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enilea t1_iw2h46u wrote

Feel like the popularity ratings aren't very representative of reality, because it depends on the user demographics of MAL (very American) and the popularity of the site itself at a given time. But I guess there isn't any other easy way to get the "true" popularity.


Smooth_Trifle7561 OP t1_iw2hgd0 wrote

Agree with your thoughts. I had to find a way to proxy for popularity, as data isn't easy to get regarding viewership... :/


Oddmob t1_iw31iz5 wrote

Could you get profit info?


GodGoneRogue t1_iw32uhv wrote

No, most studios are private or part of a group without the split between orga


Beelzebubs_Tits t1_iw3c2re wrote

Yea besides it’s well known that many studios don’t pay their employees like they should, so mine is gonna be funny.


taylordcraig t1_iw3gy4x wrote

9anime has number of views for each episode for subs and dubs


YouAreProbablyWrong_ t1_iwc2lyd wrote

You are probably wrong, while what you said is true, it’s relevance warrants this comment.


Naouak t1_iw2lv95 wrote

The original share seems too big from my experience. I'm wondering if it is heavily biased by another format from the usual one (e.g. short formats, specials). I'm also wondering where are video game and card game adaptations, if they are in other, they are not negligible.


FluorineWizard t1_iw2s5pn wrote

I agree. A staggering amount of kids' anime is based on game or product tie-ins, it's a bit odd that it doesn't get its own category.


[deleted] t1_iw3ikbl wrote



Naouak t1_iw3j027 wrote

Yu-Gi-Oh! is a bad example because it was at first a manga. Then the later animes are made for and based on the card game.


Retsam19 t1_iw3orls wrote

> I'm also wondering where are video game and card game adaptations, if they are in other, they are not negligible.

I'd argue most of these are "original". Like, yes, there's a product tie-in, but the actual story of the anime is usually original to the anime. Digimon, Rage of Bahamut, Gundam, Yu-Gi-Oh (after the first season), and even Pokemon isn't really adapting the "plot" of the games.

There's some exceptions out there where the anime is adapting an existing video-game story: e.g. Tales of Symphonia/Zestria, Phoenix Wright, Persona - but I do think there's few enough of them that they are probably "negligble". (Actually Phoenix Wright is probably classified under VN)


Naouak t1_iw3y9ui wrote

This is a slippery slope because there's tons of example that are hard to define even outside of video games example. There's some anime season that are completely different from their manga counterpart. Dragon Ball Super for example is either original or an adaptation if we have to make a difference between following the original plot or not. Most anime movies would also be. Should the Naruto filler seasons be considered original?

And if they are loosely adapting, where would be the line between original and adaptation? 4-koma anime adaptation usually take the gag but rewrite them into some loose plot, is it still an adaptation or an original? God Eater anime adapt the universe yet change the plot completely compared to the game while keeping the overall structur, adaptation or original?

The only defining factor for Original production when I was working in the anime industry was wether it was based on an existing IP or if it was a new IP. It's a simple definition with a clear cut answer (except for some crossmedia projects but those are still usually considered original unless the anime was not plan for the initial release plan of the project).


NoraaTheExploraa t1_iw2n54b wrote

Snuck Yosuga no Sora in there huh?


PouncerSan t1_iw2t0er wrote

Just a wholesome anime about choosing family above all else.


Nahcep t1_iw4ehsb wrote

I still adore it for the sheer balls on everyone involved to make that scene as explicit as they could get away with

It's generally mid, but the ending of ep 11/start of ep 12 will always be legendary


Simekit t1_iw27609 wrote

Did you achieved to retrieve data from MAL using their api ? I am willing to work with anime data but I am looking for recent ones (like incoming anime of next season) and can't find a way to make it.

Nice visualisation btw, personnaly when I am adding images I like to add a thin layout around them, usally using the color of their categories (for me it looks cleaner like that)


Simekit t1_iw27qoi wrote

And for the 2nb graph why did you use "favorites" + "score_by" instead of "members" which represent the number of people who add the anime in their MAL (and which is used to rank anime by "popularity") ?


