Anime series, mainly an adaptation of Japanese manga, lies in the heart of Otakus. And since they are made from rich animation work, they are largely expensive. With time, as technology has improved, the cost of making these fun-filled and nerve-wracking episodes has also increased simultaneously. Of all genres an anime series revolves around, action is the most costlier. Since the production houses require various props to deliver ground-breaking fight scenes and highly complex arcs, they need considerable investment in playing with animation work. As anime makers have spent lump-sum money on their series, their results have proved worth the investment. To understand how? Let’s look at the decade’s ten most expensive anime series that have impressed the audience with their good visual experience and retained them for a longer time.
This list includes the most expensive anime series like Dragon Ball, Attack on Titan, JuJutsu Kaisen, and Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, which have spent some serious cash on their episodes, have successfully regained their funds, and simultaneously garnered positive reviews.
10 Most Expensive Series of All Time You Might Not Know About
Dragon Ball Super (2015-2018)
Where to Watch- Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Crunchyroll
Dragon Ball is a Japanese anime tv series helmed by Toei Animation and is the most expensive anime series of the decade. In the popular manga series, six months after the defeat of the Majin Buu, the mighty Saiyan Son Goku resumes his efforts to become stronger. And while the anime series chronicles Goku’s quest, we are treated to heart-throbbing fighting scenes and actions between him and his arch-enemies.
Although the series only aired for three years, it has had its fan eagerly wait for another season’s renewal. Dragon Ball has been the biggest part of many Otaku’s lives, and they are more than pleased to have this series. Speaking on the show’s spending, Toei Animation has spent $1,80,000 on each episode.
Attack on Titan (2013-2023)
Where to Watch- Disney Plus Hotstar
After Eren Jaeger’s hometown is destroyed and his mother is murdered, he vows to give the Titans the taste of their medicine that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. Securing 21 wins and 32 nominations so far, Attack on Titan is simply the most amazing anime to binge-watch in summer. The way the anime series is animated, the characters, and the soundtrack, everything is thrilling and simultaneously expensive. Each episode is relatively easy to follow and is accompanied by jaw-dropping action scenes that have cost around $150,000 on average.
Jujutsu Kaisen (2020)
Where to Watch- Netflix
A boy swallows a cursed talisman and becomes cursed himself. He enters a shaman’s school to trace the demon’s other body parts and thus exorcise himself. We cannot hide the truth; Jujutsu Kaisen is another of the best Japanese anime series. We have such likeability of the series that we even wanted the series episodes to exceed thirty minutes in every episode. With an intriguing plot, go-crazy characters, and some heavy CGI work, Jujutsu Kaisen has graced its overall story.
And, since the series incorporated some amazing animation and showcased intense battles with props, the series episodes were aired on a huge budget. Yes, do you know how much it is? It is a whopping $1,50,000 the MAPPA studio spent on each episode to create a larger-than-life impact of Jujutsu Kaisen on the viewers.
Black Clover (2017-2021)
Where to Watch- Netflix
Black Clover follows the story of Asta and Yuno, who were abandoned together at a church and have become inseparable since. As kids, they promised each other they would compete to become the ultimate Emperor, Magus. One of the best and most expensive anime series, Black Clover, garnered positive reviews from fans and critics. It took us a while to get attached to the show. For the initial episodes, Black Clover was our main source of entertainment, but as we gradually streamed the rest, it got us hooked.
It is the most exciting, fun-paced, and interesting anime Otakus should watch on Netflix. Except for a few installments in the show, none of the episodes seems filler. Asta’s character, which was highly disliked by fans initially, soon grabbed a favorable response seeing the character’s efforts to become the wizard king. A cookie-cutter anime, Black Clover is now an addictive series perfect for binge-watching.
The per-episode production cost of Black Clover is 1,40,000 dollars. Yes, that’s completely true. Black Clover, which we eventually fell in love with, took a lot of money to animate and offer a visually stunning experience to Otakus.
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (2012-)
Where to Watch- Netflix
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is about the Joestar family possessing psychic strength and the estranged adventure each member encounters. First aired on 4th October 2012, the action-adventure anime series made a long way in the anime world. While the first few episodes were confusing about what was happening with the story, we stuck by to eventually have the what happens next feeling for every new episode aired so far.
And we must admit, every episode of the show is equally intriguing, which successfully kept us on our Netflix screens. Since this anime is an action and adventure genre, it hasn’t deviated from delivering some nerve-wracking fighting scenes.
