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Old 2016-06-08, 02:53   Link #1
Dextro
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The evolution of anime Genres across the years

While discussing an interview about NoitaminA and the ever controversial around these parts Mari Okada the topic came up of whether or not the kinds of shows that are getting made each passing year have changed. Since talking about it without having proper data is hard I took some time to get some cold hard numbers, make them presentable and the result is here:

http://d3x7r0.github.io/anime-statistics/

It should work on all modern browsers but I've only tested it on Firefox and Chrome. Edge and Safari should be fine, IE may work but I'm not sure.

Now there are some caveats with the numbers. They hail form the ANN database and are, as far as I can tell, crowdsourced with all the issues that come with it. I made some work in reducing clear duplicate themes (like shounen/shonen) but haven't done much aside from that. I also ignored any shows that didn't have Year and either a Theme or Genre listed. Movies, OVA and TV Shows were all grouped together (hence the weird episode count chart) and I still have to double check everything to see if I haven't made some mistake.

Some statistics:
total # of shows: 9051
# of shows discarded: 1871
# of shows considered: 7180

The code I used is on github: https://github.com/d3x7r0/anime-statistics

The colors are pseudo-random so if you see something unreadable just refresh. They should most be readable though (it isn't true random). I've still to find a way to generate so much colors in a consistent way but for now random it is

Something that I noticed and which confirmed my suspicion for some time now is that the number of SciFi shows had a massive drop not only in the percentage of total shows made but also in the absolute number of shows made each year.

You can also see the bust that happened after 2008. The number of shows on the database actually peaked that year and there was a massive drop for the next one.

So there you have it. Any suggestions, criticism and analysis of the data is not only welcomed but encouraged. Have fun
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Old 2016-06-08, 05:28   Link #2
VORTIA
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Very nice work! ANN's theme data is sketchy indeed (only 14 moe shows in 2008? Psssshawww!) but the genre data graph is very nice!

Something I'd like to see graphed is story source - is an anime original, or does it adapt a light novel, visual novel, manga, video game, etc.

Thanks for your wonderful work!
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Old 2016-06-08, 06:48   Link #3
Dextro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VORTIA View Post
Very nice work! ANN's theme data is sketchy indeed (only 14 moe shows in 2008? Psssshawww!) but the genre data graph is very nice!

Something I'd like to see graphed is story source - is an anime original, or does it adapt a light novel, visual novel, manga, video game, etc.

Thanks for your wonderful work!
That's a great idea actually and the ANN data, while incomplete, may just have enough info to pull that off with the related works. We might even see the number of sequels each year if we're lucky.
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Old 2016-06-08, 21:47   Link #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dextro View Post
While discussing an interview about NoitaminA and the ever controversial around these parts Mari Okada the topic came up of whether or not the kinds of shows that are getting made each passing year have changed. Since talking about it without having proper data is hard I took some time to get some cold hard numbers, make them presentable and the result is here:

http://d3x7r0.github.io/anime-statistics/
What does the "erotica" genre entail, exactly? I mean, is that just VN adaptations in general, or is it something more specific than that? Or is it something else entirely?

Part of the reason I ask is because "erotica" has easily the most interesting genre trend-line for number-of-shows (looking just at "genres" and not the much more varied "themes"). Erotica hit its "shows per year" peak 6/7 years before anime in general did, and erotica is declining very severely in recent years, much more than anime in general has. If "erotica" does mean VN adaptations, then this decline reflects my own observations of how VN adaptations seemed much more commonplace/popular a few years ago than they to today.
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Old 2016-06-09, 00:08   Link #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
What does the "erotica" genre entail, exactly? I mean, is that just VN adaptations in general, or is it something more specific than that? Or is it something else entirely?

