It’s official: Demon Slayer: Mugen Train is the highest grossing anime film ever made. Overtaking top titles in a matter of weeks, it’s slaying at the box office. It seems like this anime juggernaut is set to overtake the scene entirely.
Except for just a few things.
We did a little digging, and we’ve found three anime records that even Mugen Train hasn’t conquered. In fact, one title in this list is secure in its record forever! The others… well, it’s possible. But for now, the Demon Slayer film will just have to be content with being the #1 anime film ever.
Most Expensive Anime Film:
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Whether this is a good or bad record is really in the eye of the beholder. While anime films still tend to cost just a fraction of major Disney/Pixar films, those yen still add up. In the case of Studio Ghibli’s The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, they add up to $5.2 billion yen. Runners-up include the recent Stand by Me Doraemon, Space Pirate Captain Harlock, and Ghibli’s own Ponyo and The Wind Rises. But no Mugen Train.
Knowing a film has gone all-out budget-wise may be cool in terms of knowing how much effort went into it. But without the box office takings to justify it, it can be a rough “honor” to hold.
Most Magical Warriors in an Anime Movie:
Hugtto! PreCure Futari wa Pretty Cure:
All Stars Memories
The techniques of Demon Slayer‘s heroes sure do seem magical, and there’s no shortage of Hashira. But it should come as no surprise which long-running franchise tops Mugen Train in terms of magical warriors sharing the screen at one time. 2019’s Hugtto! PreCure crossover film filled the frame with fifty-five magical girls.
The magical girl series’s abundance of characters is the main reason even the crossover movies have more selective casts from year to year. But for the franchise’s 15th anniversary, they went all out and got them all in there. It’s pretty likely even this impressive record will get overtaken… though we expect it’ll be by PreCure one-upping themselves for the 20th anniversary in a few years.
First Anime to Win an Oscar: Spirited Away
You can always overtake a “biggest” or a “best” or a “most,” but a “first” is here to stay. And that’s where Spirited Away can never be unseated, as the first anime to win an Academy Award.
The Ghibli film took the prize in 2002 for Best Animated Feature, marking the first time — but not the last — that anime would get an Oscar nod. Seven further anime have gotten nominations, including The Wind Rises and the aforementioned The Tale of the Princess Kaguya. The House of Small Cubes by Kunio Kato took the 2008 Best Short Animation prize, too. While it has more of a European style to it, the film is still another example of Japan’s strengths in animation.
Even if Mugen Train were to take an Oscar nomination — and with all due respect, that seems like a long shot — the first spot is already taken.
Regardless, Demon Slayer: Mugen Train has chugged all the way to the top of the heap in terms of box office success. How do you feel about its ranking?
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