30,000 million yen (≈221.61 million USD) mark, edging closer to the 40,000 million yen (≈295.47 million USD) territory. For comparison, sales for FY2012 were less than a quarter of what was achieved for the latest fiscal year. Its operating income has also improved by 85.64% at 10,680 million yen (≈78.89 million USD), its strongest seen since FY2012. The scale is significantly smaller than what the segment achieved in FY2012 where it then registered only 539 million (≈3.98 million USD) in operating income. However, it remains to be seen if the Film segment can achieve an identical performance for FY2024 if the lineup is not as strong as FY2023, as a weak lineup can certainly impact sales.

Note. The Film segment here refers to all Movies, TVs, Contents, Overseas Film and Others combined

Licensing Segment: Overseas Continues to Lead, but Both Domestic and Overseas Outperformed Their Past Results

The company’s Licensing segment continues to see Overseas outpacing Domestic. The Overseas Licensing department reported a 23.72% increase in sales, reaching 26,027 million yen (≈192.26 million USD) and making up 61.9% of total licensing sales. Meanwhile, the Domestic department had the largest increase of the two, up by 34.08% to 16,033 million yen (≈118.43 million USD) and accounting for 38.1% of the total sales. This marks the seventh consecutive fiscal year where the Overseas segment has outpaced Domestic, which was the biggest contributor to the segment from FY2012 to FY2016.

The strong sales in the Domestic region can be attributed to popular franchises such as One Piece and Dragon Ball, which centered around the promotion of their latest films. This led to a strong performance in both game and merchandise licensing sales for the two series. One Piece had a successful reaction to its latest film, One Piece Film Red, while Dragon Ball maintained a strong presence in the game licensing segment, especially after the release of Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero.

In the Overseas segment, the Dragon Ball series performed exceptionally well in North America, with strong sales for game rights and merchandising. Notably, card games were particularly successful among merchandise sales. Additionally, the sales of the Digimon card game also contributed to the segment’s overall success.

Both Sales of Goods and Others Were Up by 175.6% and 100.6% Y-o-Y Respectively

The Sales of Goods segment has recorded its first-ever positive operating income since FY2020, where it had consistently experienced operating losses from FY2020 to FY2022. The 175.6% increase in sales has allowed the segment to achieve not only its highest sales of 6,149 million yen (≈45.42 million USD) within the past five fiscal years but also 648 million yen (≈4.79 million USD) in operating income, which is nearly 5 times the operating income experienced in FY2019.

As for the Others segment, this is the first time it has recorded an operating income within the past five fiscal years. Sales have increased by 100.6% to 2,216 million yen (≈16.37 million USD), which is also the best performance throughout the five years, with an operating income of 103 million yen (≈760.84 thousand USD).

The major improvements to both segments can be attributed to several factors, including the significant contribution of merchandising revenue to the Sales of Goods segment through the shop business of One Piece (also known as the Mugiwara Store) and the success of product sales related to The First Slam Dunk film. In addition, for the Others segment, the improvement can be attributed to well-received events held for series such as Pretty Cure, Konjiki no Gash Bell!!, and One Piece, resulting in a significant rise in sales.

You can check out a clip of a Mugiwara Store located in Ikebukuro if you are interested below.

Breakdown According to Region: Major Rise in Sales in Latin America, with an Increase of 161.18%; Overseas Accounted for 55.1% of Sales

The Overseas region maintains its position as Toei Animation’s biggest contributor to sales for the third time in a row, while Domestic’s market share has shrunk from the 37.5% it held the year before to account for 44.9% this time around, thanks to a significant rise in sales for the region by 83.95% to 39,414 million yen (≈291.14 million USD). The increase in Domestic sales has eaten into the Overseas’ share, which accounted for 55.1% of the total sales in FY2023, down from 62.5% in FY2022. Sales for the Overseas market rose 35.33% in the latest fiscal year to 48,279 million yen (≈356.62 million USD), the highest ever recorded for both regions since FY2012.

Zooming in on the Overseas market, all regions reported a year-over-year increase in sales. Asia still accounts for the largest portion of sales at 41.1%, but its growth was the lowest, increasing by 13.84% year-over-year to 19,862 million yen (≈146.72 million USD). The US slightly increased its market share to account for 35.3% of the total sales, up from the previous year’s 33.7%. The region experienced a 41.80% jump in sales to 17,027 million yen (≈125.77 million USD) from 12,008 million yen (≈88.70 million USD). Europe recorded the second biggest growth among the Overseas regions, increasing by 66.31% to reach 8,502 million yen (≈62.80 million USD), allowing it to occupy 17.6% of the total market share. While Latin America had the smallest sales among the regions, it experienced the largest growth, with sales increasing by 161.18% to 2,886 million yen (≈21.32 million USD) from 1,105 million yen (≈8.16 million USD), allowing it to occupy 6.0% of the total market share, an improvement over the 3.1% it held in the previous fiscal year.

