12 Most Expensive Anime per Episode, Ranked by Cost

Welcome to the captivating world of anime, where creativity knows no bounds and storytelling takes on vibrant, animated life. As you may already be aware, numbers hold a special fascination for us. Today, we dive into the realm of production budgets and unveil the 12 most expensive anime per episode, ranked by their cost. Get ready to explore the meticulous details and precise figures behind these animated masterpieces, as we uncover the remarkable investments made to bring these extraordinary shows to life on the screen. From stunning visuals to intricate narratives, join us on this journey of discovering the anime series that spared no expense in their pursuit of excellence.

12. Dragon Ball Z (1989-1996) – $50,000 per Episode

Most Expensive Anime per Episod eragon Ball Z

After the success of the original Dragon Ball series, the animation studio heavily invested in the sequel, Dragon Ball Z. The immense fan support, merchandise sales, and cultural impact of the first series created anticipation for the continuation. The high production cost of DBZ can be attributed to hand-drawn animation that required meticulous detail, with each frame crafted by talented artists. Complex fight sequences and special effects also added to the expenses, requiring skilled animators and visual effects teams. Dragon Ball Z gained a massive following, captivating audience with its gripping storyline and epic battles. Despite the expensive costs, the anime proved its worth the cost through lasting cultural influence, ongoing popularity, and commercial success. The investment in Dragon Ball Z paid off in terms of audience satisfaction and long-term profitability.

11. Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995-1996) – $60,000 Per Episode

Most Expensive Anime per Episode Neon Genesis Evangelion anime poster

One of the most expensive anime per episode, Neon Genesis Evangelion’s high production cost per episode is mainly attributed to its remarkable quality and unique visual style. Director Hideaki Anno and his team aimed to create a thought-provoking and visually striking anime that pushed the boundaries of storytelling and animation. The animation production involved intricate and detailed artwork, complex mecha designs, and elaborate action sequences. Neon Genesis Evangelion is based on a popular apocalypse manga that featured a blend of traditional hand-drawn animation and innovative CGI which required technical experts to bring the series to life. Despite the significant expenses, the investment in Neon Genesis Evangelion proved to be worthwhile. The series gained critical acclaim and cultural impact that continues to resonate even decades after its initial release. Its compelling narrative and striking visual style have cemented its status as one of the most influential anime series ever.

10. One Punch Man (2015 – ) $80,000 Per Episode

Most Expensive Anime per Episode One Punch Man

One Punch Man is known for its impressive fight scenes and the portrayal of Saitama’s overwhelming strength. The animation team had to put in considerable effort and resources to bring these sequences to life, ensuring that they were visually stunning and lived up to the expectations of the manga source material. The series boasts top-notch character designs and meticulous attention to detail. From the unique appearances of the heroes and villains to the vibrant backgrounds and cityscapes, the animation team invested time and expertise in creating a visually rich and immersive world. Furthermore, the show features an engaging soundtrack that complements the action and enhances the overall viewing experience. Ensuring high-quality sound effects and scoring can add to the overall production expenses. What we can all agree about is that the investment in delivering this visually stunning adaptation has undoubtedly contributed to the series’ success.

9. One Piece (1999 – ) $90,000 Per Episode

Most Expensive Anime per Episode 
 One Piece anime poster

Famous for its vast world-building and extensive cast of characters, One Piece requires substantial resources. One Piece features dynamic animation, bringing to life the richly detailed environments, unique character designs, and the series’ trademark action sequences. The animation team must invest significant time in capturing the intricate movements, expressions, and battles, ensuring that they resonate with the source material and the expectations of the dedicated fanbase. As one of the longest-running anime ever, One Piece spans over a thousand episodes and continues to release new episodes regularly. This longevity requires ongoing production efforts, including writing, storyboarding, voice acting, animation, and post-production. Maintaining consistent quality over such an extensive period requires large financial investment to sustain the production team and maintain the series’ high standards.

8. Naruto Shippuden (2007 – 2017) $100,000 Per Episode

Naruto Shippuden anime series poster

A sequel to the original Naruto anime series, Naruto Shippuden continues the story of Naruto Uzumaki, a young ninja with dreams of becoming the strongest ninja in his village. As a continuation of the popular Naruto series, there were higher expectations from fans and a need to maintain the quality and visual consistency established in the original show. Also, as the story in Naruto Shippuden became more action-packed, it required more dynamic animation, including elaborate visual effects. All these factors, combined with the desire to meet fan expectations, contributed to the higher production costs per episode. The additional financial investment per episode certainly paid off in creating an outstanding sequel.

