12 Anime Franchises That Are Being MILKED For Maximum Profits

Not all anime franchises are able to be so lucky that they can rake in the money forever. Some make a lot of money in the short term, and that’s fine.

But there is a noticeable amount of anime shows that have successfully gone above and beyond and continue to make money with more seasons, adaptations, games, novels, manga, merch, live action, and even more.

The creators and authors of these series have milked them to death (rightly so).

Let’s talk about it.

Anime that has been milked for profit:


1. Love Live Franchise

The Love Live Franchise is a special kind of franchise. It’s about idols, or girls in school who want to be idols and so they form a group.

It all starts with Honoka Kousaka, the orange haired girl from Love Live School Idol Project. After pestering friends about it, the group slowly starts forming.

Then in the end there are at least 9 members including Nico Yazawa. The franchise has since released3 or so separate anime shows with different sets of characters, but with a similar story and a similar set-up.

The creators and studios of this anime have essentially milked the series for every bit of it they can squeeze out of it.

This is shown by the fact the anime series is:

  • Successful.
  • Making lots of money.
  • Has a new set of characters and people are interested despite it.

But if the lemon can still be squeezed because it’s a big lemon, it only makes sense to keep getting as much juice out of it until it runs dry.


2. One Piece

One Piece started running in 1999, and it hasn’t stopped ever since. To think an anime series has been running for over 2 decades is a feat few anime can accomplish.

Not even Dragon Ball Z, an anime series that gave birth to shows like OP, was able to create anime shows every year with new material consistently.

This is what makes One Piece so unique, especially with the fact its author has managed to pump out new material constantly.

Not to mention make that material:

  • Compelling.
  • Different.
  • Effective.
  • Engaging.
  • Exciting.
  • Progressive.

And good enough to make people thirst for more of its content.

Along the way, it’s clear the success of the series, and seeing how well it’s performed on top of its loyal fanbase, was a motivation to milk the series further by Toei Animation.

One Piece’s manga sells more than American comics with the exception of Superman (unless this has been surpassed), and it’s too lucrative for its IP owners to pass up.

It made its author a multi millionaire as well, but over the course of time it is well-deserved.


3. Pokemon

Pokemon has been airing since the 1990s.

The video game that changed the industry was also released during this time. Ash Ketchum and Pikachu have become so iconic that people don’t even see Pokemon as an anime series.

They see it as something else entirely. In fact, the franchise has gone on to become so successful that it’s now the biggest franchise on the planet, with no exception or comparison.

This is what led the franchise to:

  • Successful anime series.
  • More video games like Gold, Ruby, Black, Diamond, and more in the present day.
  • Gaming competitions are held across the world.
  • Live action.
  • Sponsorships.
  • Pokemon GO.
  • OVA’s and movies in the dozens.
  • Best selling merchandidse.

And so much more that makes the IP of Pokemon so wildly successful and lucrative. It’s no wonder the franchise is still being milked to this day in 2024 and beyond.

This is in spite of Ash Ketchum not being a part of the regular series anymore after he finally beat the league and won.

I always thought Ash being out of the picture would damage the franchise, but apparently not as it’s been solidified over the many years it has been around.


4. Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon released in the 1990s was the female version of DBZ in the sense of accomplishment, success, fame, and the impact it had on its fanbase.

Years later the anime is still being talked about, revered, admired, praised, and of course, it has new material, content, merch, and other things happening for its successful franchise.

Ann anime like Sailor Moon is iconic in spite of the anime’s overall quality itself, and many pieces of work can achieve this as long as they’re big enough. And that’s why it’s still being milked.

Maybe not as much as other properties or IPs owned by various creators and companies, but it’s still part of the overall milking machine that brings in profits to this day.


5. Dragon Ball

Toei Animation has Dragon Ball Z as well and this is where their milking machine started. In 1985 there was the first Dragon Ball series.

Following in 1989 there was Dragon Ball Z which became unbelievably famous in the 1990s and that continued to elevate into the 21st century.

Video games, adaptations, movies, features, celeb mentions, etc.

This led to many inspired works like One Piece, Naruto, and even more shows that were directly or indirectly influenced like Gintama, My Bride Is A Mermaid, Bleach, and so much more to name.

With a cow this fucking massive it only makes sense why it’s still being milked and why the profit machine is still running to this day. It’s a golden cow opportunity and you don’t see many if any golden cows in a lifetime.


6. Gundam

Gundam is a successful franchise that has been running a lot longer than most franchises can claim in the anime industry.

I mean the 1970s is where this shit started, and in 2024 the franchise still exists as far as continuations, announcements, and more importantly, money making.

The majority of new fans may or may not know about Gundam as a franchise especially not in depth, but it’s influence, importance, power, and relevance can’t be denied or questioned.

Especially in the world of Mecha anime, a genre which has seen a decline from the 2010s which I’ve mentioned in the past.


7. Sword Art Online

Sword Art Online is one of the most hated anime of all time or at least one of the anime that is disrespected despite it being so successful and loved by many.

Both in the West and especially in Japan.

First came the light novels, then came the anime, followed by the games, movies, merch, and everything the franchise has evolved into.

It’s still one of the best-selling light novels of all time to this day, and the golden cow has plenty of resources to be milked from to continue making money into the future.

That’s regardless of the pettiness and trolling seen about SAO online.


8. Demon Slayer

Demon Slayer is a new kid who managed to reach beyond the moon and hit Jupiter, which no other anime has ever done as far as success goes in a short period of time.

Especially not Shounen.

Over $500 million dollars later which the author was paid $19K for, the anime continues to be talked about, watched, mentioned, compared, debated, and criticised.

It’s a strange anime in this way as it’s not regarded as one of the best, yet the marketing behind the anime was so good it became the number 1 best-selling anime movie ahead of Ghibli films.

The biggest and fattest golden cow that Ufotable has ever come across.


9. Date A Live

Date A Live is another franchise you could argue has gone through a lot of milking over the years. It’s successful, the light novel is one of the top-selling of all time, and there are over 5 seasons.

There will be even more, likely, to come in the future.

Not all franchises need compelling stories to become the kinds of franchises that are ripe for milking, Date A Live is one of those anime franchises.

It’s harem-based, has a basic MC who does the job, and you have female characters who make up the bulk of the story, its quality, its moments, and why people watch.


10. Tensei Slime

This all started from a slime reincarnated. Or I should say an OTAKU who died saving someone else, then came back a slime.

From there that slime is able to eat things like dragons and more to become stronger, fulfilled, and much more. Surprising the main character along the way.

The story starts out basic but follows a pattern, and this has been its selling point. The anime is now well on its way to being considered ripe for milking.

The light novel has become more successful over time as a result as well.


11. Magical Index/Railgun

Index and Railgun have both been around well over 10 years, so they’ve had their anniversaries already. That speaks to how long they’ve been killing it.

Railgun of course is the better franchise despite this never being the intention as a spin-off, but with its success, it’s not considered a spin-off but legitimate due to its success.

You have the light novels which were already #1 in the world for light novel sales, and even more spin-off novels have come about to add to the milking of this well-deserved franchise.

More is coming without a doubt, and new works are being developed as we speak.

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