Best Anime Series 2010 – Seasonal viewpoint

In the comment posted by Taka on my previous post, he mentioned the inherent flaw of end-of-the-year poll/ranking that tend to disregard certain seasons more than others. This got me interested to go back to my data and find out if this is really the case. Did certain season get unfairly dismissed in 2010? Taka’s point of view is that year-end polls favour more recent shows in Fall and disregard shows in Winter which are much further back in time.

I used the ~80 anime series that are ranked, divided them into season and sum up the rank and average score (based on the methodology described in the previous post). There are only 4 series from Winter 2010-11 season that are being released in 2010 and none is listed in any of the polls/ranking unsurprisingly; so I will only concentrate on the 4 main seasons in 2010. Some comments:


Count Avg ranking Avg score STDEV score Max score Min score
Winter 2009-10 14 48 1.20% 1.84% 6.48% 0.05%
Spring 2010 19 34 1.51% 1.63% 6.58% 0.12%
Summer 2010 15 39 1.00% 0.79% 2.87% 0.17%
Fall 2010 19 34 1.28% 1.03% 3.37% 0.04%

1). Each season have relatively good representation. Winter and summer got slightly fewer samples but not by much.

2). Winter has worst average ranking but Summer last worst score. Overall conclusion is unclear on which is the worst season

3). It is when one looks at the standard deviation (the measure of dispersal in the sample) and min/max score that one should realize that mean average is an inappropriate way of analyzing this data. SD for Winter is much higher than the other three and max score is also way higher. This points to the conclusion that a few good shows may have skewed the mean average results. Thus, median average (the middle value in the range of data of each season) is a better analytical measure


Median rank Median score
Winter 2009-10 58 0.35%
Spring 2010 35 0.80%
Summer 2010 37 0.79%
Fall 2010 32 0.82%

4). Median rank and score clearly show now Winter to definitely be the worst season in term of anime series quality based on my ranking. It ranks on average 20 places higher than other seasons and has half as many people voting for it.

5). The mean averages for Winter were heavily skewed by Durarara!! and Katanagatari (#2 and #4 respectively). The season as a whole is very top-heavy. The next Winter show in the list is Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu (#13) and Nodame Cantabile: Finale (#27)

6). The other three seasons have very amazingly similar median averages for both rank and scores


Conclusion based on this is that, yes, my ranking and analysis suggest Winter show is heavily underappreciated or the quality of the show is just worse than the other season. However, Spring, Summer and Fall all are being given equal credits and there seem to be no special favour for Fall (though it does have the lowest median rank and higher median score, but only marginally so).

To substantiate or dispute the second claim, I went back and cross-check the results with Anime News Network data (the only information I have collected that is not based on year-end poll/ranking/ rating).

Total series ANN avg score Hit rate
Winter 2009-10 18 7.14 78%
Spring 2010 32 7.19 59%
Summer 2010 18 6.92 83%
Fall 2010 37 7.12 51%

It looks like when we look at the average score given on ANN, they are very close across all seasons. Summer has a notch lower than the other three but not by much. Based on this, I can conclude that  Winter is most likely underrated in the poll more so than other seasons.

As is consistent with the previous years, there are more series released in Spring and Fall than Summer and Winter. he interesting thing is that the ‘Hit Rate’ (number of shows rated in my ranking over number of shows overall) is also much lower for Spring and Fall. I guess one conclusion to that that I can think of is that for a given season, anime watchers can only go through only so many shows. Therefore, there are more shows in Spring and Fall that are not watched or being ignored. Winter and Fall got fewer shows so watchers are able to go through more of the shows in those shorter seasons.