Domestic Licensing Top 4

The latest fiscal year saw One Piece outpacing Dragon Ball in the Domestic Licensing segment, marking the first time since FY2017. One Piece‘s sales reached 6,553 million yen (≈48.41 million USD), an 87.44% increase year-over-year, while Dragon Ball‘s minor improvement of 12.06% led it down a spot to Number 2 with 6,149 million yen (≈45.42 million USD) in sales. Both series surpassed other titles in the portfolio, with Pretty Cure only securing 553 million yen (≈4.08 million USD) in sales, a 4.73% increase from the previous fiscal year, and Sailor Moon increasing by 6.23% to 273 million yen (≈2.02 million USD).

Unfortunately, this is the second-worst performance for Pretty Cure since FY2012, falling behind the 528 million yen (≈3.90 million USD) it recorded in the previous fiscal year and far from the 1,046 million yen (≈7.73 million USD) it made in FY2012. Although Sailor Moon saw increased sales in FY2019 at 516 million yen (≈3.81 million USD), the latest outcome is not its best. However, the franchise’s latest film, Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Cosmos Movie, may provide the much-needed boost for the title, potentially leading to a better outcome in Q1 FY2024, given that the movie will be released in June 2023.

In this segment, One Piece held a 40.9% share of the total sales, while Dragon Ball accounted for 38.4%. The remaining series, collectively referred to as “Others,” had a combined share of 15.6%. Pretty Cure and Sailor Moon followed with shares of 3.4% and 1.7%, respectively.

Overseas Film Top 4

One Piece has dominated Toei Animation’s Overseas Film segment, grossing 7,234 million yen (≈53.44 million USD) and comfortably surpassing Dragon Ball‘s 5,403 million yen (≈39.91 million USD). Although One Piece is currently leading, Dragon Ball‘s growth rate of 118.39% year-over-year is actually higher than One Piece‘s 72.90%. In the past, Dragon Ball had also overtaken One Piece as Toei Animation’s highest earner for the segment from FY2017 to FY2020. However, One Piece has now regained the top spot for the third consecutive year since FY2021.

As for the other titles, as mentioned in Q3 though I am off the mark by a spot, Saint Seiya and Slam Dunk have secured the 3rd and 4th spots, respectively. Saint Seiya‘s revenue grew by 74.64% to 1,474 million yen (≈10.89 million USD) from 844 million yen (≈6.23 million USD) in the last fiscal year. This increase in sales can be attributed to the screening rights for the live-action adaptation of the series, Knights of the Zodiac, which was released in April this year in some countries, including Japan. The rest of the world will be able to enjoy the film from May onwards. On the other hand, Slam Dunk has not appeared on the list since FY2012 and made its first appearance at 1,063 million yen (≈7.85 million USD) thanks to the latest film’s release outside of Japan starting January 2023. With the film set to screen in more theaters worldwide in 2023, we can expect Slam Dunk to maintain its spot in the Top 4 for Q1 FY2024.

In this segment, “Others” enjoyed a higher market share of 30.8%, followed by One Piece at 33.0%. Dragon Ball came in third at 24.7%, while Saint Seiya and Slam Dunk held shares of 6.7% and 4.9%, respectively.

Overseas Licensing Top 4

In this segment, Dragon Ball has surpassed One Piece by a significant margin, ranking at the top of the list with sales of 11,590 million yen (≈85.60 million USD), which represents a 24.25% increase year-over-year. One Piece‘s improvement in this segment is slightly higher than Dragon Ball, with a 34.96% increase year-over-year to 5,930 million yen (≈43.80 million USD) from 4,394 million yen (≈32.45 million USD). Dragon Ball has continuously held its position here since FY2016, when it overtook One Piece by a small margin, and has continued to outpace the rest of Toei Animation’s portfolio until the latest fiscal year.

In the 3rd and 4th spots, Digimon has surpassed Slam Dunk with a 44.13% rise in sales, putting its total fiscal year performance at 2,208 million yen (≈16.31 million USD), likely its highest ever recorded in history. For comparison, Digimon‘s sales were only 35 million yen (≈258.49 thousand USD) in FY2012. Remember that Toei Animation attributed some of the strong sales for the series to the success of its card game outside of Japan. Slam Dunk was not seen at all from FY2017 to FY2020 before making a reappearance in FY2021. Sales were stronger then at 2,316 million yen (≈17.10 million USD) before slowing down the year after to 1,673 million yen (≈12.36 million USD). The 48.89% drop caused the sales to dip below the 1,000 million yen (≈7.39 million USD) mark to 855 million yen (≈6.32 million USD). This could be due to a slowdown in sales of game rights, which were strong in FY2021. However, with The First Slam Dunk movie proving to be a huge success, the series’ performance within this segment can be reinvigorated in Q1 FY2024 due to the spillover effect.