Smooth_Trifle7561 OP t1_iw2bqkk wrote

Spent quite an amount of time cleaning the data I retrieved from Kaggle. Didn't retrieve it on my own but used what others did. Thanks for the comment!

Still improving my design skills - will look into adding a thin layout next time.

As for the 2nd graph, it was rather hard for me to decide. Initially, I titled it engagement level instead of popularity. By engagement level, I looked into the number of ratings and favourites. Perhaps, I could have factored in 'members' as well - but the effect is negligible as an anime with a high number of 'members' usually have a relatively high favourites/score_by. In that respect, you are right, using members would be less cumbersome to illustrate popularity. However, I wasn't sure how an Anime viz would do on dataisbeautiful, considering demographics, so I thought favourites and score_by would be more intuitive for everyone, without having to justify the 'members' part.

TL:dr: Agree with your points!


Simekit t1_iw2k6g1 wrote

Yeah, "member" is a weird name to appoint the "views". Furthermore, with "popularity" we never know if it includes a notion of good or not. For example, Sword Art Online is one of the most-seen anime but its score is not that high (7,22) so is it "popular" or just "known"?

Maybe the term "famous" is more appropriate to designate something known+good.

So :

  • Sword Art Online is "popular" (high members and normal score)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is "famous" (high members and high score)
  • Gintama° is "good" and "unpopular" (few members but high score)

It is nearly like playing with words, but doing it in a foreign language is really hard :|

In the end, what is important is not the definition we have of these words (as data analysts) but the definition others have of these words (people who use the graph).

This comment makes no sense, sorry for the digression...


Smooth_Trifle7561 OP t1_iw24cpw wrote

Source 1 :
Source 2: Dataset -

Dataset is cleaned using Excel and TableauPrep
Illustration done using Canva. Designed inspired by TheEconomist.
Pictures from respective anime titles.


TheW83 t1_iw2ez2h wrote

The colors are a bit rough for me to differentiate. I'm not even that colorblind.


portalscience t1_iw2zclz wrote

Unfortunately MAL just says source as the original concept. While Mushoku Tensei IS originally a light novel, the anime is based on, and made to sell, the anime adaptation that had already been in print. This is probably true for a lot of items in this list, as using anime to boost manga sales is very common.


BruceGoneLoose t1_iw2rxtm wrote

I love visual novels, but due to their length they end up cutting content left and right (leading to pacing issues) when transitioning into anime, leading to an non-understandable mess. Muv Luv Alternative being this anime season's example.

Thought light novels would be higher though.


GrantMK2 t1_iw2vpmm wrote

Content gets cut and they try to merge together details from different routes, leading to the show being crammed full of more than it can handle even with cut details. The best way around that is something like the Fate approach where you have multiple different works to handle different routes (sure it still has some issues but for the most part it at least works), but the problem is unless your name is something like Fate no one is going to spend that much money on you.

And on top of that you've got companies deciding "well we've got this fairly lengthy work we're adapting, so it gets maybe 13 episodes. That'll get the biggest fans spending on it while not really costing us much".

Not surprising that VN's aren't nearly as popular a choice for source these days.


Torugu t1_iw31ey3 wrote

I suspect it has more to do with the decline of visual novels as a medium them with the difficulty of adapting them (though everything you're saying in that regard is obviously true).

The golden age of visual novels that was the early 2000s is over. Total sales for visual novels are a fraction of what they used to be. Many premium visual novel developers have been forced to shut doors, and the ones that are left now are all relics of the golden age, producing rehash after rehash of the same formula that made them popular 10 years ago.

Look up a recent list of "kamige" (lit. god games, i.e. must read games) and you'll hardly find anything made within the last 5 years. It's pretty telling that even the game you named as am example of a recent vn anime, muv luv, originally came out 16 (!) years ago.

Can't make a good anime adaption if there are no good games to adapt. It's all light novels now.

