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Saturday, April 11, 2015


As you may well know, Japan is an animation powerhouse. Actually, Japanese anime sweeps the whole Japanese box office hit list. Here, I present top 5 record hit Japanese movies.

Sadly, most of the movies are directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Why am I so sad? Because, the legendary animator announced retirement in 2013. Please somebody change his mind.

5th Ponyo on the Cliff (2008): $155 million profit

Writer and Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Starring: Tomoko Yamaguchi, Kazushige Nagashima, Yuki Amami

A cute and curious fish-girl Ponyo who lives underwater, runs away from home to land and meets a boy. Though she is forced to go back to underwater by her father, she runs away again to meet the boy.  Millions of girls, deeply obsessed with the cute little Ponyo, start mimicking the way Ponyo speaks, and trying to be as cute as possible. Trust me. It's not what you would want to see. 

4th Bayside Shakedown 2 (2003): 174 million

Director: Katsuyuki Motohiro
Starring: Yuji Oda, Toshiro Yanagiba, Eri Fukatsu

The film is based on a popular TV series, and it has unique and humorous depiction of the Japanese police force. The humorous scenes of the film will make you giggle again and again even long after the movie. One tip for you - you must watch the first series too, it is more hilarious.

3rd Princess Mononoke (1997): $192 million

Writer and Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Starring: Yoji Matsuda, Yuriko Inshida, Yuko Tanaka

Princess Mononoke portrays the fight between the nature and human. Japan has been rapidly modernized last 100 years and forests have been damaged extensively. Mononoke is a symbol of nature while other women characters reflect the life of women during the period of modernization.

2nd Howl's Moving Castle (2004): $196 million

Director: Hayao Miyaziki
Starring: Chieko Baisho, Takuya Kimura, Akihiro Miwa

This film is about Sophie, transformed into an old woman by a curse of a witch. While making this film, Hayao was very upset by the US invasion of Iraq, so he added anti-war message into the film. The more you watch, the more hidden messages you get from the director.

1st Spirited Away (2001): $250 million

Writer and Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Starring: Rumi Hiiragi, Miyu Irino, Mari Natsuki

Yes, it is the best of best film by Hayao Miyazaki. This film held no.1 for 15 years. This movie with a fantastic story is about a 10 year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches and monsters, and humans are changed into beasts. This film also has a lot of hidden messages, so you should google for the behind story of this film.

More Japan


Written by Drunken Whale

Unlike other writers, I was born and grew up in Korea. I can't write English well - not to mention speaking. But I love travelling and writing something - of course in Korean. So if you don't understand anything about my articles, it's purely because of my English.

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