What is your best product of 2017?
3rd: Detective Conan, 2nd: One Piece, and 1st is…

Out of the manga, anime, movies, TV shows, games, and other entertainment you saw in 2017, which one did you like the most?
Every year in December, Fields Research Institute conducts the leisure survey Fields Yoka Survey (*1) (FYS), and we also compile the “Your best product of 2017” ranking. In this article I’ll show you the results of this survey.

■Look Back at the 2016 Ranking

Before getting into the 2017 ranking, let’s have a quick look back at 2016’s ranking. The 2016 “Your best product” ranking is as follows.

2016 was a year blessed with a lot of hits. A lot of people have probably seen hit films like “Your Name”, “The Full-Time Wife Escapist”, and “Shin Godzilla”.
In the last FYS survey, we saw that the 1st place film “Your Name”, was widely viewed by both men and women alike, and over 30% of high school students had seen it. In addition, 75% of respondents who saw the film said either ”I liked it” or “I really liked it,” so it was easy to see why it had the largest number of people who placed it as the Best content of the year.
2nd place, “The Full-Time Wife Escapist”, featured Yui Aragaki’s performance as the cunning but cute Mikuri, while also tackling social issues like women’s social advancement and the value of work done by housewives, so had a wide base of support from women, ranging from high school girls to women in their 50s.

■Ranking of “Your best product of 2017”

We’ll go through the 2017 top 10, along with reviews by people who picked each film as their best.
*The 2016 ranking was split into sections for each different kind of media (comics, anime, TV, film, etc.), but the 2017 ranking is an overall ranking encompassing all forms of media.
*Our statistics are based on preliminary figures, so they may differ from the final result.

[No. 10: Shin Godzilla]
This film, which was released in July 2016 and also came in at 6th place in that year’s ranking, revolutionized the worldview of the series, which was formerly targeted at children. By increasing realism with the slogan ”Reality (Japan) VS Fiction (Godzilla),” and making a film that could be enjoyed by adults as well, they gained a lot of support from men in their 50s, who were fans of the original Godzilla growing up. The fact that it was released on Blu-ray in March 2017, and broadcast to TV in November, gave more people the chance to see it, and probably contributed to its position in the ranking.
<Picker’s comment>
It was surprisingly moving. I’ve seen all the Japanese Godzilla films, but in my opinion, this one was the best. The sins committed by people gave birth to that monster, and destroyed the world they live in…. I truly felt that this film was a warning to humanity. With issues like nuclear power heating up, I felt that this film was an alarm bell for the people who’ve forgotten about events like the Great East Japan Earthquake. (60–69, female)

[No. 9: Doraemon]
A famous Japanese classic. In March, the film “Doraemon: Great Adventure in the Arctic Kachi Kochi” was released, and made the ranking with massive support from boys in early primary school.
<Picker’s comment>
I think this anime teaches basic morals. Even characters who are usually mean still seem human, and make you cry at the end. I also think the character of Doraemon is one filled with dreams. (Middle school, female)

[No. 8: Dragon Ball]
Especially popular was the anime Dragon Ball Super, which also came in at No. 9 on the 2016 list. Akira Toriyama, author of the original manga, drafted the script, and it tells the story after the final battle with Majin Buu, so in addition to its popularity with school students, it also has a lot of support from the men in their 30s and 40s who were fans of the original.
<Picker’s comment>
Ultra Instinct, a new ability even more powerful than Super Saiyan Blue, suddenly appeared, and raised my expectations for the future of this series. (50–59, male)

[No. 7: The Full-Time Wife Escapist]
2016’s No. 2, The Full-Time Wife Escapist, has made the list again in 2017.
<Picker’s comment>
After getting married, I was always annoyed. But I didn’t know what I was annoyed about. I worked part-time, and my husband worked overtime every night, so I thought it was natural that I take care of the housework, child rearing, and other jobs around the house. It was then that I saw The Full-Time Wife Escapist, and I realized that I was unhappy with always doing housework for no pay. I was busy from the moment I got up, and even though I was working so hard I never got any reward, so I wanted to just stop, but that would be bad for my family. I’d always thought like that, but I finally realized what was causing my dissatisfaction, so I’m very grateful to this show. (40–49, female)

[No. 6: Rikuoh]
A TV show that started airing in October 2017, based on the novel by Jun Ikeido. The story follows Koichi Miyazawa, president of an old shoe company, as he attempts to keep his company alive by developing running shoes that feel just like bare feet, and the various challenges he faces. From the same author who created the original story behind TV shows Hanzawa Naoki, Roosevelt Game, and Shitamachi Rocket, it has a wide following from people in their 40s to 60s.
<Picker’s comment>
The protagonist’s way of thinking and the story of triumph over a difficult situation were cliched, but they felt very Japanese, and I enjoyed it. The marathon scenes felt real and impressive, and it was well cast. I think this show had a hand in Saitama’s revitalization, and it’s the kind of show where you’ll want to support the hero, even if you already know how it’s going to end. (60–69, female)

