While North America and Europe have plenty of animated television shows, many of them are done digitally to save money, which can end up losing the sort of character and quality that many of us were accustomed to in the 1990s and years prior. In Japan, however, animation is still very much a big deal with detailed drawings and a lot of legwork put into each episode of anime.
As a result, there have been some very expensive anime series over the years in Japan, with some costing six figures per episode to create. Out of the many popular and expensive anime series, these are the five most expensive on a per-episode basis. We’ll show you just how much they cost while you judge whether or not the investment has paid off in the long run.
Black Clover began as a manga created and illustrated by Yūki Tabata. The animated series quickly grew in popularity, with a movie coming to Netflix in 2023. The series was released in early 2015 and is still going strong to this day. It takes a whopping $140,000 to create each episode of the beloved anime. The plot is an intriguing one, probably why the company is putting so much money toward the production. Black Clover follows the lives of orphans Asta and Yuno, one born with magic abilities and one born without. Asta stumbles upon a treasure that gives him an advantage. He and his friend Yuno make it their goal to become the next Wizard King, battling enemies and going through trials along the way.
Attack On Titan
Attack on Titan is not only one of the most popular anime series in recent years, it’s also one of the more costly series. The incredible series was written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama, who has won multiple awards for his mind-blowing manga, having sold over 110 million copies as of 2022. In the series, people are forced to live surrounded by gigantic walls that keep out the ravenous and murderous titans. The making of the animated series cost around $150,000 per episode, making it one of the most expensive anime series to date.
Dragon Ball Super
Dragon Ball is an anime series that has stood the test of time. Extremely popular among young and old, it’s no wonder why the company behind the production spent about $160,000 an episode. One of the many Dragon Ball series, this variant has run since 2017 and continues to produce new and exciting high-quality episodes that fans love. The series follows Goku as he battles yet another foe, the God of Destruction, Beerus. Beerus seeks a battle with Goku, threatening earth’s annihilation if he loses to Goku.
My Hero Academia
My Hero Academia is an incredibly popular anime series among today’s youth and cosplay goers. It started off as a manga series created and illustrated by Kōhei Horikoshi. The still-running animated series aired in 2016 uses around $110,000 to make each episode. It follows Izuku Midoriya, a young schoolboy who, unlike most of the population, lacks a superpower, or “Quirk”. After meeting his hero, All Might, he’s gifted powers passed down from his idol and then goes on to attend an academy for those bearing powers. The children within the school are often joined together with law enforcement to aid in the capture of villains who use their powers to commit horrible crimes.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is an intriguing anime series, originally a popular manga created and illustrated by Hirohiko Araki. There have been many animated series to come from the manga throughout the years. One of the more recent adaptations cost around $120,000 per episode and truly shows how much the fanbase has grown and continues to do so. They keep coming back for the twist and turns of the series that showcases paranormal, comedic, and sometimes outrageous storylines.