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If you’re a fan of anime, there’s probably at least one movie or TV series that you love enough to defend in heated Twitter or Tumblr battles with people who just don’t seem to get what all the fuss is about. But if it’s kindred spirits you were searching for when you went online in the first place, look no further than your own state.
In Japanese itself, the word “anime” just refers to any kind of animation. Outside of Japan, particularly in English-speaking countries, the word anime is used to refer to animated cartoons that are either from Japan or that are significantly influenced by Japanese styles of animation. For example, Avatar: The Last Airbender is an American television show that is often referred to as both a cartoon show and as an anime since it has significant anime influences in terms of its art style and overall tone.
Despite being largely the output of Japanese-based artists and animation studios, anime has an enormous following in Western countries, particularly the United States. There’s just something about watching a glowing man charge up a single energy blast for eight episodes that makes anime one of the most perfect kinds of narrative escapes you can find.
But have you ever wondered if the states themselves had any particular anime preferences?
We certainly did. So we put together a map of some of the jobs that people search for more than any other, separated by each state.
Neon Genesis Evangelion is remarkably popular all along the West Coast, for example. People in Virginia search for Full Metal Alchemist, which makes sense given the fact that alchemy is still a required class in some VA public schools.
Meanwhile, the Square States and the Southern coast have a bit more diversity in their tastes. Coloradoans are searching for Black Bullet, Nebraska for Nisekoi, and Louisianans search for the surprisingly sartorial Kill la Kill.
But most of all, people are searching for Naruto, with the eponymous teenage ninja’s spiky yellow hair popping up everywhere from Texas to Kentucky to even as far west as Arizona. We’ve helpfully separated our map above between Naruto and Non-Naruto affiliated states, in case you were planning a trip anytime soon and were looking for places to skip.
Google offers a tool called Google Trends that lets you input a search term and see how popular that term is relative to other places.
For example, search for Naruto and click on the map of the US to see that Texas searches for that term more than any other state.
So all we had to do was put a little over a hundred search queries into Google Trends to find which anime were searched more in, say, Texas than any other state. We used the last five years as the parameters for our search and, like magic, the map above was born. In addition to serial television programs, we also included some of the most popular anime movies, such as Studio Ghibli films like “Spirited Away.”
We’ve listed the winner for each state below, along with a few other options that we didn’t go with. As we mentioned, Naruto was overwhelmingly the winner of almost every state, with Full Metal Alchemist and Dragon Ball Z pulling in at a close second and third, respectively. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few surprises found below.
Check it out:
Many of the anime on this list are relatively well-known, but a few are a little bit obscure. Here’s a short primer for some of the more notable items:
Set largely in Japan, but also partly in America, Yuri on Ice is an anime about the personal and professional lives of a group of Olympic figure skaters. Much of the talk about the show has been over its depiction of homosexuality and gay identities in Japan in terms of the main character’s relationship with another male figure skater, with critics coming down on both sides as to whether the depiction was well-delivered.
In a fictional high school where school uniforms give students supernatural abilities, the main character uses her scissor-shaped longsword to cut through and destroy the uniforms of her fellow students in a search of her father’s killer. Kill la Kill is delightfully strange, although somewhat incoherent at times — although it wouldn’t be anime if that weren’t the case.
Another high school drama, Nisekoi is a romantic comedy about the teenaged son of a Yakuza leader and his Romeo/Juliet romance with the daughter of a rival gang leader. Complicating the situation is that their parents actually want them to be together — it’s the kids who can’t stand each other. There’s an extra love triangle thrown into the mix too, because again, this is anime.
Also known by its English title “Your Name,” Kimi no Na wa is an animated film about a high school girl living in the country who dreams of being a boy in the city. She later learns that these aren’t dreams — she’s actually intermittently switching bodies with a real boy, and that same boy switches bodies with her. Needless to say, shenanigans ensue.
Nanatsu no Taizai is called “The Seven Deadly Sins” in the States, and its action-packed depiction of a team of medieval knights fighting against an ongoing coup d’etat makes for an exciting series. A second season is already in the works, with the first currently streaming on Netflix.
That’s all for this one, but there’s more to see here at Zippia.
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