Part of the reason I ask is because "erotica" has easily the most interesting genre trend-line for number-of-shows (looking just at "genres" and not the much more varied "themes"). Erotica hit its "shows per year" peak 6/7 years before anime in general did, and erotica is declining very severely in recent years, much more than anime in general has. If "erotica" does mean VN adaptations, then this decline reflects my own observations of how VN adaptations seemed much more commonplace/popular a few years ago than they to today.
I searched it up on Ann and it's all hentai. If a vn got an 18+ adaption, it would be there yes.
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Old 2016-06-09, 05:13   Link #6
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We do get less anime per year since 2008-2009? Recession was quite the bitch.
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Old 2016-06-09, 06:32   Link #7
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As a source of validation, the show total graph tracks pretty well with one I compiled a few years back from AniDB: http://www.takinganimeseriously.com/...of-release.png

That one excludes hentai and "duplicates," shows appearing with both Japanese and English titles in the AniDB database.
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Old 2016-06-09, 15:14   Link #8
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Glancing at the general graph, it's no wonder the mid 2000's were considered the anime Golden Age when quantity combines with variety. But it's a little surprising how episode quantity didn't even out with the quantity of projects
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Old 2016-06-09, 16:42   Link #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
What does the "erotica" genre entail, exactly? I mean, is that just VN adaptations in general, or is it something more specific than that? Or is it something else entirely?

Part of the reason I ask is because "erotica" has easily the most interesting genre trend-line for number-of-shows (looking just at "genres" and not the much more varied "themes"). Erotica hit its "shows per year" peak 6/7 years before anime in general did, and erotica is declining very severely in recent years, much more than anime in general has. If "erotica" does mean VN adaptations, then this decline reflects my own observations of how VN adaptations seemed much more commonplace/popular a few years ago than they to today.
It looks like it's just a more gentle name for Hentai but I didn't do much in the way of qualitative analysis of the data. All I did was collate it and present it in chart form.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akuma Kousaka View Post
Glancing at the general graph, it's no wonder the mid 2000's were considered the anime Golden Age when quantity combines with variety. But it's a little surprising how episode quantity didn't even out with the quantity of projects
Don't look too much into the episode count chart. Movies are counted as a single episode and merged together with TV Shows and OVA. I'm guessing that the large decline just means more Movies and OVA in latter years. I'm thinking of doing some work on that by splitting it between the three main categories: OVA, Movies and TV Shows. That way we can do some proper analysis of those numbers.

I still haven't had much time to pick this up again due to work (bloody Euro is taking up all my time at work) but hopefully I'll be able to do something early next week since tomorrow and Monday are holidays so I'll have a bit more free time than usual (if work doesn't come knocking on my door).
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Old 2016-06-11, 09:19   Link #10
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Interesting graph, but not entirely unexpected. Easily visible are trends such as the rise of mo and high school themed anime in the 2000s, the recent ascent of the idols, as well as the heyday of sci-fi and cyberpunk in the 1990s.

Still, I know this is ANN's fault, not the fault of the creator of the graph, but one thing I feel is missing that would be interesting is the isekai, or parallel worlds, particularly those with a high fantasy theme.

It seems to me that there have been more and more of those in recent years, a trend I can only assume was started by the success of Zero no Tsukaima, though there are earlier examples of isekai.
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Old 2016-06-11, 12:44   Link #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
As a source of validation, the show total graph tracks pretty well with one I compiled a few years back from AniDB: http://www.takinganimeseriously.com/...of-release.png

That one excludes hentai and "duplicates," shows appearing with both Japanese and English titles in the AniDB database.
Nice. I would love to hear how you did that to see if I can replicate it and try to improve the dataset I managed to get from the ANN api.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SPARTAN 119 View Post
Interesting graph, but not entirely unexpected. Easily visible are trends such as the rise of mo and high school themed anime in the 2000s, the recent ascent of the idols, as well as the heyday of sci-fi and cyberpunk in the 1990s.

Still, I know this is ANN's fault, not the fault of the creator of the graph, but one thing I feel is missing that would be interesting is the isekai, or parallel worlds, particularly those with a high fantasy theme.

It seems to me that there have been more and more of those in recent years, a trend I can only assume was started by the success of Zero no Tsukaima, though there are earlier examples of isekai.
Yeah, I did nothing to the data and limited myself to collecting it and presenting it in chart form. Sadly the classifications don't have particularly high quality but it's to be expected when such a subjective criteria is involved.

