“We expect anime streaming revenue and the movie’s success to add to our business this year,” said Naomi Matsuoka, who is responsible for Sony’s finance and IR, during the company’s earnings conference on Wednesday.
It was referring to the popular TV anime “Demon Slayer” – known as “Kimetsu no Yaiba” in Japanese – produced by Sony’s anime and music production unit Aniplex.
The anime is based on that Manga The comic series of the same name is set in Japan about 100 years ago. The story follows Tanjiro Kamado, a young boy who fights various monsters to bring his little sister, who has been turned into a demon, back into human form.
The manga series has grown in sales over time. The cumulative sales of the 22 comics, including electronic versions, exceed 100 million copies. This has been achieved by popular series such as “One Piece” and “Dragon Ball”. According to Japanese publisher Shueisha, the manga is sold in over 30 countries and regions, including China, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United States
On October 16, “Demon Slayer: Mugen Train”, the film version and sequel to the TV anime series, was released in Japan. Taiwan released the film on October 30th, with fans visiting the theaters starring as characters. Aniplex has announced that the film will be released in North America in early 2021.
Lawson’s pop-up store in Tokyo with giant pictures of characters on the walls drew several hundred people over the weekend. (Courtesy photo by Lawson)
Japan grossed 10.7 billion yen ($ 102 million) just 10 days after it was released, breaking records as people stormed into theaters.
The film is the fastest ever to have 10 billion yen ticket sales in Japan. It beats the previous record for Studio Ghibli’s “Spirited Away,” which took 25 days to generate the same revenue.
“Pictures of fight scenes were just beautiful and Tanjiro’s love for his sister was heartwarming,” said a 30-year-old male fan who was passionate about the anime and saw the film on October 25th in Tokyo. The theater was full of kids around the five up to adults. I think it’s a real social phenomenon. ”
Many companies are trying to attract “Demon Slayer” fans across the country with their film-related goods and services. Lawson convenience store chain began selling a total of 50 products with images of Tanjiro and other characters such as sandwiches and Japanese on October 6th Onigiri Rice balls and sweets.
Bookings for Demon Slayer Christmas Cake and osechi, Japanese traditional New Year dishes, are “almost full,” said a press representative. Over 10 million Demon Slayer products had been sold by Wednesday, he added. The pop-up store in Tokyo with huge pictures of the figures on the walls attracted several hundred people over the weekend.
The sushi restaurant chain Kura Sushi also benefited from the film. The sales campaign, in which the guests were offered files made of plastic and desk pads with printed characters, “only lasted a few days” and, according to a press representative, was sold out even after doubling the amount to 400,000 units. Sales in September exceeded the previous year’s level for the first time in seven months as the restaurant chain was badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Fukuoka-based Kyushu Railway, which operates trains featuring demon slayer characters, will operate a steam locomotive similar to the one shown in the film from November – with a special sign on the front with Mugen written on it – from November. 1.
The Kyushu Railway will operate this steam locomotive similar to the one shown in the movie from November 1st – with a special plate on the front – (Photo courtesy of the Kyushu Railway)
“Demon Slayer” was able to expand its fan base worldwide through streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video as well as Funimation, an American anime distribution company under Sony. YouTube and other social media sites have also supported its popularity outside of Japan. The TV series was streamed online in over 100 countries.
In India, Karan Rawat, 24, has been a fan of the anime series since its release in 2019. “The characters are very personable and the fights are so satisfying to watch,” said the university student in Vaishali, Uttar Pradesh.
The film was not released in India, but Rawat said, “I would definitely see the film if it is released in my area. I plan to buy T-shirts or other goods so I can wear it to the cinema. ”
Some fans have even created online petitions to encourage distributors to bring the film to their area’s theaters.
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