57 CommentsEditorials / By Scamp /

Anime Blogging is dying, Attack on Titan is the biggest anime of the decade, and more

sao vs titan

Let me start this post with a big disclaimer: It is incredibly easy to create false narratives using google trends. The service tracks how many people are searching for a specific term, so you have to take several things into account when deciding what these numbers mean. People could be searching for them in different languages, so the people searching for Guilty Crown in Spanish speaking parts of the world might be searching for something different. Or the reason why Madoka appears to be so under-searched in the above chart is because the audience for that show already know where they’re going to go for Madoka related queries. That said, let’s act like a journalist and manufacture narratives based off stats!

naruto laughs at everythingIn the chart that leads this post, I was showing how big Attack on Titan was getting compared to some of the other popular anime from this decade so far. I stuck in a few other titles in there, but I didn’t see anything else come close to touching even Sword Art Online’s numbers. So Attack on Titan is making some pretty big waves when compared to other new anime from the decade. However looking at overall figures gives us some real perspective on this. Titan is only just reaching the same visibility Fairy Tail is at, and that ended a few seasons ago now. Both of them still swing far below the numbers of Bleach and One Piece, although it is interesting to see how Bleach was already starting to drop below One Piece’s levels before it was taken off the air. And then there’s Naruto, which laughs at everything else. Dropped quite a bit since its height around 2010, but has been fairly stable since then.

hentai bigger than animeThis one is fun. Anime’s popularity started going down around 2005, possibly earlier because google trends don’t go earlier than that. But while anime and hentai were around the same popularity around 2006, hentai rose while anime dropped. It’s interesting to see that there’s an obvious connection between the popularity of hentai and anime at any given time, with the short rises an dips being mirrored in each one. They’re also sort of mirrored in manga, who waited until late 2010 to have its short term boom before dropping down again. It looks from this chart as though anime is rising again, although it does beg the question of why people are searching ‘anime’ anyway.

america tv

I noticed when searching for certain anime that they’d experience a short re-emergence in popularity randomly later on in their life, which I eventually realised was due to them airing on TV in the US. With this chart I restricted it to just people searching from within the US and the results become really clear. The first bump the show gets is when it originally airs in Japan. The second much bigger bump each anime gets is when it airs on TV. Now you could put this down to people being more likely to just randomly type the name into google when they watch it on TV, but it goes a long way to show how important TV exposure surprisingly still is for an anime, considering popular perception is that anime fans just watch everything online nowadays.

blogging is dyingAnd finally, I did promise something about anime blogging is dying. It saw its peak in 2009, but since then has been on a permanent downwards trend. This year has seen a small levelling out, but that might just be temporary on a larger downwards curve in general. Anime forums are dying, and have actually gone below blogs since 2011. Even anime twitter has risen above it. Tumblr has seen a huge and very swift rise up and now dominates over the others. Meanwhile new people looking for IRC channels to chat about anime is basically not a thing anymore. These are definitely part of a larger trend in the area of internet discussion, with forums slowly dying and more social media taking over, but it is interesting to see that anime has mirrored that wider trend.

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  1. Jeremiah Wilderson
    Posted June 28, 2013 at 4:13 am | Permalink

    By the way, they should have a Google trends of Google trends, to see what trends people search for.

    • Son Gohan
      Posted June 28, 2013 at 7:32 am | Permalink


  2. Seppuku33
    Posted June 28, 2013 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    I’m a bit saddened that tumblr is where people head to. People want quick, bite sized pieces of entertainment. Each small piece of entertainment is amusing for a bit but when that amusement dies people go to the next one to satisfy themselves.

    Going on social media sites like tumblr is like eating a box of cookies. Cookies are quick to eat and tasty but they provide practically no nutrition. People mindlessly munch on them for instant gratification. A conversation in real life or an analysis on the internet is like preparing a nutritious steak. Yeah, it takes more effort but you are satisfied in the end. You are stimulated from conversations with full sentences and complete thoughts.

