10 Highest Grossing Anime Movies of All Time

In the mesmerizing realm where imagination knows no bounds and storytelling transcends the ordinary, anime has enthralled audiences worldwide with its captivating narratives and breathtaking animation. Over the years, certain cinematic gems have soared to unprecedented heights, leaving an indelible mark on the global box office. In this journey through the ever-evolving landscape of anime cinema, we unveil the highest-grossing anime movies, the anime masterpieces that have triumphed as the 10 Highest Grossing Anime of All Time. From epic adventures to heartwarming tales, these films have not only shattered financial records but also touched the souls of millions, cementing their place in the annals of animated history.

15. Pokémon: The Movie 2000 – $133.9 million

Highest Grossing Anime of All Time Pokémon: The Movie 2000 anime

One of the highest grossing anime movies in the anime box office, Pokémon: The Movie 2000 is the second feature-length film based on the immensely popular Pokémon franchise. The movie revolves around the mythical Pokémon creatures called “Legendary Birds”: Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres. These powerful Pokémon are at the center of a prophecy that foretells great chaos if they are disturbed. However, when a Pokémon collector named Lawrence III sets out to capture these Legendary Birds to achieve his selfish ambitions, he unknowingly disrupts the delicate balance of nature. Ash Ketchum, along with his loyal companions Misty and Tracey, find themselves caught up in the unfolding events. The film features exciting battles, touching moments, and the iconic camaraderie between Ash and his trusty Pikachu. “Pokémon: The Movie 2000” was a commercial success, grossing approximately $133.9 million at the global box office.

14. The Wind Rises – $136.5 million

Highest Grossing Anime of All Time The Wind Rises anime movie

The Wind Rises is a fictionalized biographical account of the life of Jiro Horikoshi, an aeronautical engineer who designed fighter planes for Japan during World War II. The movie follows Jiro from his childhood, where he dreams of flying and designing beautiful aircraft, to his adulthood, where he becomes a prominent aircraft designer for the Mitsubishi Company. While “The Wind Rises” showcases Jiro’s brilliance, it also delves into the moral dilemma he faces. As the film is set against the backdrop of pre-war and wartime Japan, Jiro’s aircraft designs eventually become used for military purposes during World War. The film received critical acclaim for its artistic merits and the thought-provoking exploration of ethical dilemmas. It was a huge commercial success, grossing approximately $136.5 million at the worldwide anime box office.

13. The Secret World Of Arrietty – $146 million

Highest Grossing Anime of All Time The Secret World Of Arrietty anime movie

Another one of the highest grossing anime movies, The Secret World of Arrietty is based on the children’s book “The Borrowers” by Mary Norton. The story revolves around a tiny family of Borrowers, miniature people who live secretly within human homes and “borrow” small items they need to survive. Arrietty Clock, a 14-year-old Borrower, and her parents, Pod and Homily, live under the floorboards of an old country house, unbeknownst to the human inhabitants. One day, Arrietty’s father takes her on her first borrowing mission, where they must retrieve a sugar cube from the human house. During this adventure, a young boy named Shawn spots Arrietty. Despite their initial distrust of humans, Arrietty and Shawn develop an unusual friendship, transcending the barriers between their worlds. The Secret World of Arrietty really captures the heartwarming connections that can form between individuals from different backgrounds. It achieved significant success, grossing approximately $146 million at the global box office.

12. Princess Mononoke – $170 million

Highest Grossing Anime of All Time Princess Mononoke anime movie

Produced by Studio Ghibli, Princess Mononoke was released in 1997 in Japan and in 1999 internationally. It is widely regarded as a masterpiece and a landmark in the world of animation. The story happens in the Muromachi period of Japan. It follows the journey of Ashitaka, a young prince from the Emishi tribe. After a deadly encounter with a corrupted boar god, Ashitaka is cursed with a mark on his arm that grants him great strength but will eventually consume him. To find a cure, Ashitaka sets out on a quest that leads him to a conflict between nature and civilization. He ventures into the wilderness of the ancient gods and encounters Princess Mononoke, a young woman named San who is dedicated to protecting the forest from human encroachment. The film beautifully portrays the deep connection between the spirits of the forest and the creatures that inhabit it. Princess Mononoke has intricate animation, powerful storytelling, and thought-provoking themes. It achieved significant commercial success, grossing approximately $170 million at the global anime box office.

