Before 2016 officially ends and anime fans bid goodbye to the series they enjoyed the most this year, American video streaming website Crunchyroll published its list for the “most popular anime of 2016.” Without looking at the results, many would assume that smash hit “Yuri on Ice” would take the top spot easily. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. 

While Crunchyroll indicated in its list that the data collected and presented were for each country, it did recognize which anime series emerged as the most-watched in major markets. Based on the data, the role-playing game-esque series “Re:Zero — Starting Life in Another World” captured the most audience in Japan, North and South America and Europe. The fantasy adventure of modern-day hero Subaru has gotten a lot of attention and following throughout the airing of its 26 episodes from April to September. 

On the other hand, “Yuri on Ice” placed second with its most passionate fans located in Africa. The sports-themed anime surprised everyone this year, and it even made such loud noise on social media such that its presence was difficult to miss. Nevertheless, Polygon points out that its strong social media presence did not outdo “Re:Zero” for the latter already had a hit manga and several novels. The anime adaptation was something its established following had been anticipating prior its release early this year.

 

Speaking on why “Yuri on Ice” failed to emerge victorious this year, a Crunchyroll rep said that this is basically a timing issue because “Yuri on Ice” came out a little later this year. The skating series only started airing in September, which is six months after “Re:Zero” premiered. Despite the gap, "Yuri on Ice” managed to garner a lot of viewers in places like Hong Kong, Poland, Botswana and many more. 

“We see the larger obsession with [‘Yuri on Ice’] as an example of anime’s continued infiltration into mainstream culture ... it’s another example of people who haven’t been traditional fans of anime getting excited about the content,” the Crunchyroll rep explained. “At its core, ‘Yuri on Ice’ is an amazing show that speaks to its audience in an honest way about complicated issues like depression and anxiety and that has helped support its huge fan base.”

Other anime series that proved to be popular this 2016 are “Twin Star Exorcists,” “Mob Psycho 100,” “ReLIFE,” “Noblesse: Awakening,” “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure — Diamond is Unbreakable,” “Terra Formars Revenge” and “AOKANA.”