As the decade kicked off, the undisputed heavyweight champion of the anime box office was Hayao Miyazaki. Since the 1990s, every film by the director had been a surefire hit: His 2001 feature, “Spirited Away,” is still the highest-grossing film of all time in Japan. But a few years into the 2010s came a shock to the big-screen anime world: Following the release of “The Wind Rises” in 2013, Miyazaki announced his retirement, and soon thereafter his studio, Ghibli, laid off the majority of its staff, becoming little more than a clearing house for merchandising rights.

The exit of Miyazaki and Ghibli from the animation scene left a void which other studios scrambled to fill.

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