I keep forgetting google trends is a thing. It occurred to me that there’s a really basic stat available to measure an anime’s $0 popularity level. I’ve been tossing around the idea of trying to tinker up an effective way of displaying variance anime fanbase size by cost, and how much google search traffic it generates is likely a pretty good approximation of the lowest possible end of that. I searched the spring anime which have aired thus far (via mal, skipping the shows with 2000 members or less) on global google trends in both their official Japanese and Romanized titles, normalized against the term “Spring 2014 Anime”.
Obvious caveat – some of these series go by alternate titles, so the romanized search traffic may not be all of it.
Also, somewhat unexpectedly, series like Baby Steps and Black Bullet with full-English titles still see peak traffic this month. I guess phrases have to be pretty popular to beat out kids looking for free streams of anime. Love Live still seems fairly inflated, though (considering how much of its English title traffic was the same pre-2012).
Format: Show Title (Japanese Name Traffic/”Spring 2014 Anime” Traffic, English Title Traffic/”Spring 2014 Anime” Traffic) [All Traffic is taken from April values as of this writing]
Akuma no Riddle (2.17, 1.39)
Baby Steps (0.86, 0.77)
Black Bullet (0.95, 0.93)
Blade and Soul (1.06, 2.86)
Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou (1.27, 1.01)
Break Blade (1.33, 0.43)
Captain Earth (1.39, 0.83)
Dragon Ball Kai (0.60, 2.55)
Fairy Tail (3.0, 33.3)
Fuuun Ishin Dai Shogun (0.28, 0.00)
Gokukoku no Brynhildr (1.04, 0.73)
Haikyuu (4.17, 0.96)
Hitsugi no Chaika (0.22, 0.08)
Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san (0.27, 0.08)
Isshukan Friends (1.30, 0.00)
Kamigami no Asobi (1.12, 1.01)
Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara (0.76, 0.17)*
Kenzen Robo Daimidaler (0.26, 0.69)
Kiniro no Corda (0.76, 0.17)*
Love Live (6.67, 4.93)**
Mahou Shoujo Taisen (0.49, 0.16)
Majin Bone (0.65, 0.87)
Mangaka to Assistant-san (0.49, 0.33)
Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei (2.94, 1.62)
Mushishi (1.51, 1.00)
No Game No Life (0.44, 0.65)
Seikoku no Dragonar (0.96, 0.96)
Selector Infected Wixoss (0.00, 1.27)
Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii (1.03, 0.87)
Soul Eater Not (0.00, 0.51)
Stardust Crusaders (0.53, 0.26)***
As taking this data itself was a time-consuming process, and I haven’t yet compared it to anything, I’m not sure what it all means. However, it’s at least one more way of comparing casual interest in a show, and possibly predicting how large the source material boosts manga/LN will get from their adaptations. If that does prove to be a somewhat valid indicator of the interests of casual fans that still buy things (the jumps from searched -> $0 popularity -> $5 popularity aren’t huge, but they’re not trivial either), then expect Mahouka, Haikyuu, and Akuma no Riddle to see buff source material boosts in the next couple of months.
*Not a mistake, they just happened to be the same.
**The second value is probably heavily inflated by non-anime searches.
***For reference, ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 is about a 1.5, but that includes searches for currently-running Jojolion and other parts of the series.