Fun With Numbers: Null Hypotheses Predicting Fall 2013 Anime Sales

Note: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that there were 39 shows in the Autumn list, not 38. This has been corrected.

There’s a lot of gray area that can surround the performance of shows early on in a season, before hard stalker numbers roll in and make prior predictions fairly irrelevant with their impressive model. I’m interested in what some of these early and less-rigorous numbers can mean, both for disk sales and lower-cost indicators, and I’m slowly putting together a list of them for Fall 2013 to test against how the first volumes of disks actually sold, along with how big a sales boosts related print media got.* This post deals with very little of those, just outlines three dummy models against which all other indicators will be judged when I get around to it.

The first criterion for a bit of data having any real meaning is its ability to do better than guessing that is either random or very dumb, outperforming what is traditionally known as the null hypothesis. Let’s say you knew roughly what the anime market looked like in 2013, and were trying to build a model to try and guess how the 38 shows to on that list linked above would do. Let’s say you’re just interested in whether a show will sell more or less than 4000 copies, and you judge the success of your model by how well it’s able to peg which shows go over and which shows go under. For reference, 13 of the 38 had their first volume sell over 4000, so the “actual” over odds are about ~34%.**

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