Canon Animated Movies Should Be Made More Frequently – North Texas Daily


In November of last year my girlfriend and I decided that for our anniversary we would see the Movie “Konosuba” in theaters during its limited release in the United States. I can firmly say that this was one of the most beautiful animated films I have ever seen and the most fun I have had in theaters in years. To be fair, I’m an American anime fan with a preference for home streaming and not an active movie buff. But I felt compelled to do my best to see this movie because unlike the majority of other animated movies, it was hot.

Let me explain what I mean by a “canon” movie. Referring strictly to Japanese animated films, there are about three categories of films. First, completely original animated films like “your name“or any other Studio Ghibli job. I focus on movies based on existing franchises like “Dragon Ball”, “One Piece” and “Naruto” which were each manga and TV anime before they were made into movies. However, the majority of these films are “non-canon”.

The “canon” of an anime refers to the story arcs and storylines written by the author and featured in that franchise’s first medium, usually the manga. Thus, a “non-canon” story is one that is not written by the original author and has no lasting impact on the series. For reference, only two of the 11 “Naruto” movies are hot, only three of the 20 “Dragon Ball” movies are canon and none of the 14 “One Piece” movies are canon.

When it comes to this second category of “non-canon” animated films, there isn’t much to worry about. Sure, some stories were going well, but upon returning to the original series, all of the characters and events in the movie would no longer reappear or be recognized again. Watching franchise movies with bigger stories was a waste of time for myself and for others.

However, in recent years there has been an increase in the third category of animated films, “canon” films based on existing franchises, and it has been incredible. A good example is the movie for “Saga of Tanya the Evil” which instead of adapting its source material into a second TV season, they instead adapted it into a movie. I really enjoyed watching it on Crisp, and I was curious how well the movie worked for the show.

At first I thought it was horrible, as it apparently only won about $ 3.58 million At the box office. But everyone was celebrating those gains, so I dug deeper and it turned out I shouldn’t have judged this movie’s performance on an American scale. Few American theaters have listed sources, but I have found that most people say that animated films like Tanya have unbelievably small budgets somewhere around. $ 1.5 million. This would mean that Tanya doubled her profits.

Another recent hot animated film is the one I saw in theaters for the “Konosuba” show. National revenues for “Konosuba” saw approximately $ 1.8 million in his first weekend alone, and around $ 7.57 million in total for domestic ticket sales only, which means “Konosuba” was a resounding success.

Honestly, more animated TV series should follow these two examples. Some story arcs are too short to warrant a full season, but just enough for a feature film, and with a larger film budget, this allows for huge leaps in the quality and smoothness of the animation. And of course, the adaptation of the canon material gives fans of the series more reasons to care about the film and its success rather than the non-canon ones.

Even older shows like “Dragon Ball” have learned this lesson because the last three films, while the original stories, were written by series creator Akira Toriyama. The latest movie “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” did exceptionally well, winning $ 100 million worldwide.

Thankfully, it looks like more and more anime shows are following this trend as the popular “Demon Slayer” announced at the end of its first season that a movie adaptation of his next arc in history was lit green. If more canon animated films are produced, more fans will care and this can lead to more success for the shows and their studios as well as the possibility of more frequent and longer international or US screenings. I can only hope that the trend of canon animated films continues in the future so that it can make a huge explosion at the box office.

Featured Illustration: Miranda Thomas


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