Bonhams Inaugural Anime Sale Offers Rare Original Works from Beloved Classics

New York – Spanning Anime classics with the likes of Astro Boy, Sailor Moon, and Pokémon, Bonhams' first World of Anime online sale is set to go live January 24th - February 2nd and will include more than 150 rare Anime production cels and drawings. Relics of the pre-digital animation era, the production of Anime originally was done one frame at a time by hand-painting sheets of celluloid (production cels) and then layering them to create the effect of continuous motion. These production cels allow fans to own a tangible part of the most recognisable Anime in the world.

Leading the inaugural sale is a production cel featuring the titular character of Kiki's Delivery Service with her companion Jiji, estimated at $15,000 – 25,000. This standout gouache on celluloid work is from the studio of Hayao Miyazaki, a pioneering animation filmmaker. Created and originally released by Studio Ghibli in 1989, Kiki's Delivery Service was the first film to be released with an English dub under the studio's partnership with Disney less than a decade later.

Included in the auction are original production cels, douga and genga from studios such as Studio Ghibli, Toei Animation, Shin-Ei Animation, Tokyo Movie, OLM Inc., and Tezuka Productions relating to some of the most popular Anime series and movies such as My Neighbour Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, Dragon Ball, Slam Dunk, Sailor Moon, Pokémon, Doraemon, Astro Boy, and many others

Bonhams' Director of Popular Culture, Helen Hall, commented: "Bonhams Popular Culture department is thrilled to be embarking on a new adventure into the World of Anime. With the recent Hayao Miyazaki landmark exhibition at the Academy Museum in Los Angeles, we feel it is the perfect time to offer these unique treasures from some of the foremost Manga and Anime creators, directors, and studios."

In addition to the online sale, there will be a virtual panel discussion, 'Inside the World of Anime' on Tuesday, Jan 25th at 8am EST. Our panellists, leading experts and academics from across the globe, will delve into the fascinating and expansive world of Anime; the studio history, shifts in international markets, collector trends, and preservation tips for this highly unique and treasured category.

Additional production cel highlights include:

• A lush green scene from My Neighbour Totoro featuring the characters Satsuki Kusakabe, Mei Kusakabe and Granny. With art by Hayao Miyazaki (Studio Ghibli, 1988), it notably includes a hand-painted background by Nizo Yamamoto, one of Japan's leading art directors and scenic artists. It is estimated at $10,000 – 15,000.

• Son Goku as Super Saiyan 3 from Dragon Ball Z with art by Akira Toriyama (Toei Animation, 1989-1996). Estimated at $5,000 – 7,000.

• Pikachu in motion from Pokémon with art by Satoshi Tajiri (OLM Inc., 1997-2002). Estimated at $2,500 - 3,500.


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest and most renowned auctioneers, offering fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewellery. The main salerooms are in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, with auctions also held in Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney. With a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 22 countries, Bonhams offers advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full list of forthcoming auctions, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit


Related auctions