I have been doing analyses on anime rating and popularity for over a year now, using information from various blogs and websites that are primarily English-based. This begs the question on whether they really captures what an average Japanese audience really finds popular or worth watching. This is when I managed to come across this website which gives data on viewership rating of animes, Sentai and Kamen shows from most Japanese networks, covering the last 11 years from 2000-2010. This is exactly the type of information that will let me find out once and for all the actual popularity of each anime series on TV in Japan. I have listed below the top 10 shows based on average daily rating over the last 11 years.
In this post, I will make extended mentions of the ‘rating’. According to the Video Research explanation of their numbers, these ratings refers to to average percentage of households in which any TV is on and tuned to a particular channel during a particular show. Numbers are based on meters installed in sample households. Meters register every minute, and the results are averaged over the length of a show. [EDIT: As kransom mentioned in the comment section, the Video Research data that I used for this analysis on comes from the Kanto region, which makes up about a third of the total Japanese population. It is a shame the data does not represent the whole of Japan as I originally thought but it should also give a good proxy for the whole country]