Standing designs have also worked pretty well. Speaking of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, the per-episode production cost was $1,20,000 the production house spent animating our favorite characters. And with ten years of a successful run, we can say every penny spent on the series is worth it.
One Piece (1999-)
Where to Watch- Crunchyroll, Funimation
First aired in 1999, One Piece follows the thrilling adventure of D. Luffy and his pirate crew to discover the secret treasure, One Piece, left by legendary Pirate Gold Roger. One of the longest-running anime series in history, One Piece holds the Guinness World for selling 100 million copies worldwide.
With every new episode released since 1999, the Manga adaptation has impressed its fans with its stunning visuals and grasping storyline. While undeniably, the episodes have kept us entertained, it has cost the production team spend large budget to ensure the successful long run of the series.
As per the estimates, Toei Animation spends around $90000 per One Piece episode. While that may not be the highest amount an anime series invests on each episode, giving in $90000 for 1055 episodes to the moment is astonishing.
My Hero Academia
Where to Watch- Netflix, Disney Plus Hotstar
My Hero Academia is a Japanese Manga anime series that chronicles the story of a superhero-loving boy without magical powers. He is determined to enroll in a hero academy and realize what it means to be a hero.
Currently streaming on Netflix and Disney Plus Hotstar, My Hero Academia brings quirky fight scenes, which easily cost serious cash, to the production house Studio Bones to animate each episode covering a vast area in the action sequences.
Estimates report the per-episode production cost of My Hero Academia is $110,000, making it one of the high-budget anime series in the Shounen manga.
Naruto Shiphudden (2007-2017)
Where to Watch- Netflix
Naruto Uzumaki is a loud and hyperactive ninja who craves recognition. He dreams of becoming Hokage and is acknowledged as the most powerful ninja in the village. In the urge to become the strongest ninja, he trains harder, exits his village, and goes beyond his limits. The Japanese anime series is the sequel to Part 2 of Masashi Kishimoto’s original manga series, with around 500 episodes.
Naruto Shippuden is not just another series you will watch today but is one of the best and most iconic series which introduced us to new factors in each episode while offering some breathtaking fight moments alongside.
But the main reason you have a good visual experience with Naruto Shippuden is the significant production cost Studio Pierrot had given for each series’ each episode. The production house invested $1,00,000 before releasing every new installment, and the buzz and fan following Naruto enjoyed ensured to cover the cost they incurred.
Demon Slayer (2019-)
Where to Watch- Netflix
Demons attack a family, and only two members, Tanjiro and his sister Nezuko who is turning into a demon, gradually survive. Tanjiro transforms into a demon slayer to seek revenge for his family and cure his beloved sister. One of the best and high budget anime series so far, Demon Slayer shines as an amalgamation of classic and horror Shonen anime.
The unique art style used for the stunning swordfights and supernatural powers makes it a binge-watch anime series. And what’s so special about the Demon Slayer adaptation is the consistency with which Ufotable Studio enhances the animation work in every episode to offer a smoother cinematic presentation. And we are sure it has cost more than consistency for Ufotable to deliver those eye-pleasing visuals.
Reportedly, Ufotable studio has spent $80000 per episode for its most popular and beloved anime series Demon Slayer. Yeah, that’s an average amount compared to what the other anime series in this list have spent. Still, considering the production house has various other anime shows on the radar, it’s gutsy to dedicate such a big investment to a specific show.
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One Punch Man (2015-2019)
Where to Watch- Netflix, Vudu, Hulu, Peacock, and Apple TV
This a tale of Saitama, who leaves his enemies dust with just one punch. Two seasons of the Japanese superhero manga series are released yet, and season 3 is on the radar to come up in 2023. In the two successful seasons, the series’ main character has achieved global recognition of being the Best Protagonist by Crunchyroll Anime Awards.
While the storyline felt predictable for some Otakus, the visuals made it hard for them to ignore the series. Both the seasons were such enjoyable that it has had its fans flocking to the internet to discover when season 3 of the superhero story is coming out. And nothing more than the visuals of the story captivated audiences for almost eight years.
Although offering a rich visual experience to Otakus was difficult for Madhouse, who spent $80000 per episode of One Punch Man to showcase the intense battles or say One Punch to the viewers. So, the way the manga series has created a buzz with its good visuals, the series’ high budget on each released installment didn’t fall for any exception and became an identical factor fan know the series for.
So, did you like our list of the most expensive anime series? Did we miss any names? Do let us know in the comments below. For more such information, keep following Popgeek.