So this has been something that has been on my mind for a while recently so I thought it would make a good first post the question being what makes a series popular? I find that this is can be answered by considering a few main concepts: relatability, uniquity, and immersion.
To begin what exactly do I mean by relatability one might ask? I’m referring to how relatable a character is to oneself. For the sake of this post we will look at one of my favorite series The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (TMoHS) and another named Accel World (AW) and compare and contrast them. Kyon from TMoHS is rather snarky, sarcastic, and overall a bit on the lazy side. This character appeals to the mass in many ways since I like to believe most people have a bit of these character traits. Now in terms of AW Arita, Haruyuki is an overweight, weak, and overall submissive protagonist (in terms of his relationships towards his bullying peers). I think many people find difficulties relating to Haruyuki due to his nature and for that reason even though AW did relatively well it’s nowhere as popular as some other series especially TMoHS.
Next we will cover uniquity which is something I find both series excel at. TMoHS takes place in a world where the supernatural exists and a teenage girl is essentially god with the premise being “let sleeping gods lie”. I personally think this is an interesting concept and one that had not been explored much before which I find contributed to its overall success (regardless of Endless Eight…Haruhi have mercy on our souls). Meanwhile Accel World takes place in a futuristic version of Japan in which devices known as NeuroLinkers are commonplace and have the ability to grant its users true alternate reality and virtual reality support (which would be freaking awesome to have if I may add). Both of these series are rather unique which I find adds into their success.
Lastly I would like to cover the idea of immersion. In TMoHS through Kyon we are able to almost be there with Haruhi through her silly antics and react through how we would normally act. I find this to have greatly aided in the show’s popularity overtime. Now in terms of Haruyuki we are immersed into the world of the Burst Linker but some of our natural reactions would greatly differ from those of the main character and I find this to be a bit of a hit to the show.
Like I said before both series are favorites of mine and I would easily enjoy rewatching them multiple times as I already have. Feel free to leave a comment regarding your thoughts and any concerns you may have with my evaluations. Thanks, -Cas