It has been more than a decade since anime was invented. Since then, it has garnered a lot of attention from viewers of all countries. However, despite its seemingly growing fame, veteran fans quickly find themselves running out of anime to watch. Is it their subjective view? Or is anime really getting worse as time goes on?
To solve this question, we need statistics, not vague and subjective opinions from viewers. Below I have compiled data of anime ratings from the past 19 years, starting from the 2000 season till 2019.
Ok… Now looking at these graphs, evidently, the number of ‘good’ rating shows has increased over the year. From these graphs, we can certainly conclude that anime is not getting worse, but is actually improving…
But wait, there is a twist: What about the rest of the anime shows in general?
Wow, what a difference and shocking fact this is. It seems the ‘golden era’ of anime is between 2007-2012, in which anime take a major dip in quality in its following years. But wait? Doesn’t Figure 3 contradict the data from Figure 1 and Figure 2? What on earth is going on here??
To solve this mystery, let’s go and have a look at the number of anime produced per year.
P.S. (I have not included OVA/Movies/Specials and rather focused on the main SHOW instead)
So evidently, there are more anime being produced per year (on average). That is no surprise, considering the yearly budget and revenue of anime increasing year by year, even going so far as to gaining further popularity in the West.
Using data of number of anime produced yearly, we can incorporate 8+ rating anime against these numbers as percentages to furthermore analyze the in-depth ‘growth’ of anime over the past decades.
Ok… now that all the charts and graphs are in its place, we must ask ourselves: How are these data related to each other?
After the ‘golden era’ of anime, from 2007-2012 in which overall ratings are the highest, the overall quality of non-mainstream anime has gradually dropped. Sadly, though the number of ‘good’ rating anime shows has been increasing for the past few years, so are the ‘bad’ rating anime shows.
So is anime really getting worse?
The answer is not really, it is merely THE SAME!!!
The data from Figure 1, 2, and 3 is a major contradiction for both ends to the answer of whether anime is really getting worse. However, looking at Figure 4 and Figure 5, it is evident that anime is a rapidly growing industry, and more anime is being produce every year. When incorporating statistics of 8+ rated anime with the amount of anime produced per year, as in Figure 7, we can see the data trend remains unchanging: not fluctuating much.
Let’s cast statistics aside for now! More anime means there is a higher chance that one or more shows is bound to end up on either the upper or lower bound of the ranking. So in the end, it really is just a simple concept from the number games!
Even with simple number games, it is still difficult for anime to reach a high rating, and many anime ends up in the mediocre or simply ‘bad’ rating spectrum. This hurts the overall means of anime rating scores. Therefore, a degrading trend in anime is seen over the past few years.
The conclusion? There are more ‘good’ anime shows, but there are also more ‘mediocre’ and downright ‘bad’ anime shows. Therefore, which such a contradiction between the two rating spectrum, there is not enough data and statistical evidence to clearly state whether anime is both an improving or degrading medium.
However, anime is clearly growing in popularity both domestically and overseas, and what could be better news for anime fans??