I actually started doing this mostly to validate my impression that the amount of scifi has been decreasing. I was surprised to see that that wasn't exactly the case in absolute terms but it was very much so if we take a look at a percentage of total shows made instead of the absolute number of shows each year. There's that colossal dip following 2008 but that's an overall trend across the industry but even ignoring that there's a clear stagnation and not a major decline. It's just a shame that the themes data doesn't have enough quality to properly analyse because the most likely scenario is a shift in themes instead of a decrease for the genre.

Images
Sorry; dynamic content not loaded. Reload?

I actually spent most day yesterday improving my script to get some better data on episode counts and related works but hit a minor snag. Apparently the ANN API has blacklisted Light Novels, Live Action and US TV categories so the API returns a "not found" error for those. That means I have a bunch of titles qualified as "unknown" but the numbers seem far too small for it to be the full extent of light novel adaptations.

There's also no information regarding Visual Novels apparently (at least going from a cursory check of stuff like Clannad, Kanon and Fate/Stay Night) which means that the data isn't particularly reliable to chart that kind of info.

I wonder if I can try and guess stuff like that from a cross search for the name of the show in databases for those other medium and checking the date to see which came first.
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Old 2016-06-12, 15:02   Link #12
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I'm mostly finished with my changes to the episode data but I can already validate something that might be pretty obvious to most of us:



As we can see there's a huge trend downwards in average episode count for TV shows. It starts with very high numbers back in the 80s and early 90s but then it's a near constant drop off until today. Another thing worthy of note is that the total number of shows hasn't really increased since the early 00s which means that not only are we getting smaller shows but also less airtime dedicated to the medium overall.

I'll try to chart the evolution of TV vs ONA vs Movies along the years next. If I'm lucky I can get it done today.

PS: btw it looks like the total shows graph has a massive spike now but in fact there are no changes from before. The only difference is that, for some reason, the charting library I'm using now decided to put the maximum value for the chart at 300 instead of 400 like before.

EDIT: And here they are, the type charts: http://d3x7r0.github.io/anime-statistics/types.html

I'm actually rather surprised to the number of OAV in the early 00s and the almost lack of them in the last couple of years. I wonder if this is a shift in the market or just an issue with the source data.
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Old 2016-06-12, 16:58   Link #13
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Did the substantial drop in the late 1990s reflect the rise of late-night shows and the decline of OVAs? If you take out childrens' shows, is the drop as large as it appears above?

I compiled the data from AniDB simply by running searches for shows that began airing in each calendar year with filters to remove hentai and so-called "duplicates." I then plotted the total number of shows reported. If I were to do it again, I'd also limit the entries to television series. Applying that logic to 2015 gives me this list of 212 television series. I don't see a way to get it to report genres in the columns though, but I didn't look too hard.
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Old 2016-06-12, 17:16   Link #14
Dextro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
Did the substantial drop in the late 1990s reflect the rise of late-night shows and the decline of OVAs? If you take out childrens' shows, is the drop as large as it appears above?
I think you hit the nail in the head! I just finished the work type charts and there's a massive surge in OVA numbers in the 90s.





Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I compiled the data from AniDB simply by running searches for shows that began airing in each calendar year with filters to remove hentai and so-called "duplicates." I then plotted the total number of shows reported. If I were to do it again, I'd also limit the entries to television series. Applying that logic to 2015 gives me this list of 212 television series. I don't see a way to get it to report genres in the columns though, but I didn't look too hard.
Hum... The old school way. That's a bit too time consuming compared to my method. I know AniDB has an API but it needs a key to access. I'll see if I can get one eventually and run the same analysis on that dataset. I have a feeling it's much more rich in the kind of info we're looking for than the ANN one.