    Btw, here is some instant gratification:

    • foon
      Posted June 28, 2013 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      I don’t even find that gratifying. For some reason I feel very disconnected with the tumblr culture. Without exception, I find their gifs annoying rather than funny. I don’t even know why; I mean, I’ve always found 4chan gifs entertaining, and I’m pretty sure it’s not just because I like the 4chan culture more than the tumblr culture. I feel like the tumblr gifs just don’t flow well somehow; they feel really forced. This feeling is amplified with the live action gifs compared with the animu ones.

    • Hanasra
      Posted June 28, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      A fair analogy there. Not only it gives you nutrition, social media would fatten you (read: dumbing) if you use too much with the wrong kind of people. Sure, you can have interesting discussion going via social media if you met the right people. But most of the time, what I see from people in social media is blurting out their impression, whatever it is with no deeper thought. Most social media doesn’t really allows you to have serious discussion or deep analysis anyway since those popular social media are well known for their simplicity.

    • sandberm
      Posted June 28, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      I see what you’re saying, but I think these types of sites will continue to gain in popularity, especially as the technology to access them becomes more widespread and less expensive. I’ve read before about how social media is where narcissism meets voyeurism – most people are pretty simplistic creatures when you get down to it and instant gratification media is the prefect medium for connecting our unending need for ‘fast and more’. Personally, I like having options. While I prefer reading long format anime blogs, I’ll admit to being occasionally amused by dorky gifs. I like a good steak, too, but sometimes you just wanna nom down that whole bag of cookies while no one is looking.

  3. Posted June 28, 2013 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    You should include the plural forms of blog and forum, as the plural versions are also frequently searched for. For whatever reason I doubt Tumblr is searched for much in plural form. “Anime forums” has higher global searches than “anime tumblr” says Google’s keyword competition tools.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 28, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      Fair point, although the graph would look the same, just trending a little higher

  4. NB
    Posted June 28, 2013 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    I wonder if the recent trend of people (particularly females) moving to tumblr is also what has caused the increasing tendency for anime forums I frequent to be full of MRAs and dudebros with little opposition. Depressing.

    • foon
      Posted June 28, 2013 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Did you just say “anime forums” and “dudebros” in the same sentence?

      • NB
        Posted June 28, 2013 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        Yes. That is the state of things.

      • Posted June 28, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        @nb, i would like to know what your definition of dudebro is. For me, i usually associate it with fratboy meatheads that only plays CoD and nfl on xbox 360. Based on that i doubt anime would interest them in any way that i can see.

      • NB
        Posted June 28, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        It tends to get interpreted a bit differently as a remark on different sections of the internet. It’s become a term more removed from its videogame associaion. It gets more and more commonly associated with the kind of people who backslap each other about ‘get back to the kitchen’ remarks, attempt to act macho and exhibit certain behaviours rather than certain interests

      • Posted June 28, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        Ahh, then I can agree with that as well.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 28, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      Nah, internet forums have always been sausage-fests. The old saying of ‘there are no girls on the internet’ is as old as the internet itself

      • NB
        Posted June 28, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

        Well I know its always been bad but lately it has gotten worse, particularly on MAL where the Casual Discussion and Current News is always ripe with such topics for people with comments I wouldn’t have seen a few years ago. Could be the Crave Online sell and the degradation of MAL in general though.

      • Catshachou
        Posted June 28, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        That might be true of anime forums but I don’t think it’s necessarily true in general. There are places like Television Without Pity which have been around for ages and have always been quite female-dominated (or at least it was when I used to post there), although interestingly, the men who did post there often still used to refer to everyone else as ‘he’ which I found interesting (and very telling).

  5. fathomlessblue
    Posted June 28, 2013 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Congratulations, you’re officially one of those fans. You’ve even the graph to prove it. All aboard the grumpy old elitist train! Here, I’ve saved you a seat!

    • Scamp
      Posted June 28, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      Get off my lawn

  6. Stef
    Posted June 28, 2013 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    If you admit yourself you can’t draw any conclusion with this data, why this article?

    • Posted June 28, 2013 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      To provoke discussion perhaps?

      • Stef
        Posted June 28, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        Discussions on what may or may not be fake correlations, eh?

  7. Edraii
    Posted June 28, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Look, as far as IRC goes I have serious doubt someone that googles for “Anime irc” is going to know how to get on there in the first place!