With that being said, Dragon Ball took up 44.5% of the total market share here, nearly double that of One Piece’s 22.8%. In between would be “Others” at 20.9%. The slowdown faced by Slam Dunk caused it to retreat to a smaller market share of 3.3%, while Digimon’s rise in the segment allowed it a larger share of 8.5%.

Box Office Performance of Toei Animation’s Three Recent Major Anime Films

From left to right: Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, One Piece Film: Red, and The First Slam Dunk
have all been a smashing box office success

As of the latest fiscal year, Toei Animation has provided an update on the performances of its hit major films. Dragon Ball is the third largest among the three, collecting 13.8 billion yen (≈101.87 USD) in box office revenue worldwide. The film also placed first in its week box office outing, including topping the US box office on its debut.

The First Slam Dunk doubled that amount to generate 30 billion yen (≈221.46 million USD) in box office revenue worldwide. With it not being out in most countries yet, this is a remarkable achievement. The film also did very well in China, achieving the highest record for Anime pre-sales tickets in the country and surpassing 600 million rmb (≈86.24 million USD) in box office revenue there. Apart from that, the film has also won The Best Animation at the 46th Japan Academy Film Prize the same year. With more screenings to come, we can expect the film to bring in even more in box office revenue, perhaps surpassing the next title below.

The best performer, as of now, would be One Piece Film: Red at 31.9 billion yen (≈235.64 million USD) in worldwide box office revenue. The film also went on to top the domestic box office according to Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan at 19.7 billion yen (≈145.52 million USD) and also became the 8th best all-time domestic film in terms of box office revenue. It sits behind Studio Ghibli’s Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke), which according to Kogyo Tsushinsha is at 20.18 billion yen (≈149.07 million USD).

The Tight Race Between One Piece and Dragon Ball

One Piece and Dragon Ball have always been the top earners for Toei Animation, and if the two were to combine, they would account for 49% of the company’s total revenue, which is around 42,859 million yen (≈316.59 million USD). Dragon Ball was clearly ahead of One Piece from FY2018 to FY2021, but from FY2022, the gap has narrowed considerably, with Dragon Ball still leading at a total of 23,142 million yen (≈170.94 million USD) with all of its segments combined, an improvement of 33.85% from last fiscal year’s 17,289 million yen (≈127.71 million USD). One Piece’s gain of 63.30% year-over-year puts it at 19,717 million yen (≈145.66 million USD), bringing it closer to Dragon Ball. When “Others” are included in the equation, Dragon Ball would take up 36.2% of the share with One Piece at 30.8%, and Others accounting for the remaining 33.0%.

Overall, Dragon Ball’s 33.85% jump is not its best year-to-year improvement, as the series had the sharpest climb between FY2015 and FY2016 when the Dragon Ball Super TV Anime series began airing on July 5, 2015. The 33.85% jump is also lower than other fiscal years where the difference was more noticeable, such as the 80.12% increase between FY2016 and FY2017, and then FY2017 and FY2018 by 58.52%.

One Piece has had a mild growth rate, with the second-highest ever recorded between FY2021 and FY2022 at 28.89%. Despite the pandemic limiting access to public spaces such as theaters, One Piece was able to hold well, partly due to the strong sales of distribution rights for the series at the time. The 63.30% swing between FY2022 and FY2023 is its largest seen since FY2012. With the pandemic largely under control and buoyed by a strong lineup, One Piece was able to witness its best performance to date.

It is difficult to say if the momentum seen here can be sustained, and until when the spillover effect will last, as a weaker lineup for the two series in FY2024 can certainly impact their overall performance. Even Toei Animation had to lower its forecast for the full fiscal year to 72,000 million yen (≈531.87 million USD) from the 87,457 million yen (≈646.16 USD) it achieved for FY2023.

As of now, One Piece has more in the pipeline, with its upcoming One Piece Card Game booster pack and sales of its Film Red discs, which will bring in additional revenue for Q1 FY2024. However, as a whole, we cannot expect as impactful of a performance as in FY2023. As for Dragon Ball, there have been no major announcements in Toei Animation’s schedule for Q1 and Q2 of FY2024, but the series will receive a new DRAGON BALL Z: Budokai Tenkaichi (known in Japan as DRAGON BALL Z: Sparking!) at some point in FY2024, which should contribute to Dragon Ball‘s licensing revenue.

