Friday, July 31, 2009

Summer Anime Popularity -- 2channel vs. AnimeSuki

Someone asked if I might be going to do a post on 2channel popularity any time soon. Sounds like a good idea to me. Here are numbers for the new summer season shows. I'll add a bit about popularity on the nearest English-language equivalent, AnimeSuki, and a bit of info about TV ratings.

Umineko no Naku koro niOf the shows just starting this season, Umineko and Bakemonogatari are the clear favorites on the Japanese message board 2channel, with about 43,000 and 41,000 posts, respectively. Not far behind comes Taishou Yakyuu Musume, a surprise hit at about 31,000 posts. (mouseover pics for captions)

Then there is a big drop-off to Canaan and Princess Lover at 13,000 and Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 at 12,000. Aoi Hana follows at 11,000, quite high for either a yuri show or a shoujo show, and this is both.

I'm surprised and pleased at the fairly high totals for Aoi Hana, which is a shoujo-ish yuri show, with much of its appeal centred on nuances of its characters' feelings. It's my favorite show of the season, along with Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. I feel both could develop into anime masterpieces.

BakemonogatariIt's hard to know how popular Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and Spice & Wolf II are, since their threads are continuing from previous series and I don't have access to older threads to see where they shift from the previous series to the new ones. But both shows have high overall totals, with Zan Sayonara at 130,000 posts and Spice & Wolf II at 64,000.

Here are the full lists, down to the first 200 threads on 2channel. The numbers are the number of the current thread for each show. A full thread represents a thousand posts.

New shows
Umineko no Naku koro ni 43
Bakemonogatari 41
Taishou Yakyuu Musume 31
Canaan 13
Princess Lover 13
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 12
Aoi Hana 11
Sora no Manima ni 10
Kanamemo 9
Umimonogatari 8
GA: Geijutsuka Art design Class 7
Needless 7
Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou 5
Element Hunters 4
Fight Ippatsu Juuden-chan 4
Ukkari Penelope 3
Kuruneko 1


Zan Sayonara 130
Spice & Wolf II 64

Needless's low-rent version of Gurren-Lagaan has clearly not succeeded in recapturing the magic of that previous show.

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0The fairly highly anticipated Umi Monogatari is less popular than I expected. The low total of 4,000 posts for Fight! Ippatsu Juuden-chan, despite its rampant fanservice, are a clear indication of just how disappointing that show has been. The same total for the educational anime Element Hunters, on the other hand, is surprisingly high.

By the way, the "someone" who asked about a post like this was Westlo. Thanks for the suggestion.

Now here is a comparative list from AnimeSuki, the most popular English-language anime board. The numbers are number of posts:

Umineko ~6000
Spice & Wolf ~1000
Princess Lover 994
Bakemonogatari 857
Canaan 625
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 431
Needless 330
Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei 271
Aoi Hana 239
Sora no Manima ni 203
Umi Monogatari 189
GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class 159
Fight Ippatsu! Juuden-chan 157
Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou 151
Taishou Yakyuu Musume 145
Kanamemo 90
Element Hunters 39

Umineko's complete dominance is the most striking thing. Of the also-rans, Bakemonogatari and Princess Lover are surprisingly high, to me, although I like both shows, myself. I expected another favorite of mine, Spice & Wolf II to be popular, since the first series was.

It's interesting to see Taishou Yakyuu Musume near the top of the 2channel list, but near the bottom on AnimeSuki. And Kanamemo, which I find entertaining, is in the middle of the Japanese list, but near the bottom on AnimeSuki.

Here is a very partial list of shows for which I can find the actual TV ratings for last week. Most of the new shows are not included:

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 (TM8) 3.8% (4.1% this week)
Kanamemo 1.4%
Taishou Yakyuu Musume 1.1%
Element Hunters 1.1%
Umi Monogatari 0.4%

Just for comparison, Saki, which is very popular on 2channel, is at 1.8%, Fullmetal Alchemist and Phantom at 2.0%, Gintama at 3.7%, Doraemon at 10.2%. TM8 will end up in the top ten this week, for the first time since its first episode, and that is a fabulous achievement for a late-night show.


Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that there were literally thousands and thousands of posts on the original novel from years before the anime premiered that are also contained in the Umineko subforum.

...but even without those it seems to be dominating XD.

Panther said...

At least the accurate ratings show TM8.0 as the best one. I was about to say how these rankings should be thrown away since Princess Lover ranks higher than TM8.0, which is just WTF, until I saw the last one. TM8.0 is the best one this season for me at least, hands-down. Not even Bakemonogatari comes close.

hashi said...

@anonymous -- Thanks for the tip. I'll revise the total to "about 6000," based on totalling just the anime threads in the Umineko forum.

@Panther -- Everyone has their own preferences. The 2channel otakus don't seem to like anything that has any hint of shoujo about it. Harem shows, moe, and fanservice are their meat and drink. I actually think Princess Lover is a pretty good show, myself. But nowhere near TM8 or Aoi Hana.

The general TV audience is composed of more adults, females, and younger children than the 2channel audience.

animekritik said...

very interesting stats...

Anonymous said...

@Panther: TV ratings are no more accurate than 2ch reactions. For any show, results are highly dependent on the broadcast stations and time slots. They don't tell us much about viewer satisfaction either.

Serakah said...

Holy shat...the show about chicks and baseball is that popular on 2chan? The hell? I dropped that show after 10 mins of the second episode. Does it get retardedly amazing after episode 3 or something?!

hashi said...

@Serakah -- Not to my knowledge, since I dropped it after a couple of episodes myself. Perhaps it's our fault for not paying the right kind of attention. And the show features some highly popular seiyuu, such as Itou Kanae, Nakahara Mai, Ueda Kana, Noto Mamiko, Kitamura Eri. And perhaps it's because the Japanese have particular associations with that era and with the concept that make it especially interesting to them.

@anonymous -- I think that after a few episodes, if people are still watching a show, they are at least fairly satisfied with it. But you are right that it's hard to systematically explain some TV ratings: a special show being on opposite a particular show can drive its numbers down in one week, for instance. And what is the significance of 2% of the audience at 2 am vs. 2% at 11 pm? I don't have access to the data, except occasionally, but Video Research does audience splits, too, showing viewership by age and gender. Their data collection is done by a combination of automated recorder and written survey.

Skua said...

I'm still watching Taishou Yakyuu Musume.

The style of the show has remained consistent through four episodes - it's slow-paced and mundane (and very limited in terms of camera work), but nevertheless pleasant and good for a few chuckles. Scriptwriting is pretty strong with none of the cheesiness I expected from such a concept. Nevertheless, those who expect to "see things happen" should stay away.

At any rate, what's popular with the Japanese isn't necessarily appreciated by foreigners. For instance, the symmetrical composition/still camera and mundane nature of Yasujiro Ozu's movies would never fly in a culture accustomed to Hollywood.

IMO, this is one series that attempts to draw on the appeal of a traditional, old-fashioned drama. I'm not saying that it's as good as one of those works, but it's possibly why the Japanese can remain interested while many of us come away bored.

MisterH said...

So, what about Haruhi?

hashi said...

@MisterH -- Unfortunately, that is one of a number of shows for which TV ratings are unavailable, at least anywhere I have found. The original series was incredibly popular on 2channel, but I found out afterwards that it did not rate very high on TV.

And to expand on what I said about 2channel, there have been almost a million and a half posts about Haruhi, but I don't know how many of those are for the new series and how many for the old. Threads older than a couple of weeks are gone from the free Internet now, and I would have to pay to get access to them, which I haven't done.

I am confident that Haruhi is highly popular series for discussion on 2channel right now, and maybe the most popular, but I don't have a way of knowing that for sure.

Anonymous said...

Needless came out before Gurren Lagann >.>;