Box-office revenue of 14.7 billion yen broke the all-time record! Why “Suzume no Dokkomari” was a smash hit in China! | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Box-office revenue of 14.7 billion yen broke the all-time record! Why “Suzume no Dokkomari” was a smash hit in China!

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Some people come to the cinema dressed as sparrows. The hairstyles are also beautifully recreated (image from Chinese SNS Weibo, courtesy of the account “家有小露酱”). Courtesy of the account name “家有小露酱”)

Makoto Shinkai’s animated film “Suzume no Domekomari” (Chinese title: Suzume no Tabi) has been in theaters in mainland China since March 24. Box-office revenues reached 752 million yuan (approximately 14.7 billion yen) by April 17. This figure is the highest of any film in the world, surpassed only by “Your Name. (Chinese title: 你的名字.)” (Chinese title: 你的名字.)” and became the highest-grossing Japanese animation film released in China.

How did “Suzume no Domekomari” achieve such extraordinary popularity? A Chinese freelance writer familiar with the Japanese and Chinese film industries explains.

One of the main reasons is the power of the “Makoto Shinkai” brand. Director Makoto Shinkai has been deeply rooted and popular in China for more than 10 years. Although not released in theaters, “5 Centimeters per Second” was a big hit in China when it was released in Japan in 2007, and from there Makoto Shinkai’s fame rose dramatically. Famous Japanese animation works such as “Blade of the Oni No Kai” and “Jutsu Kaisen” are also recognized in China, but their popularity remains limited to anime fans and does not resonate with the rest of the population. In comparison, Makoto Shinkai, along with Hayao Miyazaki, is known by many people of all ages as one of Japan’s leading animation film directors. It is likely that many people would watch a film directed by Makoto Shinkai anyway.”

In Japan, “Kimi no na wa. In Japan, “Kimi no na wa” grossed 25.17 billion yen, far exceeding the 14.48 billion yen of “Suzume no tojikimari” (The Tin Man’s Door). Why was “Suzume no tojimari” more popular in China even though they are both directed by the same director, Shinkai?

I think the most important reason was the attractive character of the main character, Suzume. In China today, women are becoming more self-reliant, and “cool women” who go out of their way to win over men are more popular than “women who are loved by men,” which is common among the main characters in conventional films. Suzume, who has a strong core and is straight forward in pursuit of her goals, is exactly the type of woman we are looking for. Suzume’s attempt to recover from the grief of her mother’s death was heartwarming, and many people on SNS commented, “I got courage. I’ll do my best, too.

The “Shinkai World” has touched the hearts of many people beyond national borders. However, the popularity of Japanese anime does not stop there: “THE FIRST SLAM DUNK (Chinese name: 灌篮高手),” which was released in China on April 20, recorded box-office revenues of 110 million yuan (approximately 2.14 billion yen) on its first day. The rapid advance of Japanese animation continues.

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