11. Pokémon: The First Movie – 172.7 million

Highest Grossing Anime of All Time Pokémon: The First Movie

Pokémon: The First Movie is the first animated feature film based on the immensely popular Pokémon franchise. The plot centers around the powerful Pokémon called Mewtwo, which was created by a group of scientists in an attempt to clone the mythical Pokémon Mew. Mewtwo, feeling used and betrayed by its creators, develops a deep-seated hatred for humanity and Pokémon trainers. To prove its superiority, Mewtwo invites a group of skilled Pokémon trainers, including Ash Ketchum to its island fortress. Unbeknownst to the trainers, Mewtwo’s true intentions are to capture their Pokémon and clone them. As the story unfolds, Ash and his friends find themselves embroiled in a conflict that challenges their beliefs and friendship. Pokémon: The First Movie was a commercial success, grossing approximately $172.7 million at the global anime box office. It introduced the beloved Pokémon characters to a wider international audience and solidified the franchise’s position as a cultural phenomenon.

10. Stand by Me, Doraemon – $183.4 million

Highest Grossing Anime of All Time Stand by Me, Doraemon

Making it to the top ten highest grossing anime movies, Stand by Me, Doraemon is a Japanese 3D animated film based on the popular manga and anime series Doraemon. The movie follows the heartwarming adventures of Nobita Nobi, a young boy who often faces difficulties in his daily life. In his time of need, he receives help from Doraemon, a robotic cat from the 22nd century, who has a magical pocket filled with various futuristic gadgets. Doraemon becomes Nobita’s loyal companion and best friend, always ready to support him in his endeavors. The film also incorporates elements of time travel, as Doraemon occasionally uses his gadgets to help Nobita travel through time.

See also: 12 Most Expensive Anime per Episode, Ranked by Cost

9. Weathering with You – $193.8 million

Highest Grossing Anime of All Time Weathering with You

The story of Weathering with You revolves around a high school boy named Hodaka Morishima, who runs away from his home and travels to Tokyo in search of a better life. However, he soon finds himself struggling to survive in the bustling city, as he faces financial hardships and loneliness. Amidst the rainy and gloomy cityscape, Hodaka encounters a mysterious and strong-willed girl named Hina Amano. To his surprise, Hina possesses the ability to control the weather, bringing sunshine even in the midst of heavy rain. Together, they decide to use Hina’s extraordinary gift to start a business offering “sunshine services” to people who need to clear the gloomy weather for special events. “Weathering with You” beautifully explores themes of love, sacrifice, and the delicate balance between humans and nature. The film’s stunning animation captures the enchanting allure of both rainy and sunny weather, bringing the weather itself to life.

8. Jujutsu Kaisen 0 – $196.2 million

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 anime movie

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is a successful anime film based on the manga of the same name. It serves as a prequel to the events of the show’s first season, introducing the origins of key elements like Satoru Gojo, the Jujutsu Society, and Spirit Demons. The story follows Yuta Okkotsu, a high school student burdened with a dangerous curse in a world of sorcery. The film was a smash hit, earning an impressive total gross of $196.3 million worldwide, making it one of the highest grossing anime movies ever.

7. Ponyo – $204.8 million

Ponyo anime movie

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli, Ponyo was released in 2008 in Japan and 2009 internationally. The story centers around a young boy named Sosuke, who discovers a tiny goldfish caught in a glass jar. He names the goldfish Ponyo and rescues her. Little does he know that Ponyo is no ordinary fish; she is actually a magical creature from the sea. Ponyo becomes infatuated with Sosuke and desires to become human to be with him. Through her magical powers, Ponyo undergoes a transformation, becoming a young girl with a human-like appearance. However, this transformation upsets the balance of nature and triggers a series of fantastic and perilous events. Ponyo is a delightful tale that showcases Hayao Miyazaki’s signature animation style, with captivating visuals and an emotionally resonant narrative. It was a huge commercial achievement, grossing approximately $204.8 million at the global box office.