EDIT: the way my script is currently setup makes the data gathering take just under 30 minutes to complete if everything goes well. There's one thing I could do to speed it up but it isn't slow enough for me to go to the effort of changing everything. I also don't need to re-run it every time, just when I need to gather some more info.
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Old 2016-06-15, 09:36   Link #15
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I think one of the things that explains the drop is the rising cost of making an anime and all how the companies make money. They want to make a short show that can always be continued if its a hit, but if its a miss then they don't lose everything. Also remember that they make a lot of money off of the merchandise so a long show isn't needed to drive figurine and other sales.
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Old 2016-06-15, 14:27   Link #16
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I think one of the things that explains the drop is the rising cost of making an anime and all how the companies make money. They want to make a short show that can always be continued if its a hit, but if its a miss then they don't lose everything. Also remember that they make a lot of money off of the merchandise so a long show isn't needed to drive figurine and other sales.
Agreed. Such seems to be the destiny of virtually all artistic endeavours that turn commercial. Music had the same issue until costs came down enough for indies to pick up and revolutionize the medium. Games also have a massive indie movement nowadays that is breathing life into what was turning into a massively risk averse AAA blockbuster industry. Movies and regular TV I'm not so familiar with but I'm guessing that massive production costs still prevent that from happening and anime is surely in the same boat.
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Old 2016-06-15, 18:06   Link #17
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In Japan its part production cost and part their monetization strategies. Now I'm no expert so feel free to call me out if I'm wrong. Many are prepaid for by one company and another and are meant to drive LN or Manga sales if they are an adaptation. Drive merchandising sales. One thing they don't count on is revenue from commercials. This is why some shows that have bombed continue for a bit since they have already been paid for. The executives are a bit conservative and its why it took so long for anime streaming to take off as they couldn't see the money in it. Ditto for why some never made it to the states as we don't consume anime or buy merchandise in the same way.

The next part is that the Otaku in japan are a small but dare I say rabid fan base that spends a larger percentage of money on the things that the industry traditionally makes money on. As such the industry is really pandering to the base as seen with the explosion of slice of life moe shows. Each one was trying to capture a larger percentage of a shrinking market. The overseas sales are seen as a bonus and not a market in and of it self.

This is almost the opposite of the major Hollywood studios these days as it is the overseas sales that really determine if movies get sequels and such as the foreign market is several times the size of the domestic one. One has to wonder if a company changed its monetization strategies and targeted the western market and succeeded if it could change the industry. I know its not for everyone but if Kancolle was open to players world wide, just how much more would the company make given the number of clones of the game that are being made.
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Old 2016-06-16, 11:51   Link #18
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You're pretty much on point crazyidiot,

Most anime is made according to the production committee model, where a group of companies come together to fund the making of an anime. Most companies involved in the production committee put up their money for their own promotional purposes - selling a video game, light novel, manga, merchandise or a musical artist's singles. In most cases, late night otaku anime actually pay for their own airtime like an infomercial, rather than be purchased by the channel to drive advertising sales like normal daytime programming.

As for why don't Japanese companies try the Hollywood model and go for mass-market global appeal, the big reason was that Studio Gonzo attempted to do just that back in the mid-2000's and nearly went belly up. They went all-in on a global marketing strategy that involved adapting foreign properties, producing original artistic works & global digital distribution that ended in financial ruin and their delisting from the Tokyo stock exchange. If it wasn't for the success they had with Strike Witches at the 11th hour, the company probably would have died right then and there. Understandably, every other company in the market has become very reluctant to follow that same path, as all they've seen on the other end is bankruptcy. It'll have to be a pretty gutsy studio that'll go out on a limb and try that strategy again.
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Old 2016-06-16, 19:17   Link #19
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I didn't know that Gonzo had taken such a hard hit. I guess it shows just how fickle the masses can be. I wonder if they tried a gradual approach rather than going all in, if that might work better.
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Old 2016-06-19, 18:43   Link #20
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I'm not sure if this is what you are referring to, OP, but I definitely see a certain trend of anime rise and fall.

In the 90s, space westerns seem to gain some level of popularity. The standouts include Bebop, Outlaw Star, and Trigun.

In the early 2000s, we see a proliferation of these odd urban-fantasy anime where the lead heroine is voiced by Kugimiya. Things like Shana, Zero no Tsukaima.

Now, isekai (transplanted to new/fantasy world) is all the rage. To be frank, I actually like isekai as a concept. But I hate how it is done. Too much of it is currently wish-fulfillment heavily reliant on tropes, cliches, and caricatures. We rarely see nuanced villains and protagonists struggling with displacement and culture shock.
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