    Actually on second thought ask younger people what IRC is, can’t google what you don’t know exists!

    … Whaaaaaat? I like IRC :(

    • Scamp
      Posted June 28, 2013 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      But people used to google ‘anime irc’, so it’s fascinating that it’s going out of fashion altogether

  8. Posted June 28, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    It’s more interesting to look at ‘regional interest’ section. Even though China and USA has more population, the highest search volume indexes are all accumulated in South East Asia. No wonder I meet fellow countrymen regularly.

    • Hanasra
      Posted June 28, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      The shit political condition in our region must be the one that drove us to seek better form of entertainment.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 28, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      You gotta remember that people are googling this stuff in English. Plus China has their own search engine. But yes, south-east Asia had quite a big anime googling hitcounter

      • Posted June 28, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        Searching “attack on titan” and “sword art online” on http://www.baidu.com gives out shitty result, though. Compare them to http://www.google.com search results. I wonder why didn’t the chinese use google. Stupid patriotism? Language barrier? Must be the latter one.

        For people who can’t read chinese:
        the first link brings you to baidu.com’s FAQ page, explaining what is “attack on titan”, well, I have to say that the answers are really shitty
        the 2nd link brings you to online bookstore, which is obviously not searcher’s need.

      • Posted June 28, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        @eternia, isn’t it more about google being blocked there?

      • Hanasra
        Posted June 29, 2013 at 2:57 am | Permalink

        If I’m not wrong, Google is being blocked by Great Firewall of China. There is a reason why they have their own “twitter”.

  9. Posted June 28, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    I find the anime/manga/hentai graph somewhat interesting; it shows that no matter what, porn is definitely on more people’s mind. But, i wonder why is there a huge difference though.

    OH and anecdotally, even in my small circle of anime friends, it’s harder and harder to get a good discussion going on since either we’re busy with school/uni, or usually there’s a few “conversations” going on and the one with the least amount of thinking needed usually stays for longer.

    • fathomlessblue
      Posted June 28, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      It was hardly the biggest shock to discover anime & hentai go hand in hand together…

      I’ll be here all night folks.

      • Posted June 28, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

        Oh, that’s not the problem I’m having. It’s more that hentai search is significantly higher that I’m somewhat intrigued by.

      • Posted June 30, 2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        I can offer a plausible explanation: hentai is something that for the most part is kept behind closed doors, while anime is not. Your random internet-goer in search of both will almost certainly know where to get their anime and anime-related information/recommendations (if not know what they need to already through word of mouth), while hentai isn’t something that most people discuss with others or share information about – hence the google searches.

    • sqa
      Posted June 28, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      The other side issue is that there is simply a whole lot more anime, far more easily available than it used to be. While TV is still big for making a series known in the English speaking world, there is simply a whole lot more anime produced & available easily in English.

      Makes it hard to talk about anymore as most seasons are running 20+ shows, at least 5-10 that are always watchable.

  10. Posted June 28, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Could it be that Naruto is also the main character’s name so it gets more searches? Like, for example, someone was looking for a cool picture of Naruto (together with Hinata, or uhm… Sasuke >_<)

    • Scamp
      Posted June 29, 2013 at 1:14 am | Permalink

      That’s true, so maybe combining bleach + ichigo kurosaki would help, but still Naruto dwarfs every other anime. Unless they’re also searching for the ramen thing too

      • Hanasra
        Posted June 29, 2013 at 3:00 am | Permalink

        Blame Masashi Kishimoto for naming his manga after the main character who happened to have a same name as a food. What we wouldn’t want next time is SoL manga named after its main character, Wasabi who happen to like wasabi as well.

  11. Chipp
    Posted June 28, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Shit’s not working for me. Shows nothin’:

  12. Posted June 28, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    All aboard the Tumblr train. Choo choo~~

    Add “anime facebook” which eats “anime tumblr” to breakfast.

    Also, the average for “anime tumblr” is only 3 while it’s 12 for “anime blog”. However that is counted.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 29, 2013 at 1:16 am | Permalink

      Oh yeah, forgot I checked that too. Anime facebook beats everything else completely

    • Hanasra
      Posted June 29, 2013 at 3:02 am | Permalink

      How so? Do you mean like anime fan page?

