Fun With Numbers: Myanimelist Stats’ Correspondence with the Summer 2013 Disk Over/Unders

Quick recap: I’m taking a look at various no-cost indicators of popularity for anime and their related goods. First, I’m checking how well they correspond to disk sales by checking whether different applications of that statistic beat the null “every v1 will sell less than 4000 disks” accuracy criterion for a given season (66% for Fall, 59% for Summer). Later I’ll check how well these indicators corresponded to boosts in manga/LN source popularity (for works that were originally LN/manga), to contrast their predictive abilities at both high-cost and low-cost levels of interest.

This entry covers the myanimelist rankings and popularity for the 34 Summer 2013 shows I’ve been looking at, with the title tweaked to reflect that these are the series rankings from several months after the series have ended. It shouldn’t be a huge factor; positions don’t shift radically that often, especially after a series is done airing (more research on that forthcoming). The data I gathered can be found here, and the results are shown below.

Summer2013-mal-compCompared to Fall, Summer showed a relatively weak performance by the mal metrics. The popularity component still does alright, but the the rankings consistently underperform the accuracy of the null hypothesis. This is more in line with what I would have expected going in; there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that casual audiences aren’t that different inside and outside of Japan, but there’s a very relevant degree of separation between casual audiences and disk-buying ones. Too, a series’ aggregate score being less important to sales is unsurprising, as the series profile of “publicly lambasted but successfully appealing to its target audience” is exceedingly common in any medium.*

*It’s a principle potentially less applicable with nico rankings because they represent the subset of people watching via nico streams, which can be a qualitatively different audience from one that DVRs episodes and/or stream through other services.

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