(Oh and fun bonus fact: People love to blame the recent deluge of isekai anime on one popular series or another. The truth is, isekai has always been an extremely popular light novel genre. The real reason why you're seeing so many isekai anime right now is that light novels are the easiest and most popular medium to adapt into late night anime.)


soffwaerdeveluper t1_iw3ftqa wrote

I think thats just the format for anime now. Seasons are almost always around 13 episodes because thats what is purchased/financed for at a time. Gone are the days of 300+ episode animes from the days of big 3, and also the ~ 70-100 episodes of the likes of FMA (which was my favorite format).


xCoffeee t1_iw57kvt wrote

I mean off the top of my head, Black Clover has ~170 episodes and that came out late 2017 (4 years). The “seasons” are broken up into 40-60 episodes, that’s a lot.

I don’t think it’s the end of long form content, just not many adaptations benefit from continually running or have that amount of content that they could do weekly releases for that long. Your not going to have a romance anime go for 300 episodes…

Most anime that do this long format are shonen where you can throw filler in about the tournament arc while waiting for the Mangaka to catch up.

There’s also a quality argument, I’m guessing Demon Slayer is going to hit around 100 episodes by the end of the series. It could’ve done the long form series, but I don’t think it would’ve gotten the same attention or quality that it has received. It’s also safer to start a show for 12-24 episodes and then see if it’ll flop, then throw a bunch of money at an unsuccessful show.


wenasi t1_iw4lw8v wrote

> Muv Luv Alternative being this anime season's example.

Good to know not trying the anime was a good idea. I loved the VN, but didn't believe it'd be adaptable. >!Also years later I'm still traumatized!<


Swimming_Dot6267 t1_iw25ufn wrote

I remember back in the day VN adapation were so popular. There were a few threads on this in MyAnimelist iirc. Really sad to see them die off.


Stefke102 t1_iw2ga7r wrote

I feel like it's one of the harder mediums to adapt well. The amount of good adaptations can probably be counted on 2 hands. They might make a return if they're given more episodes, because trying to fit a 50-100 hour VN into 12 (or even 24) episodes is just not gonna work.


Kneenaw t1_iw2ihuv wrote

It's not quite as bad as video game adaptions usually are, but VNs just in general struggle in adapting to anime. I think it mostly comes down to the fact that Anime can tell a story quickly and with a focus on the plot while a VN tells a story slowly and with a focus on the characters.

A two-minute scene in an anime could be a thirty-minute scene in a VN depending on how much that VN focuses on the thoughts of a character or exposition.

At the end of the day, studios are aware and wary of this and know that there is an inherent difficulty that isn't really there with manga or even LNs.


Chlorophilia t1_iw2huv0 wrote

Doesn't this apply to novels too though? Sure there are behemoths like Umineko, but most VNs are comparable to novels (and novel series) in length.


CinnamonSniffer t1_iw2i7qq wrote

Isn’t part of the problem that by design most VNs have like a dozen endings?


Chlorophilia t1_iw2ii5y wrote

Most VNs have a 'true' ending though. Other endings usually just give you more insight into a particular character. You're not going to be able to fully represent a branching VN as anime, but there are plenty of anime adaptations of branching VNs that still worked really well (e.g. Steins;Gate).


Reagalan t1_iw2l5dd wrote

again but with SAO Abriged


LOTRfreak101 t1_iw2liis wrote

I think it's pretty funny that yosuga no sora was deemed major enough to be the representative of that year. The ost was pretty fire at least.


Jizzle11 t1_iw2gd95 wrote

I watched season 1 of SAO, felt slightly pervy afterwards.


Pantssassin t1_iw2i3hg wrote

Hell, it was half way through season 1 that they got out and everything after that was fan service, tentacle shit perv


_R_A_ t1_iw2mojj wrote

My wife and I tried watching SAO because of how popular it was at the time. We still makes jokes about soup and eventually going to the front lines.


err0rz t1_iw2jjbm wrote

You are not ready for season 3.


Silveronnet t1_iw2jmil wrote

No clue what the vertical axis means not the flags / anime pictures..


