Japanese Box Office Analysis

I just saw Marnie Was there a few weeks ago and it makes me wonderhow well Ghibli films, and other anime for that matter, did in the box office in previous years. For the analysis, I am using Box Office Mojo’s data between 2002 and 2014 for this analysis. Here are the results of top Japanese films:

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Top Recent Anime Movie Director Comparison

One thing I sometimes wonder is how movies from all the great directors stack up. Over the last decades, the four directors whose films consistently come up on the best of list are Hayao Miyazaki, Mamoru Hosoda, Satoshi Kon and Makoto Shinkai. I also want to add Mamoru Oshii in to the mix as well. To judge which films are better than others, I look at their rating across the websites listed below. Note that the methodology is similar to the one I used to measure the Ghibli films:

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More Ghibli Analysis

School life has really drained all the time I used to have to collect data and write this blog. Who would have thought I actually had more free time when I was working! Anyway, here is a long-delayed post, just before the end of the year.

This post is the second part of my previous post about Ghibli. It contains a few more analysis and interesting tidbits from the data I have collected.


The chart below is a scatter plot of rankings for rating and popularity for all Ghibli-related films. The cool thing about this chart is that it also indicates the overrated and underrate films.  For example, Whisper of the Heart is ranked 7th overall based on all the ratings but only 12th on the number of people watching and rating the film. This means that not as many people watch it as it deserves based on its rating

Ghibli Movies Ranking and Analysis

I watched anime on TV quite religiously on weekend morning during my primary school years but moved away from it during my teens. That is until I came across this one studio called Ghibli. My brother took me to watch a movie called Princess Mononoke. It was amazing, with the combination of flawless animation and exciting action and story telling. I wanted more. This godt me to researching what other films the director has done and that led me to Spirited Away. At that point, the film still has 100% record on rotten tomatoes and I really made it my mission to track this down and watch it. I got a hold of a bootleg copy and was blown away by the film. It remains one of my favourites to this day. I also started to pay more attention to anime and the rest is history.

A decade on, Studio Ghibli still remains my favourite studio, anime or not. The movies from the studios are also among the first I would recommend to anyone that show the vaguest interest in anime. This particular post is my homage to the studio an a guide for those reading it to find out what the rankings of each movie based on all the English sources on the internet I can think of. This includes

Source Type Weight Comment
IMDB Rating 10% Votes from global movie goers
Rottentomatoes Review 5% Compilation of many Wester reviews
MRQE Review 4%
DVD Talk Review 3% General theatrical and dvd review site
DVD Verdict Review 3% General dvd review site
Anime Academy Review 4% Used to be my main source of reviews back when it updated more regularly
THEM Review 4%
Anime Planet Rating 12%
Anime Source Rating 4%
ANN Rating 12% Anime News Network
MAL Rating 15% MyAnimeList – Most votes among anime sites
AniDB Rating 10% Anime DataBase. Vote compilation sites with demographic breadown
AnimeNfo Rating 4%
Blogs Ranking 10% Including Canne’s Anime Review, Kitsune’s Thought, Omohide, wa-pedia, Herons! Make blogs and Japan Cinema

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Top Feature Film Anime as recognized by the Official Awards

I got talking to one of my friends who mentioned that he only wants to follow an anime/films if they actually are listed with an some recognizable awards. This got me thinking of wanting to find out more about what official awards are out there and what anime films/series actually have the most award and therefore should be commended. I have done rankings based on what us bloggers think so now it will be interesting to see which one the industry rank as the best in anime.

Having scoured the net for a while, I have found 8 distinct awards (see list at the end of the post) out there that fit my criteria (being the award must be for animation or feature film and it can be both in Japan or international). This is not as few as I have feared and it should give somewhat a good feel of the award-ability of the titles.  Based on the names listed in all these awards, I assign 2 points if the anime won a ‘best’ category and 1 point if it is either in contention or mentioned in a list.Since most awards tend to revolve around feature films, I have restricted this post to including only that and no anime series. That may be for another post if there are enough titles to make it worthwhile.

Here are animes with the highest point total. If you trust awards more than internet hear-says, I hope you will find this list useful to narrow down what anime film to consider watching (links in the title take you to wikipedia if you are so inclined to find out more about the title):

1). Spirited Away (2002) – 14 points

  • 2002 Best Animation Feature – Academy Awards [2]
  • 2002 Best Animation Feature Winner – Annie Award [2]
  • 2002 Academy Prize Picture of the Year Winner – Japan Academy Prize [2]
  • 2002 Animation of the Year Winner – Tokyo Anime Award [2]
  • 2001 Animation Grand Award – Mainichi Film Award [2]
  • 2001 Grand Prize (Animation) – Japan Media Art Festival Award [2]
  • 2001 Feature Film Award – Animation Kobe Award [2]

It cleaned the awards that existed during its time of release that I have on record during 2001-2 (Asia Pacific Screen Award first gave its prize in 2007). Not only did it do well financially (most gross film in Japan at that time; the first film that has made $200MM before it was released in the US), but fans and critics also unanimously sang its praises. You may like other Ghibli’s films more but you cannot deny the accessibility and attention this piece of animation managed to bring to anime.

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Top Anime Directors in 2000s – Movies / OAVs

After having learnt how to put pictures on the blog and make it look more attractive, I want to present the top movie directors again in a more accessible, non-technical format. I have mentioned most of the top ones to death but it never hurt to actually highlight them out again since they all deserve as much attention as I can give them. For this exercise , I will combine both movies and OAVs together. The next eight directors (with multiple films in the list, ranked in order of how many times their works are being mentioned in all of the lists used to compile the results) are definitely among the best short-format anime directors you will find in 2000s.

1). Shinkai Makoto

Why he is listed: 5 Centimeters Per Second (2007), The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004), Voices of a Distant Star (2002)

My one-title recommendation (if you want to check one of his works out, I recommend this): Voices of a Distant Star

Other noteworthy works: She and Her Cat (1999)

Affiliated studios (studio that the direct has done the most works with): Comix Wave Inc.

Comment: The way this guy used lighting is as good as it gets. The quality of his animation is always top-notch. He can be quite a one-trick pony with his story-telling but when it’s told this well and look so good, I don’t consider that such a bad thing:) Hailed as ‘the next Miyazaki’ I really hope he can live up to such title for years to come! If anyone has not seen it yet, I would really urge you to check out Voices of the Distant Star for what this guy is capable of. This is the 25 minutes OAV that he, other than music and voice acting, essentially create by himself. It’s so well-done and the animation looks so great that it is pretty unbelievable that this is a one-man effort. Plus, it’s pretty short too so you won’t be wasting too much time if you happen not to like it!

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