  13. Posted June 28, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    My blog is hosted on Tumblr. So I’m good for now? I’m arguably one of the few largely-text based anime/manga blogs on that platform. And as Marow said, “anime facebook” > “anime tumblr”

    I’m interested in how Google+ is going to play in all this, since the anime communities there are getting bigger. Still feels like Facebook though.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 29, 2013 at 1:17 am | Permalink

      Google plus isn’t really growing though from what I can tell, so eh. Maybe it will catch on eventually

      • Posted June 29, 2013 at 1:25 am | Permalink

        Yeah, the future of anime picture/info consumption on Google+ remains to be seen. Unless people start using the Hangouts more for anime talk. That’s a very untapped area, but I can see it being a disaster if not done properly.

  14. Pusswookie
    Posted June 28, 2013 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    I have a sneaking suspicion that you just wrote all that in order to lead in to the bottom part about the endangered anime bloggers and the growing scarcity of their work.
    Is this a covert cry for help?

    • Scamp
      Posted June 29, 2013 at 1:19 am | Permalink


      • Posted June 29, 2013 at 5:37 am | Permalink

        Yay Scampu!

        We’re still covering Anime but we’re much focused on our local community these days, so I guess we’re entering ye dark times of Aniblogging again.

        But I don’t believe Anime Blogging will pass away soon – or rather, the’ll turn into SD versions of themselves, thanks to Twitter.

      • Hanasra
        Posted June 30, 2013 at 5:03 am | Permalink

        Could someone make a deep analysis with 140 characters limitation?

  15. Mr. Anon
    Posted June 28, 2013 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Evangelion still registers pretty well on your first chart, because of the movies I assume.

  16. Posted June 28, 2013 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Those are some very interesting trend-lines you have there.

    One thing I’d like to point out is that people searching for ‘anime tumblr’ might also be people looking for pictures rather than written material. It’s a shame you can’t determine exactly what people are intending their search to provide, but it does show that people realize that tumblr is an outstanding source for anime material as compared to forums and blogs now.

    Also, the other point being, why would we continue to search for other anime blogs when we’ve already found you? (*’-‘)b But seriously, on this point, once you’ve found the blogs you like, you really don’t need to keep searching for them as compared to tumblr which 1) is seeing growth in anime-related tumblr accounts and 2) serves other purposes like images, gifs, fan art and whatnot.

    (And yeah, thanks for humoring me with these “stats” and I’m sorry if these points were already addressed earlier in the comments section)

    • Scamp
      Posted June 29, 2013 at 1:21 am | Permalink

      A big part of this is new people discovering it. Obviously people who already are on tumblr aren’t going to further google ‘anime tumblr’. Less and less people are trying to discover new anime blogs by my estimate because they’re not even going to the basic level of googling for it

      • Posted June 29, 2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        Personally I’ve never found anime blogs when googling. When I wasn’t a blogger I either found them by
        A) Random person in forum links to a blog/post
        B) The blogger has a link to his/her blog in a forum signature
        C) When searching after anime images on Google.

        And from there and on, I found new blogs via blogrolls and comments on blogs.

        In fact, today I still find tons of anime blogs via image searches. There are so many that simply don’t… “advertise” themselves it’s crazy.

        When googling “anime blog” you don’t really get many hits. Kurogane, psgels, RandomC, Draggle and some more. But these are flooded by stats websites and the likes, so it’s a chore to find new blogs that way.

        Just some… random musings of mine.

  17. Kioku from Laptop
    Posted June 29, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    <Doesn't know what this tumblr thing is. Seriously.

    Doesn't really care, either.

  18. Shadow
    Posted June 29, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    I blame the high searches on Attack on Titan on Titanfall. Many people might be thinking Attack on Titan is an anime of Titanfall and many people might be thinking that Titanfall is a videogame of Attack on Titan.

  19. Posted October 16, 2013 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    The best anime of 2013!!! No doubt.

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  • By Blogging - It Still Matters on June 28, 2014 at 8:50 am

    […] to get off my chest and it’s about the matter of blogging. Some talk has been made about the state of anime/manga blogs in an age of social media sharing. Forums are also not as popular as they used to be. What got me […]

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