The Japan Video Software Association (JVA) released last week the Blu-ray Disc and DVD sales and shipment statistics in Japan for the first half of 2021. The home video sales of Japanese animation for general audiences (as opposed to children only) during this period were 23.499 billion yen (about US$214 million), a significant increase of 57.5% over the previous year. This number is largely attributed to the record sales of the Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train anime film.
Sales to rental stores of Japanese animation for general audiences were 1.253 billion yen (about US$11 million), a decrease of 52.2% from the previous year. Sales of overseas animation (for both general audiences and children only) accounted for 750 million yen (about US$6.8 million), which is 1/35 of Japanese animation’s total sales. Animation Business Journal attributed the year-over-year decrease in overseas animation sales to the lack of an overseas hit like last year’s Frozen 2.
The total sales for home video software in Japan were 69.527 billion yen (about US$634 million), down 2.7% from the previous year. Of this number, Blu-ray Discs accounted for 39.507 billion yen (about US$360 million), a 5.3% increase over the previous year, and DVDs accounted for 30.020 billion yen (about US$274 million), an 11.5% decrease.
Total sales to rental stores were 6.971 billion yen (about US$64 million), down 53.8% from 2020 and about 10% of the total market. Retail sales of Blu-ray Discs were 38.843 billion yen (about US$354 million), an 8.2% increase over the previous year. Retail sales of DVDs were 23.139 billion yen (about US$211 million), a 4.8% increase. Blu-ray Discs accounted for 62.7% of total retail sales.
The Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train film’s regular editions set new records for animated titles since Japan began its current Reiwa era two years ago. The anime film sold 1,074,170 copies of its Blu-ray Disc and DVD releases in Japan (including both the limited and regular editions) in the first three days after it debuted on June 16. The regular edition Blu-ray Disc sold 351,326 copies in its first week, while the limited edition sold 338,016 copies. The regular edition DVD sold 456,909 copies in its first week, while the limited edition sold 164,532 copies.