[No. 5: Doctor-X]
This TV series stars Ryōko Yonekura as the genius freelance doctor Michiko Daimon, who uses her overwhelming skill to cut through the underbelly of the medical world. The 5th season aired in 2017. It has a large following with 50–70 year olds, and is like a modern historical drama.
<Picker’s comment>
Through the lifestyle of Michiko Daimon, who performs magnificent operations just like Black Jack while working as a freelancer, the show demonstrates the absolute skill lacking in today’s medical world. In particular, I enjoyed lines like “I never fail,” and “I won’t do it.” (60–69, female)

[No. 4: Konodori]
Based on the manga by Yuu Suzunoki, the first season of this TV show was aired in 2015, and the second in October 2017. Centered around obstetrician and gynecologist Sakura Kōnotori, played by Gō Ayano, it is a human drama that follows various conflicts related to childbirth and the importance of life. Despite the fact that it was based on a manga serialized in a seinen magazine, it has a large following with mothers mainly in their 20s and 30s.
<Picker’s comment>
I read a bit of the Kōnodori manga and cried my eyes out, and I’ve seen both seasons of the show, which also made me cry. The difficulty of pregnancy and childbirth, and the preciousness of life, are both treated delicately, but also as real issues. I may find it easier to relate to because I’ve experienced giving birth myself, but my husband, who (it seems to me) doesn’t take the struggles of pregnancy and childbirth seriously, refuses to see it no matter how much I recommend it…. It’s frustrating since there are some things, like the rubella vaccine, that I’d like men to understand as well. I think that the younger generation, who will become pregnant and give birth in the future, should also watch it. My daughter is only two and a half years old, but I want to show this series to her when she’s older. (30–39, female)

[No. 3: Detective Conan]
You’re all probably familiar with the franchise based on Gosho Aoyama’s manga. The original manga started in 1994, and the anime in 1997, and they’re both still going. In April 2017, the anime film Detective Conan: Crimson Love Letter was released, and in August, the anime’s 1000th episode aired, which gathered significant attention. The series is popular with late primary school/middle school students, but since it’s been going for over 20 years, it also has a following with 40–70 year old women.
<Picker’s comment>
I’m a Conan fan, so I see the movies every year, but this year’s depiction of the autumn leaves in Kyoto was beautiful, and the lyrics/music of the theme song were a perfect match for the film, so I really liked it. The content of the film was a good balance between mystery and romantic comedy, and was very enjoyable. (40–49, female)

[No. 2: One Piece]
The franchise based on Eiichiro Oda’s manga is another familiar sight. While the comics and anime films are also popular, there were a lot of people who listed the special anime episode 『ONE PIECE Episode of East Blue: Luffy and His Four Crewmates’ Great Adventure』, on-aired in a premium time slot on Saturday in August last year, as their No. 1 pick.
<Picker’s comment>
Ever since the manga I loved got animated, I’ve been mainly enjoying it through the anime. Luffy and His Four Crewmates’ Great Adventure was a story filled with a lot of the things I wanted to see, so I was moved by it. (30–39, female)

[No. 1: Your Name]
And 1st place in “Your No. 1 Ranking 2017” goes to Your Name, for the second year in a row. The Blu-ray was released in July, generating even more interest towards the movie.
<Picker’s comment>
I thought it was for children, but I had the chance to watch it on a plane, and it was a very well-made film that adults could enjoy as well. The multidimensional aspect of the story gave it a mysterious feeling, but I was moved by the characters’ conviction, single-mindedness, and quiet passion. I also liked how the movie felt just as natural as a live-action film (40–49, female)

Overall, it looks like there just weren’t enough new hits to have a large impact on 2017’s ranking.
The popularity of 2016 hits such as Your Name and relative lack of new hits in 2017 contributed to the appearance of a lot of long-running series in the list, and the conservative thinking of consumers who think things like “Everyone says it’s good, so I should watch it too,” and “I don’t want to fail,” also probably contributed to this.

Conversely, what did you think of the franchises that did have new developments in 2017? Did you have any favorites? My personal 2017 list looked something like this.
No.25: Dragon Quest XI – The 11th installment in Japan’s well-known Dragon Quest series of role-playing games.
No.29 (Tie): La La Land – Tying the record for most Academy Award nominations with 14, it won 6 Oscars.
No.42 (Tie): Fate series – The mobile game FGO was high on the app ranking, and in October the anime film “Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel – I. Presage Flower” was released.
No.48 (Tie): Kemono Friends – The anime adaptation began airing in January, and it had a large impact mainly on the internet and Twitter.

I look forward to seeing what new products 2018 will bring.

■Recommended Articles

・Over 30% of high school students watched the anime movie “Your Name”
・Is Godzilla a remake or reimagining? Potentials of “Reimagining” – the term garnering attention among Westerns

(Article by: Ota)

Fields Research Institute (FRI) conducts research in entertainment.
This article was written by a member of FRI, through the original coverage of his/her interests observed in their daily lives.

(※1)Fields Yoka Survey 2018
A web survey carried out in December 2017 which surveyed 11,642 people across the nation from elementary school age to 69 years of age. It queried their behaviors in relation to and their sense of values regarding free time.

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