In the week of 20-26 April 2015, Japan’s animation Blu-Ray sales rankings as recording by Oricon and reported on Anime News Network, looked like this:The scorecard for the week: Disney 171,548 sales vs the hottest eight local releases 119,178 sales. With one title Disney has made around a third more sales than a local slate including not one but two major fannish-heritage titles in Jojo and Gundam. To match the sales for Big Hero 6 you’d need to add the sales for the next 10 top sellers (all Japanese-owned) to the local tally.
You can argue about quality, diversity and originality but you can’t argue with the numbers. Japanese Blu-ray buyers chose Disney’s take on anime over the local version last month – and do the same every month there’s a new Disney release. The big-numbers family market is where the money is – for theatre sales and merchandise as well as home entertainment – and Disney has positioned itself brilliantly in that market, making it the most successful anime studio in Japan.
This is what alpha predation looks like.