The Most Popular Anime Series Of 2021, With Receipts! - Comic Years
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The Most Popular Anime Series Of 2021, With Receipts!

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BY April 25, 2022

There are a lot of new anime premiering in 2022. But before we break those down, it’s time to take a look back at the most popular anime series of the past year. There were a lot of new anime that came out last year, like Star Wars: Visions or Jujutsu Kaisen. While other 2021 anime shows were continuations or revivals of classic or existing anime like Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba season 2. But a new compilation of data shows an unexpected trend of what all of America considers the best anime series of 2021 based on each state’s search history. That’s right! Anime fans get their browser history analyzed by a data firm. CenturyLink. And they break down which anime is most popular in which state of the country.

So let’s take a look at the most popular anime series of 2021. At least, in the order of how many states searched for them the most often.

One Piece Is (Numerically) The Most Popular Anime Series Of 2021

Map Image via CenturyLink

Premiering in 1999, One Piece is an anime series about a pirate boy with a rubber body searching for a treasure to become the Pirate King. The show is still on the air with over 1,000 episodes broadcast thus far and counting. It’s one of the most popular anime series of all time. So much so that Netflix is even working on a live-action adaptation.

In an analysis done by CenturyLink, One Piece was the most searched anime in 2021 in the United States. And it’s basically a pretty landslide victory if you want to look at it in that way. 25 of the 50 American states searched for One Piece the most, out of any other anime. This could be due to the series still airing or its new live-action adaptation drawing closer to release. Regardless, One Piece is clearly one of the 2021 anime shows that is on the mind of most Americans.

Other 2021 Anime Shows Were A Close Second

Most poplar anime series Naruto. Image via Crunchyroll

After One Piece, the three other 2021 anime shows that came in second were Pokemon, Naruto and My Hero Academia. Having Pokemon on the list makes sense, given that it is one of those gateway anime series that popularized the medium in the West. The story is of kids capturing wild creatures with powers and then battling other youth. The anime is now a multi-media franchise of video games, movies, tv shows and oh-so-many kinds of merchandise. Eight states searched the most for Pokemon over other anime series of 2021.

Naruto is just as popular, previously the 3rd-most watched anime in the USA in 2020, and tops many ‘Best Anime Series’ lists. Naruto is so embedded in pop culture that Michael B. Jordan and Coach even created a clothing line featuring the anime. Naruto appeared in the search history of 6 American states. This is interesting given that the original anime series ended in 2014. It’s the same case with Death Note, the story of a boy with a journal that kills anyone whose name is written in it. The original anime ended in 2007, but it’s still one of the most popular anime series with 3 states searching for it.

Rounding out the second place is a newer anime series of 2021, My Hero Academia. While a new movie did release in 2021, the 5th season will premiere in 2022. The story of a powerless boy in a world full of superheroes attending a hero training school captured the audience’s hearts worldwide. So it makes sense that it’s the most popular anime in 5 states of America. There is definitely a pattern to the searches as most of them are about  new, current or returning anime.

The Lesser Anime Series Of 2021 Are Surprising

Most poplar anime series 2021 Attack On Titan. . Image via MAPPA.

Despite this pattern, the anime at the bottom of CenturyLink’s data of the most popular anime series is pretty surprising. The classic Sailor Moon, the brand new Jujutsu Kaisen and the critically acclaimed Attack On Titan all each have 1 state searching for them. Sailor Moon being on the lower part of the list makes sense, given that it’s one of those older anime shows that popularized anime outside of Japan.

However, the other two are a bit more surprising. Jujutsu Kaisen is a brand new 2021 anime show that did pretty well among audiences and critics. The story of a young boy joining a secret society of Sorcerers became one of the more popular anime shows of the year. And Attack On Titan is one of the most highly anticipated shows of this year. The final part of season 4 is currently airing. The hit anime holds a 96% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes as an average across its 4 seasons. So for both those shows to only have 1 state to their name is a little surprising.

With a brand new slate of anime releasing for the 2022 season, we’ll have to see if this data changes this year. Until then, we have a whole lot of new anime series to look forward to.

Let us know which of these most popular anime series you contributed the search to in the comments below.

Featured image via Toei Animation.

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Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.

          

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