Silly Google tricks: Evangelion's longevity

For talking about everything else Evangelion: from the various manga and video games to merchandising and video/audio releases.

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Silly Google tricks: Evangelion's longevity

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Postby gwern » Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:54 am

After seeing Mike Darwin's attempt at interpreting cryonics history and PR with respect to Google N-gram's charts, http://chronopause.com/index.php/2011/03/07/poisoning-the-well-measuring-the-cultural-penetration-of-cryonics-using-google-ngram-technology/ , I wonder what anime charts looked like. I tried to recall old series that were popular in English for comparison, and threw in Gundam and Sailor Moon as benchmarks. (Pokemon just squashed the chart flat, so I had to drop that.)

http://ngrams.googlelabs.com/graph?content=Kimagure%2CEvangelion%2CEscaflowne%2CGundam%2CSailor+Moon%2CIkkoku%2CUrusei+Yatsura&year_start=1980&year_end=2008&corpus=0&smoothing=0

Image

Noisy, yes, since it's dealing with a mostly (all?) English corpus and one that has anomalies others have pointed out.

But some of the spikes seem to have reasonable explanations. The 2003/2004 Eva spike would be for EoE's English releases and 2007 for Rebuild; the 1994 Gundam spike might be for G Gundam (timing seems to be wrong for Gundam Wing - which seems to have no associated spike?!). Another anomaly is a noticeable bump in Urusei Yatsura in 2006. I have no suggestion for that. I don't know anything about Sailor Moon, so I can't venture an explanation for the 2000 spike; no doubt a movie or something was released then. (quanticle suggests it was due to Cartoon Network picking up Sailor Moon for Toonami in 1998 and airing S and SuperS in 2000 as well*.)

Overall, interesting comparison. I bet people would not have expected Eva to be competitive with Sailor Moon or Gundam, which were so much more generally popular. Probably proof of academic interest in Eva - disproportionately covered or mentioned in published materials.

* https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Sailor_Moon_%28English_adaptations%29#Cartoon_Network

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Postby symbv » Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:07 am

So N-gram also searches internet contents as well? I had thought that it is only about published books.
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Postby gwern » Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:11 am

No, just books. The graph would look pretty different if it involved the Internet.

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Postby symbv » Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:46 am

I would be interested to see the trends that include mentions in internet contents...
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Postby Defectron » Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:41 pm

Another anomaly is a noticeable bump in Urusei Yatsura in 2006


I believe it was around this time animeigo re-released the series on dvd. Of course now it's out of print again :asuka_sad:
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Postby gwern » Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:14 pm

View Original Postsymbv wrote:I would be interested to see the trends that include mentions in internet contents...


Well, if *that's* all you care about, just play around with their old Trends tool: https://www.google.com/trends

Books are more interesting to me than general Internet traffic. Books last (and are much more useful on Wikipedia).

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Postby symbv » Fri Jul 15, 2011 7:49 pm

View Original Postgwern wrote:Well, if *that's* all you care about, just play around with their old Trends tool: https://www.google.com/trends


Thanks for the reminder. I forgot the url. Unfortunately it seems to only go back to 2004?

Have just tried it with "Evangelion" and found that it has trended continuously downwards since 2004 except for two small blips in 2009 and 2010.
https://www.google.com/trends?q=evangelion&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all

View Original Postgwern wrote:Books are more interesting to me than general Internet traffic. Books last (and are much more useful on Wikipedia).


But the sample of books mentioning specific anime titles must have been very small back in 20-30 years ago, right? I can see the trend to be meaningful for trends in the last 10-15 years though.
I never thought I would come back to Evangelion after EoE,
But I discovered Re-Take (or it found me?) and
now here I am.
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Postby gwern » Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:32 pm

View Original Postsymbv wrote:
Have just tried it with "Evangelion" and found that it has trended continuously downwards since 2004 except for two small blips in 2009 and 2010.
https://www.google.com/trends?q=evangelion&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all


That's to be expected. Remember that it is showing percentage changes in the number of searches, but the number of searches on any topic keeps going up and up - the Web keeps expanding and other languages where anime and Eva are not big things keep growing and getting counted. For Eva to represent a constant percentage of global Google searches would mean it is quickly increasing in popularity among anime fans! As more anime come out, it's natural for older anime to get diluted.

If you don't believe, graph Evangelion against other series like Sailor Moon or Gundam (a similar slow decline). Other interesting series to graph against: Fruits Basket, Naruto, Bleach.

But the sample of books mentioning specific anime titles must have been very small back in 20-30 years ago, right? I can see the trend to be meaningful for trends in the last 10-15 years though.


Small perhaps, but books are published pretty steadily. The total of books may not be all that small. (For example, when I search the keywords 'anime manga' in Google Books from 1970-1980 - surely an obscure period for anime/manga - I still get 43 hits of varying quality in varying non-Japanese languages.) I'm not sure how broad the N-gram database is. I have come across old magazines and locked anime/manga magazine issues inside Google Books; and what Google Books has, N-gram may have.

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Postby Hyper Shinchan » Sat Jul 16, 2011 5:25 am

Regarding the trend graphs, I've compared Evangelion and エヴァンゲリオン, "エヴァンゲリオン" touched really high peaks around 2007 and 2009 (release of Rebuild 1.0 and 2.0 respectively) while "Evangelion" bursts as well during those periods but in a minor way. It's also quite interesting that the word "Evangelion" is more popular in Spanish speaking countries, Philippine and Italy than in English speaking countries.
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Postby symbv » Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:11 am

^ This is some insight.

I've just tried comparing ヱヴァンゲリヲン and エヴァンゲリオン and found the blips coincided but エヴァンゲリオン was still much more popular after NME came out in 2007 and used the new name :)
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Postby Hyper Shinchan » Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:37 am

^I did that comparison as well but I didn't mention it in the end, I thought it was a little obvious, but actually I was wondering one thing: can you easily write those weird kana (especially "ヱ") using standard IME? I know almost nothing about it so I was wondering if Japanese fans simply don't use the new name because they're used to the old one or if it's because inserting those kana could be tedious.
So let’s make a wish.
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From the book “All About Nagisa Kaworu: A Child of Evangelion”.

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Postby symbv » Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:51 am

I could type "ヱ" from the option of available substitution when I typed "E" in Japanese text input. Perhaps there is an easier way to input that
I never thought I would come back to Evangelion after EoE,
But I discovered Re-Take (or it found me?) and
now here I am.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Asuka FAN FOREVER
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Postby Hyper Shinchan » Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:58 am

^Thank you for the info, then I guess that most fans are simply used to the old name or they prefer it over the new one.
So let’s make a wish.
“Please let me redo again.”
No matter how many times

From the book “All About Nagisa Kaworu: A Child of Evangelion”.

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Postby JoeD80 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:23 pm

I type in "wye" on my Mac to get ヱ.


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