7. My Hero Academia (2016 – ) $110,000 Per Episode

My Hero Academia anime series poster

Anybody who saw My Hero Academia knows that the series features particularly dynamic animation, bringing to life intense action sequences, and very detailed environments. This level of quality requires a dedicated team of animators, artists, and technicians, along with advanced technology and resources. Also, the series boasts an exceptionally large and diverse cast of characters, each with unique powers and abilities. Portraying these superhuman feats and their visual effects necessitates meticulous planning, animation, and special effects work. The substantial cost per episode reflects the BONES studio’s commitment to delivering a visually stunning experience, cementing My Hero Academia as a top-tier anime.

6. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (2012 – ) $120,000 Per Episode

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure anime series poster

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is known for its visually stunning animation that showcases flamboyant characters and their eccentric abilities. The series features highly detailed character models, intricate fashion designs, and creative use of visual effects, all of which require considerable time and resources to produce. The series is renowned for its over-the-top battles and a multi-generational narrative that follows the Joestar family’s struggles against various supernatural forces. With its distinct art style and memorable characters, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has gained a dedicated fanbase.

5. Black Clover (2017 – 2021) $140,000 Per Episode

Most Expensive Anime per Episode Black Clover anime series poster

Black Clover is our number 5 most expensive anime series ever! It stands out with its remarkable price tag of $140,000 per episode, primarily due to its action-packed sequences, intricate magical effects, and dynamic battles that demand substantial investments in animation and visual effects. Set in a world where magic holds paramount importance, Black Clover showcases a diverse array of visually captivating magical abilities, each intricately crafted with meticulous attention to detail. The significant cost per episode is a direct result of these factors, demonstrating the immense effort invested in bringing the series to life.

4. Jujutsu Kaisen (2020 – ) $150,000 Per Episode

Jujutsu Kaisen  anime series poster

With a whopping price tag of $150,000 per episode, Jujutsu Kaisen’s high cost is mainly attributed to its breathtaking animation. The series showcases intricate battle scenes, intricate character designs, and visually stunning magical effects, all of which require extensive resources and top-notch talent. The story of Jujutsu Kaisen revolves around Yuji Itadori, a high school student who becomes involved in the world of curses, spirits, and sorcery. After coming into contact with a cursed artifact, Yuji becomes the host of a powerful curse, Sukuna, but manages to retain control over his body. Jujutsu Kaisen’s popularity and critical acclaim have contributed to the increased investment in maintaining the series’ exceptional production values. In my opinion, it’s worth every penny put into it!

3. Attack On Titan (2013 – 2023) $150,000 Per Episode

Attack On Titan anime series poster

Set in a world where humanity resides within enormous walls to protect themselves from giant humanoid creatures called Titans, Attack on Titan features detailed animation, intense battle sequences, and a vast post-apocalyptic world. The attention to detail extends to the character designs, the depiction of the Titans’ unique abilities, and the immersive environments. The production team’s commitment to faithfully adapting the source material contributes to the significant investment in each episode.

2. Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Arc – $160,000 Per Episode

Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Arc anime series poster

The Thousand-Year Blood War Arc in the Bleach anime series follows the final story arc of the original manga. It continues the epic tale of Ichigo Kurosaki, a teenager with the ability to see ghosts, as he battles against malevolent spirits known as Hollows. The high cost of producing the Arc is chiefly attributed to the arc’s length, along with the need to maintain consistent animation quality over multiple episodes. However, there are more factors, such as the visually mesmerizing battles and the aspiration to surpass the quality of the original series.

1. Dragon Ball Super (2017 – ) $170,000 Per Episode

Dragon Ball Super  anime series poster

At the top of this list of the most expensive animes we have Dragon Ball Super’s inflated cost per episode, amounting to $170,000, is attributed to several factors. Firstly, the series builds upon the long-standing legacy of the Dragon Ball franchise, which has a MASSIVE fan base worldwide. To meet the high expectations of fans, the production team spares no expense in delivering top-notch animation and visually stunning action sequences. Additionally, Dragon Ball Super features intense battles with explosive power clashes and epic transformations, which require meticulous attention to detail. The complex choreography and dynamic movements of the characters further contribute to the cost. The cultural significance of Dragon Ball Super also warrants a substantial investment to maintain the franchise’s reputation. The high cost per episode reflects the commitment to delivering a thrilling experience for fans, making DBS a testament to the dedication of its creators!

See also: 10 Highest Grossing Anime Movies Of All Time

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