Fun With Numbers: Myanimelist’s Sequel Problem Should and Can Be Fixed

If you’ve looked at the myanimelist Top Anime list recently, you’ll notice that it contains anything but an even distribution of franchises across time. As of this writing, 14 of the top 30 come from the past 5 years, and 9 of the top 60 were pieces of animation which aired last year. The 2010-2014 period saw a lot of anime being produced, but as impressive as that amount was, it was hardly 45% of the historical total. Obviously, these rankings have a decently strong recency bias, skewing somewhat heavily towards newer anime. That in itself it perfectly fine. These rankings aren’t meant to be a paragon of good taste, but just to accurately represent how the site’s large userbase as a whole feels about them. This recency bias is a product of several factors: the site’s young userbase, the increasing number of anime being produced (and becoming available via simulcast) in recent years, and (possibly) a change in the quality of the on-screen product. In other words, it’s a product of the value accurately representing what it’s built to measure – overall popular consensus.

The same cannot be said for the same rankings’ strong preference for sequels. Not counting the two which are full-on retellings (FMA: Brotherhood and HxH 2011), 14 of the top 30 are either a continuation or a spinoff of a pre-existing franchise. This sequel bias, a product of non-fans tending to drop a show while fans almost always continue, actively interferes with the pure score’s ability to represent what the average viewer likes, as there is not a single sequel that gets watched by an average sample of the anime-viewing population.

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Done Scanning Anime Insider!

With the April 2009 issue, I’m officially done going through the entire 67-issue run of Anime Insider. I uploaded everything I found interesting, focusing in particular on interviews with people involved directly in anime and manga production. I’m keeping the magazines in case I ever need to rescan anything or double-check contents, but this’ll probably be the end of me scanning articles for a few months.

Anime insider ran for 67 issues and ended in April of 2009, but issue 68 *was* planned (including the cover below and an interview with Takashi Miike), but the magazine was cancelled before that could be published.