MaxTHC t1_iw40acp wrote

The heading of each plot says what the vertical axis represents


Nagasakirus t1_iw2hxq3 wrote

Bottom chart should have probably been per capita because it doesn't include fluctuations of users in MAL throughout the years


migrations_ t1_iw2kci9 wrote

Yeah this is important to me. I prefer source material, so if an anime is based on manga (which it has felt like most are) I like to read the manga to see if it's good first and I'll switch to the anime if i'm hearing that the animation is amazing.
I really love original works though :)


Gutyenkhuk t1_iw5mjs6 wrote

Are you me lol. Somehow I feel like the manga is always easier to binge-read.


dover_oxide t1_iw2q63s wrote

Where's the One Piece line?


wyzapped t1_iw2y2go wrote

The title implies a further look back. Anime has been around in Japan for many decades. Just look long back ~20 years comes off as a little shortsighted.


AZYUMA86 t1_iw2y5e1 wrote

You can see where Haruhi Endless Eight impacted things lol 🫠


onigiri_fresh t1_iw2p1ga wrote

I think it would be better to separate these into two panels for better readability.


Narethii t1_iw34r19 wrote

This graph makes a lot of sense to me, as much as people hate derivative work, sequels and adaptations are generally well recieved since they are often based on source material that has been proven to do well.

Of course a show based off a popular property will likely be popular itself


sobertoad t1_iw42k4t wrote

Ah yes. 2000. The first sign of anime.


Peterrior55 t1_iw4akvr wrote

Yosuga no sora was a tipping point for VN adaptations. 😳


GlennIrish t1_iw4hg4m wrote

Visual Novel era was by far my favorite. Clannad, Key, Air, Rumbling Hearts, White Album, The ef series, Da Capo, Shuffle!, Higurashi, School Days… god take me back the nostalgia is unbearable.


Martin7431 t1_iw2h35r wrote

wait so SAOs peak was bigger than demon slayer??? i find that hard to believe


err0rz t1_iw2jhwq wrote

Yes, one of them totally redefined Isekai and the other is a generic shonen.


The_dog_says t1_iw2kdin wrote

A very beautifully animated, very very generic shounen.


err0rz t1_iw2l848 wrote

Yup agreed. Further to this, there’s 10 years between these peaks, for SaO to be ahead even given the far smaller population and market reach is a testament to how much more popular it is/was in relative terms.


livefreeordont t1_iw2rp8n wrote

Non weeb here how did SAO redefine the genre


rockingmonkey t1_iw2sow6 wrote

Made the protagonist being a boring overpowered weirdo with no real personality become the standard for trash isekai


Samuawesome t1_iw5qsbo wrote

SAO was originally written way back in 2001 for a short story competition. However, because the author went over the word limit, he just decided to publish SAO as a web novel instead. Over the decade after that, the author was just continuing and building off of it. The problem was that the author was self-publishing it, meaning he wasn't really profiting from it.

When it ended up getting published (due to Accel World winning the 2008 short story competition) and got an anime adaptation in 2012, it jumped in popularity and got a ton of money.

SAO didn't really "redefine the isekai genre" or whatever. "Being sent to another world" has been a genre for decades now (i.e. Alice in Wonderland).

What SAO actually did (and why it won the LN of the decade award) was that it encouraged a lot of self-publishing WN authors to shoot their shot. Seeing SAO's author going from someone relatively unknown to becoming the author of an extremely popular franchise gave them hope that they could also achieve such fortune. Additionally, SAO becoming popular encouraged a lot of anime production companies to look more into WNs/new LN series.

It just happened that a lot of these WN authors ended up writing isekai (hence why we have a ton of isekai adaptations every season). Though, a bunch of "non-lazy" isekai and non-isekai WNs have popped up as well.


ninjacookies00 t1_iw2lt0e wrote

I have heard people who like anime talking about how good demon slayer is. I couldn't walk the halls of my high school for a solid month without hearing someone who isn't typically into anime talking about SAO. It is very simple and digestible as a first anime. A lot of those reasons are what makes it seem worse if you have a background watching anime or rewatching it.


