Two exceptional directors have shaped Japanese anime cinema throughout the years, and they are none other than Hayao Miyazaki and Makoto Shinkai.

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Makoto’s latest work, Suzume no Tojimari, broke records and entered the top 10 highest grossing anime movies of all time in Japan after it grossed US$99.4 million (JP¥14.9 billion) at the time of writing.

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With this achievement, three of his works are now on the list, cementing him as one of the greatest anime directors of all time.

Director Makoto Shinkai now has 3 movies included in Japan’s list of top grossing anime films

Makoto Shinkai reveals his new movie, "Suzume no Tojimari"
Credit: Makoto Shinkai

Weathering with You claimed the tenth spot with US$95.2 million (JPY¥14.2 billion) earnings while Kimi no Na wa (Your Name) grossed a whopping US$168.5 million (JP¥25.17 billion) at the third spot.

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Makoto started directing full-length films in 2004 with the movie ”The Place Promised in Our Early Days.” His breakout work, “Your Name,” won numerous awards in 2016 and 2017, and later received the green light for a Hollywood live-action adaptation.

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With his earlier works like “5 Centimeters per Second” and “Garden of Words,” Makoto has established his unique approach to anime films.

He is known for his highly visual style, showing off the beauty of Japan and fictional worlds through his cinematography.

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Another anime director who dominated the list is Hayao Miyazaki, the legendary Studio Ghibli filmmaker. Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke, and Ponyo — these four blockbuster films were all directed by Hayao and are included in the list of the highest grossing anime movies of all time in Japan.

Hayao and Makoto’s works make up 70% of the list of Japan’s top grossing anime films.

Highest grossing anime movies of all time in Japan

Taki and Mitsuha from Your Name
Credit: CoMix Wave Films
1Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen TrainUS$270,600,000Haruo Sotozaki
2Spirited AwayUS$212,000,000Hayao Miyazaki
3Your NameUS$168,500,000Makoto Shinkai
4Princess MononokeUS$135,000,000Hayao Miyazaki
5One Piece Film: RedUS$132,000,000Goro Taniguchi
6Howl’s Moving CastleUS$131,000,000Hayao Miyazaki
7The First Slam DunkUS$105,300,000Takehiko Inoue
8PonyoUS$103,700,000Hayao Miyazaki
9Suzume no TojimariUS$99,400,000Makoto Shinkai
10Weathering with YouUS$95,250,000Makoto Shinkai

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