The nominations are in for the Animusic Tourney being hosted by our own zzeroparticle! Over the last few weeks, anime fans have been nominating up to 15 of their favourite anime songs to compete in the tournament. Once it begins, these entries will be whittled down to the very best over several rounds of voting. Wh
ile we eagerly await the first round of competition, the nominations themselves provide a wealth of data that reveal some interesting tidbits about those who threw their favourite songs into the ring.
In all, 211 people put in 2751 nominations which resulted in 1189 songs getting a nod. 151 nominators (71.6%) chose to submit the maximum of 15 entries, and for some (like me) even that was not enough! Of the 1189 songs put forward, 797 (67%) received only a single nomination. Only 249 songs received three or more nominations and only 133 received at least 5 nods, so while our tastes are diverse (more than 650 different anime had songs nominated), a select group of songs drew most of the attention.
The top 100 songs received 1057 of the 2751 total nominations (38.4%) while the top 10 songs pulled in a combined 255 nominations (9.3%). This means that 8.4% of the songs got 38.4% of the nominations while the top 0.84% of the songs received
9.3% of nods.
But enough about nominations. Not all nominations are created equal. Top noms were worth a stunning 35 points while the bottom 5 a piddly 5 points each. Ranking matters. The song that got the second most nominations only placed 7th overall and the song that placed 2nd was 7th in nominations. In all, 40 931 points were allocated. The top 100 songs (8.4%) grabbed a whopping 42.8% of the points with the top 10 songs pulling in a collective 11.2% of points.
The average song may have received 34.4 points, but the median value of 17 points and mode of 5, demonstrates the top-heaviness of the graph.
So what can we learn about the top 10 songs that pulled in the most nominations and points? Almost all are from recent series with only two coming from before 2000. The average year for these top songs is 2007.2, showing a clear bias for new shows. In fact, 5 of the 10 are more recent than 2010. All 10 are from TV series rather than movies or OVAs. Six are opening themes and the other four are ending themes, meaning no insert songs cracked the top ten in points.
Top 10 Songs:
- Bakemonogatari – Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari – 663 points (2009)
- Cowboy Bebop – Tank! – 543 points (1998)
- Clannad After Story – Toki wo Kizamu Uta – 541 points (2007)
- Steins;Gate – Hacking to the Gate – 488 points (2011)
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica – Magia – 466 points (2011)
- Shinsekai Yori – Wareta Ringo – 414 points (2012)
- Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai – secret base ~Kimi ga Kureta Mono~ (10 years after ver.) – 397 points (2011)
- Neon Genesis Evangelion – A Cruel Angel’s Thesis – 377 points (1995)
- Angel Beats – My Soul, Your Beats – 354 points (2010)
- Spice and Wolf – Tabi no Tochuu – 344 points (2008)
It is possible, however, that these powerhouse songs are outliers. In identifying larger trends, a greater sample size is needed. The top 100 songs in terms of points may give a better picture of the tournament as a whole.
These top 100 songs represent 83 different anime, but the recency bias is still clearly present, even in the larger sample. The average year of these 83 anime is 2006.2 with the top 50 songs running an average year of 2007.0. Other than a few select tracks that are able to withstand the test of time, the more recent an anime is certainly helped its songs get more points. Of the 83 series that produced the top 100 songs, only 12 are from pre-2000 and only 4 from pre-1997. The overall standard deviation is just 6.43 years.
But the age of an anime is not the only factor in its songs being nominated. Popularity goes a long way as well. How many anime fans can say they don’t know Tank! or A Cruel Angel’s Thesis even though they are older than the other winners? To investigate the popularity of the anime that produced the top 100 songs, I headed over to MAL to gather some data on viewership (as an interesting side note, not one of the 83 series received a MAL score lower than 7 and the average was 8.19).
MAL is by no means a complete record of everyone who has seen a certain anime, but it gives a good sense of the relative popularity. Unlike the age results, the popularity results are less consistent, though they do show an overall trend of more popular shows having their songs ranked higher.
The average viewers who heard the top 100 songs was 76,899 and the average for the top 50 songs was 85,309. But while overall popularity did help, there were several less popular series that were able to launch highly ranked songs, demonstrating that the quality of the song itself trumps the popularity of the anime. Four anime with less than 10 000 views according to MAL got songs on this elite list and songs from some very popular series with over 200 000 viewers did not make the top 20 (Code Geass – Colors – 32, Fullmetal Alchemist – Brothers – 52, Elfen Lied – Lilium – 81).
Songs from anime with less than 10 000 views that made the top 100:
- Space Battleship Yamato – Uchuu Senkan Yamato
- Legend of Black Heaven – Cautionary Warning
- Turn A Gundam – Tsuki no Mayu
- Macross: Do you remember love – Ai Oboete Imasu ka
It’s interesting to note as well that the 12 series from pre-2000 that I mentioned before had a combined average of just 53 296 views with the lowest having only 2118 (Space Battleship Yamato, 1974).
A final factor to consider in the results is the identity of the 211 nominators
. Though anonymous, the tournament was promoted mostly through the aniblogging community rather than throughout the larger anime fandom. Anibloggers tend to focus as a collective on currently airing and newer anime, leading to the recency bias, but many also take the time to watch classic and less well-known anime. I believe the tourney benefited from a group of nominators with more diverse anime experience.
As the voting begins it will be interesting to see if the results match up with the nominations. Regardless of which song ends up winning, the tournament will surely make for some good listening. I know for myself, as a fan with an already large collection of anime music and sheet music, this can only be a good thing.
(Special thanks to zzeroparticle for providing the data and offering advice)