Anime Adaptations 2009-15

After looking at the most recent anime adaptations, I am going to look a little bit further into the past and analyze adaptations from 2009 to 2015.

The methodology is the same as in my first article:

I’m researching only nonH TV series (no OVAs or movies) that started that season (no continuing anime, like One Piece, but I count second seasons).

As to why I chose 2009 (and not the nice round start of the decade) creating a rather lopsided interval, I have a number of reasons. For North Americans, the main milestone would be Crunchyroll going legal and thus bringing about the beginning of the legal anime streaming era. And that’s a pretty big deal.

Elsewhere around the world, we relied on less legal sources to watch anime. In 2009, a number of what will someday become classics or at least time-tried paradigms of quality came out. In Spring Season 2009, K-ON! aired. I’ve collected a number of reason why that would be a turning point in the fandom – some call K-ON! the peak of moe culture; it’s a milestone of the cute-girls-doing-cute-things genre, as well as the directorial debut of Yamada Naoko, the lady who went on to direct Tamako Market (and Tamako Love Story) and Sound! Euphonium.

And that’s not all! The second season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, which contains the legendary Endless Eight, came out. The first season of Bakemonogatari started airing. From movies, 2009 brought us Summer Wars (highly recommended). And if you like girls falling in love with other girls, then you can be grateful for Sweet Blue Flowers (青い花 [あおいはな, aoi hana, blue flowers] in Japanese) and Whispered Words (aka Sasameki Koto).

It’s time to crunch some numbers!

This time I’m dealing with 7 years worth of anime, which is 28 seasons. In all I have over a thousand series; 1230 to be exact. First off, 273 (22.2 %) of the series are originals, which leaves us with 957 (77.8 %) of adaptations. Just like last time there are anime adapted from manga, light novels, regular novels, games, visual novels and then there’s everything else – that 19.3 % are all the picture book or music video (think Black Rock Shooter) adaptations and basically anything marked as other or without information. Now, as we’re diving deeper into the past, there are more unknowns. In my previous post about adaptation, there was less than 8 % adaptations in the “other” category. (As you can see from the graph below, it’s 19.3 % of all adaptations this time.)

Manga – including regular manga, yonkoma manga (I swear I will write this article eventually.) and webmanga – makes up 47.1 % of all the adaptations (451 of 957), which is a little bit lower than nowadays, but still close.

Literature, the sum of regular novels and light novels, makes up 19.1 % of all adaptations. That is almost identical to today’s roughly 20 percent. Light novels are the second most common source to be adapted, but 15.5 % isn’t much to write home about.

Finally, games and visual novels: together they make up 14.4 percent of all adaptations. That’s slightly lower than nowadays, but I suppose that’s understandable as games become more and more mainstream.

Here is another graph, that I found interesting. Except for a large rise in original anime in 2015 that halved the “other” category, the shares of the individual categories remain roughly the same throughout the years. And that rise might be due to anime being tagged as original instead of “unknown” origin. Unfortunately I haven’t (yet) made this kind of graph for 2016 and 2017, so I don’t know whether it’s a trend or an exception.

Thanks to fellow fansubbers and my husband for helping out with this post!

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