The 10 Most Expensive Anime Series Of All Time (& How Much They Cost To Produce)

New anime releases, such as Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, award long-time followers of Japanese animation with yet another installment in their franchise. Anyone who knows anything about animation is aware that it costs a ton to produce, especially action anime TV series, becoming more expensive the longer the show stays running. In particular, the shonen genre dedicated plenty of hard-earned money to epic fight scenes and complicated arcs.

High budgeting is completely worthwhile if the anime is able to regain its losses and much, much more. Anime franchises like One Piece or Dragon Ball have been able to go above and beyond in sustaining their popularity along with their heavy wallets, but what anime series’ animation costs the largest amount of money each episode?


10 One Punch Man (2015 – ) $80,000 Per Episode

One would think that not having to animate Saitama’s hair along with the shortness of his one-hit fights would save the studio a bit of money, but alas, his unique facial expressions must steal the cash right back.

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Truthfully, what really makes the difference are the fights Saitama can’t end quickly, like brawling with Boros. Madhouse, the studio that produces One Punch Man, cumulated an average cost of up to $80,000 USD, sure to increase with its rising popularity as the anime continues adapting the manga.

9 Demon Slayer (2019 – ) $80,000 Per Episode

Known for some of the most visually impressive anime fights of all time, it’s no wonder why Demon Slayer has made this list. The incredibly smooth and satisfying movements of the combat in the anime are a sight to behold.

Ufotable, the studio producing Demon Slayer, has high expectations for the series’ artistic quality that is spent (literally) on keeping the Taisho era aesthetic genuine, costing $80,000 USD per episode. The breathing styles of each trained blade in the anime reflect this cost in the most worthwhile way imaginable.

8 One Piece (1999 – ) $90,000 Per Episode

With an incredibly distinct animation style, it’s plain to see that One Piece splurges its fair share on its dramatized visuals with a seemingly endless list of unique characters and some of the saddest deaths in anime history.

As one of the longest-running anime series ever, One Piece busts out an average of $90,000 USD per episode, the massive number of battles being the main culprit for the budget. Keeping in mind that the show has over a thousand episodes, 20 OVAs, and 14 movies makes the amount spent that much more impressive.

7 Naruto Shippuden (2007 – 2017) $100,000 Per Episode

Knowing its ancestral roots is one of the most famous anime of all time, it’s no surprise that Naruto Shippuden spends an average of 100,000 USD per episode, determined to live up to the previous series.

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Following the hit that was Naruto, the anime is chock-full of exceptional fight scenes that rival its predecessor, despite its tendency to get caught up in filler sequences that fail to further progress the plot. Regardless, fans and Studio Pierrot alike seem incredibly certain that Naruto Shippuden is worth every penny.

6 My Hero Academia (2016 – ) $110,000 Per Episode

At its height popularity, My Hero Academia was ranked in the top 5 most beloved anime around the globe, showing off its amazing and determined heroes with their own unique flares in a vivid display.

Many characters in My Hero Academia seem to have a DC counterpart, taking inspiration from great heroes like Shazam and Raven. One thing is for sure, the quality of the fights in both franchises takes a back seat to no one. Studio Bones, the producer of the anime, spends 110,000 USD per episode proving this.

5 JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (2012 – ) $120,000 Per Episode

Another one of the most distinctly animated series ever, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure does its best to keep its fan base on its toes and wanting more, using its genuinely bizarre tactics and plot twists to do so.

Being the unpredictable super-power anime it is, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure contains different depictions of the same base character in ways never before seen, its obscurity and ridiculous jokes being a source of strength that defines itself among the largeness of the anime world. On average, each episode costs around $120,000 USD for David Production to create.

4 Black Clover (2017 – 2021) $140,000 Per Episode

Black Clover follows the story of two orphans, Asta and Yuno, who are determined to achieve their wildest dreams despite their lack of family. Watching the two go about their lives and battling through their unfortunate pasts is a refreshing tale.

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Asta dedicates his life and strives to become the Wizard King, letting nothing get in his way to stop him. The anime includes exquisite character designs as well as awesome fights that most certainly eat away at its budget for a good cause. Black Clover spends $140,000 USD each episode to bring fans and the show the quality they deserve.

3 Jujutsu Kaisen (2020 – ) $150,000 Per Episode

One of the newest “big three” anime to grace Shonen viewers, Jujutsu Kaisen is a series that is compiled of an intricate plot, insanely likable characters, and some of the most amazing animation to ever grace the genre.

While fans of the anime like to tease that animating Satoru Gojo’s Six Eyes swallows a huge chunk of the budget, it is truly done by its great attention to detail, extremely vivid battles, and flawlessly smooth art. Devoting $150,000 USD to the anime, MAPPA studio dares and dreams to be different, undeniably accomplishing their goal.

2 Attack On Titan (2013 – 2023) $150,000 Per Episode

Wildly considered as one of the most depressing anime to date, Attack On Titan heels to no one with its almost unbridled amount of gory blood splatter-filled episodes, killing off the people of the anime with seemingly no remorse.

The plot itself is complicated though relatively easy to follow, accompanied by jaw-dropping and fast-paced hunting scenes as the heroes of the show do their best to destroy every disgustingly horrifying titan that catches their gaze with combat animations smoother than ever before. Per episode, Wit Studio reps a whopping $150,000 USD budget on average.

1 Dragon Ball Super (2017 – ) $160,000 Per Episode

The most expensive installment of the Dragon Ball franchise to date, Dragon Ball Super defines itself with nonstop action and dramatic fights between the most skilled, powerful beings in its enormous universe.

Though the anime has officially ended, leaving an uncountable amount of fans asking what’s next, the manga continues to update with arcs filled to the brim with more of the beloved fights the anime left behind. As the continually most popular anime franchise since its beginning in the ’90s, each episode of Dragon Ball Super shows that it’s still and will always be top-dog, Toei Animation drops an unbelievable $160,000 USD per episode.

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