6. Howl’s Moving Castle – $237.5 million

Howl's Moving Castle

If you haven’t seen Howl’s Moving Castle yet, then it’s something you must do today! The story of Howl’s Moving Castle follows a young woman named Sophie, who works in her family’s hat shop but leads a rather uneventful life. One day, she crosses paths with a mysterious wizard named Howl when she is cursed by a wicked witch. The curse transforms Sophie into an elderly woman, prompting her to leave her old life behind. Seeking a solution to her predicament, Sophie stumbles upon Howl’s fantastical walking castle, an enigmatic structure that roams the countryside. She becomes the castle’s cleaning lady and befriends its peculiar residents. Howl’s Moving Castle has breathtaking animation, imaginative world-building, and compelling storytelling. It also achieved remarkable commercial success, earning around $237.5 million at the global anime box office.

5. The First Slam Dunk – $246.6 million

The First Slam Dunk anime movie

In the fifth spot of this list of highest grossing anime movies, The First Slam Dunk centers on basketball, interweaving a coming-of-age narrative with romance and humor. While designed as a treat for devoted show fans, The First Slam Dunk has exceeded expectations, becoming a box-office sensation in 2023. It earned critical acclaim and amassed a remarkable box office gross of  $246.6 million. The First Slam Dunk takes fans back to the source material, attempting to cover the climactic match between Shohoku and Sannoh High. While condensing such a rich narrative into a two-hour film poses challenges, the movie cleverly addresses this by delving into Ryota’s family trauma, adding an emotional core to the thrilling bout. Any basketball fan should love it!

4. Suzume – $322.5 million

Suzume anime movie

In the world of Suzume, a young girl named Suzume embarks on a magical adventure after discovering a hidden portal to a parallel universe. With boundless imagination, she faces ancient prophecies, bringing the power of dreams and compassion to save this wondrous realm from darkness. This heartwarming tale has charmed audiences worldwide, earning an incredible $322.5 million at the box office. Suzume truly celebrates the strength of the human spirit, leaving us yearning for more enchanting adventures. It is definitely a must-watch!

3. Your Name – $382.2 million

Your Name anime movie

In the top three of our list of highest-grossing anime movies, Your Name is a 2016 romantic fantasy film directed by Makoto Shinkai, which achieved tremendous success both critically and commercially. The story revolves around two teenagers, Taki and Mitsuha, who live in different towns and seemingly have no connection to each other. However, their lives take a dramatic turn when they start experiencing random and unexplained switches, waking up in each other’s bodies. As they navigate this surreal phenomenon, Taki and Mitsuha begin leaving messages for each other, forming a unique bond despite never having met in person. Through these body-swapping experiences, they learn about each other’s lives, dreams, and aspirations. The film’s masterful storytelling and captivating characters struck a chord with audiences worldwide, making it a cultural phenomenon. Your Name made an astounding $382.2 million, cementing its position as one of the highest-grossing anime films of all time.

2. Spirited Away – $395.6 million

Spirited Away

Spirited Away follows the journey of a young girl named Chihiro, who becomes trapped in an enchanting world after her parents unwittingly eat food from a deserted amusement park. This strange realm is populated by various spirits and magical creatures. Chihiro must navigate through this surreal landscape to find a way back to her world and rescue her parents. As Chihiro bravely faces numerous trials and challenges, she discovers her inner strength and resilience. Her experiences taught her the importance of empathy, courage, and appreciation for the natural world. Spirited Away is a visually stunning and emotionally profound film that captivated audiences with its imaginative storytelling and breathtaking animation. According to official sources, Spirited Away achieved an astonishing box office gross of $395.6 million!

1. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train – $507.1

Highest Grossing Anime of All Time Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train

The indisputable box office champion, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train is a 2020 film based on the immensely popular manga and anime series by the same name. The movie picks up where the first season of the anime left off. It follows Tanjiro Kamado, a young demon slayer, as he embarks on a new mission aboard the Mugen Train. He joins forces with the Flame Hashira, Kyojuro Rengoku, to investigate the mysterious disappearances of demon slayers on the train. The movie is celebrated for its intense action sequences, stunning animation, and emotionally charged storytelling. It delves deeper into the characters’ backstories and explores themes of perseverance, camaraderie, and the strength of the human spirit. The movie achieved an unprecedented box office gross of $507.1 million, making it the top-grossing anime movie ever.

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