Just for fun, top shows of each season are:

– Winter 2009-10: Durarara (#2); Katanagatari (#4); Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu (#15)

– Spring 2010: Angel Beats! (#1); K-ON!! (#3); The Tatami Galaxy (#8)

– Summer 2010: High School of the Dead (#9); Shiki (#11); Seitokai Yakuindomo (#18)

– Fall 2010: Panty & Stocking with GarterBelt (#5); Kuragehime (#6); Ore no Imouto ga Kanna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai (#7)

Any comments on any of this is welcomed! I don’t watch shows as soon as it comes out so the whole seasonal experience while watching anime is completely lost on me (I tend to register anime series by year and not at all season). What do you feel is the standard/worst season in 2010? Is Winter 2010 as inferior as a whole as my data suggests?

2 Comments on “Best Anime Series 2010 – Seasonal viewpoint”

  1. Taka says:

    I suppose it is debatable whether Winter just happens to be a poor season or whether there is an actual recency bias. A few years ago when Kannagi aired I remember reading a poll that was heavily skewed in it’s favor and the comments were to the effect of the recent airing of Kannagi was what skewed the results. It notably beat out big names Macross Frontier, Kaiba, Kure-nai. I can’t remember whether carry over shows were included on the poll like Clannad AS which began it’s run in Fall ’08 or Toradora that also began at the same time. That’s sort of my historical basis for my assumption. Scamp over at firmly believes that a Solstice Season (Winter,Summer) will be much worse than a Equinox Season (Spring,Fall) so much so that if a Solstice season has 3 anime he enjoys he considers it a success. I’m not sure what kind of evidence he has to back that statement up with though.

    I think Spring was probably my favorite season though Winter would be a close second. For one Tatami Galaxy was my favorite and then Giant Killing, Working, K-On!!, Arakawa, and B gata H Kei were all good. Summer would be my least favorite despite having my 2nd favorite show (Shiki) it also has one of my least favorite shows, Seitokai Yakuindomo. Yeah I finished it, but I watched it for Suzu and that is it. The whole show maybe made me laugh twice. I loathed it and I can’t believe the people who enjoyed it enough to put it in the top 10 Orz. My overall most hated show was Ookami Kakushi in winter though Cobra (probably the most underrepresented show of the year) which I loved also aired at the same time.

    Lastly, to answer your question in the previous post about other sites like ANN…debatably. Anime Planet has a pretty sizeable user base but all you get is an X/5 average rating and total #ranking. No breakdowns like MAL or ANN. Not a lot of precise or detailed info there just There is also which has maybe a slightly smaller userbase than ANN or MAL (don’t quote me on that I’m just going by number of ratings on shows I have no idea how their system works because I’m not a member of the site) but it gives you all the statistics you could drool over including gender/age demographics and per episode ratings. The problem is very few shows have the required number of user ratings for every episode to generate an average rating for an episode. If you look at Gurren Lagann’s entry you can see how it would look if all episodes of a show had a rating. The other thing you would have to do is learn how their temporary vs. permanent votes system works.

    P.S. The MAL numbers for Bakuman are ridiculous 18,000 people watching. 1000ish dropped or on hold. Star Driver and Index each have 10-13k watchers and the only 2 competitors from this season are Gosick and Yumekui Merry each with 10k watchers.

    • Yeah, the only control I have to decide whether Winter is that poor is the average score on a seasonal basis as per ANN, and it shows no such discrepancy. There is always a lot of personal preference in rating season, I am sure, but I find it funny that someone (Scamp like you said) can generalize it and extrapolate it to unforseen series in the future! One of the reason might be that there are fewer shows in the solstice season (half the number as of 2010) so statistically, it is less likely for someone to find as many good shows as in the equinox seasons. If there are half the number of shows that Scamp likes in solstice compared to summer, that should also be considered equal since the percentage of good shows over total would be the same:)

      I will have to check out MAL, AnimeDB and Anime Planet at some point for future analysis. sample size for less popular anime could become an issue though as I try to use it for the whole season or year of anime. That will take some time to compile so I won’t be able to use all of them in my analysis anytime soon… but thanks for the sources anyway. Gender/age breakdown will definitely make for some cool analysis!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s