Muffin-Sprinkles t1_iw2op6t wrote

I definitely remember it as an anime people who wouldn't normally watch anime watched it. It was massive for a time.


Martin7431 t1_iw353qv wrote

i totally agree about SAO being a phenomenon at the time, but i thought the success of demon slayer was like, unprecedented? isn't it like the highest grossing series relatively? im not a massive fan, but i feel like demon slayer has also attracted a lot of non-anime fans


CPUtron t1_iw2ik6e wrote

I'd find the other way around impossible. SAO has been around longer, I think has more episodes and a much larger cultural impact. Not really a fan though...


Monkeylordz88 t1_iw2uvu5 wrote

I think it has to do with the fact that the data is from MAL. Demon Slayer is no doubt the most popular show to date, especially in Japan (with the new movie raking in $500M), but this is not reflected in the MAL data. MAL’s users are largely western hardcore anime fans who see Demon Slayer as nothing more than a generic shounen.


t0ppings t1_iw35yko wrote

The whole "if you die in the game you die in real life" premise is just enduringly popular. There were other anime similar but the very broad MMO game tropes made it accessible, especially to Western audiences where Demon Slayer is very Japanese. I don't know anyone who likes SAO beyond the first half of the first season but what is remembered is iconic. It's set in the very near future so it's more relatable (you could be Kirito, you will never be Tanjiro) and has always been used as the standard for what VR gaming could be.


davegir t1_iw2o9r4 wrote

So when a hentai and a manga really love eachother a cartoon will fly in and bring them a baby anime.


Elizaleth t1_iw2vcy3 wrote

It would be useful to split up novels and light novels because they're very different things


Zech08 t1_iw2vnby wrote

Feel like something is wrong with the data and categories here due to multiple and similar sources.


Kmolson t1_iw2xr0g wrote

Huh, I always thought original anime productions were rare but turns out they're just not as popular.


ILikePuddings t1_iw2y6po wrote

Cant belive yosuga no sora madeit in the chart


Loki-L t1_iw3myk9 wrote

I think lumping "novel" adaptations together ends up confusing things quite a bit especially if you go back a few more decades that the graph and don't just start in 2000.

Classic western novels like "A Dog of Flanders" and "Heidi, Girl of the Alps" or more contemporary western novels like "Howl's Moving Castle", don't really fit into the same category of Japanese light novels like KonoSuba or Haruhi Suzumiya or even more classic ones like Slayers.

Adaptation of Japanese novel series are usually much more direct and true to the original while outside sources tend to be far more lose in their adaptation.

There also is a much bigger trend of franchises doing anime, manga and light novels series all at once while the original is still being written, while outside sources are far more removed for the original.


discodamon t1_iw3wlo2 wrote

So there was no Anime before 2000? It’s been a TV staple in the US since the early 80s, and sporadically before that. This would be more illuminating if it included pre-2000 data.


Jomy10 t1_iw473rm wrote

I like the flags on the tops.


Mike_for_all t1_iw4jyor wrote

Interesting to see the decline in visual novel adaptations.


dacandyman0 t1_iw4kr7n wrote



ISeeThings404 t1_iw4ouph wrote

Novels getting more love makes me happy. This is exciting


raiyenj t1_iw59wnn wrote

Love that Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien is on there.


Modern-Otaku t1_iw5tkqw wrote

Yosuga No Sora being on there is NOT a good reflection of the Visual Novel category unfortunately


Jefe__Jeff t1_iw5yaa5 wrote

It’s crazy how mainstream anime has become in the past few years. Felt like growing up to be a anime lover was such a niche thing


False-Hero t1_iw6favf wrote

It mostly comes from manga


Forty__ t1_iw3xozj wrote

The "original" line is purple, while the box is light purple. Why don't you just match the colors?


Tiabaja t1_iw2stbu wrote

I mourn for our culture when the childish pursuits of comic books and manga (albeit all sexed up on film) is our primary entertainment and perhaps influence. Yes, I'm old.