Analyzing Anime Movie type from 2000-5

Having been able to collect data up to 2005, I got a bit curious about how the segmentation of the movies and how many ‘original’ anime films are actually released in each year, as opposed to ‘sequels’ or ‘franchise’. The root of this comes from the fact that in my top anime of 2000s analysis, there are only 34 films good enough to be listed in the whole decade (3.4 films a year). The number sounds a little on the low side (Only under 4 good anime films released per year?), so I want to substantiate that by looking at all movies being produced during the same period and put this number into a bit more perspective.

When analysising the group type of the films, I have separated them into 3 categories as followed:

a). Original – Films that are not based on any prior anime series or franchise

b). Sequel – Follow-on from anime series or movies

c). Franchise – Part of a franchise of anime or game series. Tend to relate more to more popular series

There are of course a lot of grey areas around b and c. For example I consider Saint Seiya: Heaven Chapter as part of a franchise being I feel Saint Seiya is popular enough to be considered so while the movies-followup to Kino’s Journey or Patlabor, I would categorize as ‘sequel’., but they could conceivably be categorized the other way round. However, this is only a minor point and it should not be so bad as to cloud the result of the analysis. I will be posting some series I categorize as ‘franchise’ and you can leave a comment if you feel I should not do so!

To the results:

This is the average of the different segment of the films over 6 years. The number represents the number of shows in that category in each year (11 franchise films released per year)

1). So based on this, what we are seeing is that alth0ugh there are 20 movies being produced per year, half of them are based on pre-existing franchises.

2). Of these franchise movies between 2000to 2005, only Cardcaptor Sakura 2, Lupin: First Contact and One Piece: Omatsuri are mentioned on the list. That gives the franchise film a recognition hit rate of only 5%! This is of course understandable since many franchise that released a lot of films never have many wide distribution outside of Japan (think Doraemon, Anpanman, Case Closed). To illustrate this point, the table below presents the list of what franchises have the most releases during these 6 years:

Franchise Frequency
Pokemon 7
Gundam 7
Anpanman 6
Case Closed 6
One Piece 6
Digimon 5
Doraemon 5
Inuyasha 4
Hamtaro 3
Pretty Cure 2
Paaman 2
Naruto 2
Ojamajo Doremi 2
Lupin 1
Cardcaptor Sakura 1
Duel Masters 1
Initial D 1
Prince of Tennis 1
Saint Seiya 1
Saiyuki 1
Sakura Taisen 1
Street Fighter 1
Yu-Gi-Oh! 1

3). The usual franchises are at the top of the list, headlined by Gundam and Pokemon

4). 2005 was the first year since 1979 that there was not a Doraemon movie coming out in Japan.  That really speaks to the popularity of the series over time!

5). Anpanman is another one with continuous movies being released each year from 1989 to 2008. Not sure about the last two years (either it stops or wikipedia has not updated it, probably the latter). This is another series which is really burnt into my memomy since i used to watch it religiously when I was young.  Sadly I don’t think it is that popular outside of Asia though

6). Two animation production studios top the list with 15 releases each during this period (combined 50% of the total). Toei Animation is responsible for One Piece, Digimon, Pretty Cure and Ojamajo Doremi, while TMS (Tokyo Movie Shinsha) released Case Closed, Anpanman and Hamtaro

7). Once we have adjusted for the franchise, we find that the 16 non-franchised films recognized during this period are a subset of 57 films. This gives a 29% recognition rate which, given the higher production values of the releases compared to TV series (which has ~20% rate), does make a lot more of sense (i.e. more budget, more time equal better products on average)

Overall, unsurprising result, I guess but it is kinda fun to put this in a bit more perspective. There are a fair number of movie anime released each year but half are franchises which never got recognized. A fifth more are sequel of some sorts which may or may not be widely shown to other.  One interesting question to ask though is that are those franchise films like those for Anpanman, Case Closed or Doraemon any good? Anyone know?

4 Comments on “Analyzing Anime Movie type from 2000-5”

  1. Canne says:

    If I remember correctly, Doraemon movies released during 2000-2005 were the ones that were not created by the original author of the franchise. Thus, they were not very good. As a results, in 2006, we got Nobita’s dinosaurs remake (which was good) and after that, a lot more remakes were made. The seven Magic users released in 2007 was also a remake and I rated it A.

    • aquabluesweater says:

      1998 is the first year in wikipedia where the film is listed as under ‘Fujiko Movie Studio’ as opposed to ‘Fujiko F. Fujio’ so like you said, that must be when they run out of the original movie stories. 2005 was probably a needed break for them to regroup where they want to head next. Remake is a pretty good idea all things considered since it takes good storyline (time-tested anyhow) and retell it to a new generation with better (one would hope) animation.

      Just read the synopsis of Doraemon and the Seven Magic Users and it seems pretty good! I will definitely have to check that one out sometime:) Have you watched all or most of the movies? Is there any other good ones you also recommend?

      • Canne says:

        I have not watched Nobita and the space blazer which is a remake of the second movie. Some one need to do fansubs for these movies, seriously -_-

      • Agree. Someone really need to get their act together and fansub these:) Can you buy Doraemon film dvds in Thailand though? I remember seeing the complete movie boxset on sale once way back which I was very tempted in getting.

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