Upcoming Releases and Projects: What to Expect in the First Two Quarters of FY2024

FY2024 is likely to see Dragon Ball and One Piece take a back seat while other titles come to the forefront. In Q1 FY2024, several planned releases (some of which have already happened) will be introduced to viewers, including The First Slam Dunk in China on April 20 and Knights of the Zodiac on April 28. This should result in a stronger outcome for The First Slam Dunk for Overseas Film, while Knights of the Zodiac should contribute significantly to the series’ respective Domestic Licensing and Overseas Film revenues.

The First Slam Dunk (left) is expected to perform really well for Q1 FY2023 amid its release in China for the Overseas Film segment, Knights of the Zodiac will contribute for both Movies and Overseas Film

In the same quarter, Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Cosmos Movie will occur on June 9 for the first act and June 30 for the second act. As the film has no confirmed release dates outside of Japan yet, we can expect the movie to contribute to Toei Animation’s domestic film, particularly the Movies segment. Therefore, Sailor Moon is expected to occupy a place in the Top 4.

From top left: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Cosmos Movie, Digimon Adventure 02: The Beginning, Kitarou Tanjou: Gegege no Nazo and from bottom left: Akuma-kun, The Monkey Prince, Kibou no Chikara: Otona Precure ’23

One Piece Blu-rays and DVDs will be released in June 2023, and this time, the film is likely to perform well. This should result in a rebound for Toei Animation’s Contents segment, which has been relatively dry recently. Even Toei Animation is looking at an almost 80% increase for the full FY2024 for the segment, thanks in part to the many planned disc releases particularly Film Red, though it is unclear whether The First Slam Dunk‘s discs are included in the forecast. If they are, the reaction could be stronger, and the segment could record even higher growth.

In Q2 FY2024 and beyond, we can look forward to the release of Kibou no Chikara: Otona Precure ’23, Digimon Adventure 02: The Beginning on October 27 and Kitarou Tanjou: Gegege no Nazo on November 17. This should boost the performance of both series in the Movies segment and may encourage growth for Domestic Licensing. Akuma-kun, a Netflix exclusive title slated for broadcast in either Q2 or Q3, should contribute to the series’ own Domestic and Overseas Licensing. The same can be said for Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest The Adventure of Dai, which is expected to land worldwide in Fall 2023.

Finally, in addition to DRAGON BALL Z: Budokai Tenkaichi mentioned in the previous section, The Monkey Prince, a joint project between Toei Animation and China’s Bona Film Group, will take place sometime this year, with no dates announced yet.

Key Takeaways:

  • Best Toei Animation performance to date
  • Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, One Piece Film: Red, and The First Slam Dunk carried
  • Latest major hit films created a ripple effect causing other related segments to respond positively
  • Movies and Overseas Film segments took off to great heights
  • Overseas region maintained its lead over Domestic
  • One Piece nearly catching up to Dragon Ball
Toei Animation Ownership Chart for Reference

Toei Animation recently announced its latest fiscal year performance, which has resulted in a positive reaction from the stock market. On the day of the announcement, the stock closed at 13,060 yen (≈96.40 USD), a 3.24% increase from the previous day’s closing price of 12,650 yen (≈93.37 USD).

Toei Animation Co., Ltd. is incorporated in Japan with its head office in Nakano-ku. It is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange under ticket symbol: 4816.

All currency conversion was done at the time of writing.

Featured Image:
The First Slam Dunk

Q3 FY2023

Please note that this article was written based on the combined information of all the sources listed below, plus further analyses and prognostication of my own by referencing to the data collected from the sources and some inputs I received from followers.

Slides (FY2023)
Data Sheets (FY2023)
Financial Statement (FY2023)

Extra charts included for additional reference.

Google Charts:
Toei Animation Sales vs Income
Toei Animation Segment Results
Toei Animation Licensing Results
Toei Animation Licensing Results (Share)
Toei Animation Regional Results
Toei Animation Regional Results (Share)
Toei Animation Overseas Results
Toei Animation Overseas Results (Share)
Toei Animation Domestic Licensing (Time Series)
Toei Animation Domestic Licensing (Share)
Toei Animation Overseas Film (Time Series)
Toei Animation Overseas Film (Share)
Toei Animation Overseas Licensing (Time Series)
Toei Animation Overseas Licensing (Share)
Toei Animation’s One Piece (Specified)
Toei Animation’s Dragon Ball (Specified)
Toei Animation’s One Piece vs Dragon Ball
Toei Animation’s One Piece vs Dragon Ball vs Others (Share)

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