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Demon Slayer Film Wins Japan Academy Film Prizes' Animation of the Year

posted on by Alex Mateo
Ren Nagase wins Best New Actor for live-action Yowamushi Pedal

The Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train anime won the Animation of the Year award at the 44th annual Japan Academy Film Prizes on Friday. The other nominees were Violet Evergarden: The Movie, Poupelle of Chimney Town, Stand By Me Doraemon 2, and Josee, The Tiger and the Fish.

Both Yuki Kajiura and Gō Shiina were nominated for the Best Music award for their work on the Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train anime film, but they did not win. Ren Nagase won the award for Best New Actor for his role as Sakamichi Onoda in the live-action film adaptation of the Yowamushi Pedal manga.

Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train also won a Popularity Award at the Japan Academy Film Prize Association's 44th annual awards.

The film will open in theaters in the U.S. and Canada on April 23, including in 4DX and on IMAX screens. The film will screen in Japanese with English subtitles, as well as with an English dub. The film will then go on sale digitally on June 22 on Apple TV, Microsoft Store, Vudu, Google Play, PlayStation Store, and Amazon.

The film began screening in Japan on October 16. The film had the highest opening weekend globally for the October 16-18 weekend. The film sold 3,424,930 tickets and earned 4,623,117,450 yen (about US$43.85 million) in Japan in its first three days. The film sold 910,507 tickets and earned over 1,268,724,700 yen (about US$12.03 million) on its opening day alone, making it the highest weekday opening day in Japan ever.

The film has sold a total of 28 million tickets and earned a cumulative 38.6 billion yen (US$353.9 million) in Japan as of Sunday. The film has surpassed Hayao Miyazaki's 2002 Spirited Away, its last rival for all-time highest earnings in Japanese box office history. (Spirited Away earned 30.8 billion yen in its original run, but has since earned a total of 31.68 billion yen after last summer's revival screenings.) The film has also surpassed Spirited Away as the #1 highest-earning Japanese film of all time worldwide.

The main staff members of the previous television anime returned for the sequel film. TOHO and Aniplex are handling the film's distribution in Japan.

The film will ship on Blu-ray Disc and DVD in Japan on June 16.

Illustrator and anime director Yoshikazu Yasuhiko (Mobile Suit Gundam character design and chief animation director, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin creator and anime director) received a Special Award from the Association for lifetime achievement with illustrator Matsuo Ikehata and gun effects and weapon advisor Kikuo Notomi. Actress Kazuko Yoshiyuki (Ponyo, When Marnie Was There) also received a Special Award from the Chairperson for lifetime achievement.

Film director Nobuhiko Ōbayashi (Shōnen Keniya, live-action The Drifting Classroom, live-action 1983 The Girl Who Leapt Through Time) and actor Tetsuya Watari (Sangokushi [1]: Eiyū-tachi no Yoake) are among the three individuals who will receive posthumous Special Awards from the Chairperson for lifetime achievement. The late Toei Group Chairperson Yūsuke Okada will also receive a Special Award of Honor from the Association.

The Nippon Academy-Sho Association, a Japanese group roughly comparable to America's Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of Oscars fame, presents the Japan Academy Film Prizes every year. The nominees all receive "Awards of Excellence," but the actual top award in each category was presented in a ceremony on March 19 at the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa in Tokyo. Nippon Broadcasting will then air an All Night Nippon 0: Japan Academy Film Prizes Special with interviews of the Popularity Award winners on March 28 at 3:00 a.m.

Movies are eligible if they opened in Japan between December 16, 2019, and December 15, 2020.

The Animation of the Year category was only created 14 years ago. Last year, Weathering With You won the award. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Tekkonkinkreet, Ponyo, Summer Wars, The Secret World of Arrietty, From Up On Poppy Hill, Wolf Children, The Wind Rises, Stand By Me Doraemon, The Boy and The Beast, In This Corner of the World, Night is Short, Walk On Girl, and Mirai were the previous winners. Before that, Studio Ghibli won the overall Picture of the Year Award for Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away.

Sources: Japan Academy Film Prize Associaton's Twitter account, Mainichi Shimbun's Mantan Web

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