Looking over at Japan, anime home video sales for general audiences (meaning not just for kids) went up 57.5% since 2020. Much of the credit for this impressive hike goes to (no surprise) Demon Slayer. During the first half of the year, these sales made 23.499 billion yen, which is approximately $214 million.
Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train broke records in movie theaters, it broke records on home releases. It became available for home release on June 16, and within three days 1,074,170 Blu-ray Discs and DVDs had sold.
Breaking it down more, the first week saw 351,326 copies bought of the regular edition Blu-ray. There was also an option of a limited edition, and people bought 338,016 copies in the first week. During that same time frame, people bought 456,909 copies of the regular DVD and 164,532 copies of the limited edition DVD.
Japan still has rental stores, but they saw their earning decrease in the past year. Rental sales in the first section of this year for general audiences anime brought in 1.253 billion yen, which is about $11 million, and that’s more than half of what it was in 2020.
If we look at sales of animation sold in Japan but made outside of the country, that made 750 million yen, which is approximately $6.8 million. Looking at all animation sales in Japan, that only accounts for 1/35. Sales for animation done outside of the country have done better in Japan when there’s a big blockbuster involved, like Frozen 2.
Since Demon Slayer counted for so many of the sales this year, we could see a drop coming up in 2022. Funimation licensed Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train and gave this description of the movie:
“After completing their rehabilitation training, Tanjiro and his comrades arrive at their next mission on the Mugen Train, where over 40 people have disappeared. Together with one of the most powerful swordsmen of the Demon Slayer Corps, Flame Hashira Kyojuro Rengoku, they face the nightmare on board.”
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, and its sequel, Manga Art for Intermediates, with professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.