2023 has been one of the biggest years for One Piece. The iconic manga and anime series saw a resurgence in popularity thanks to some major plot advancements over the course of the year. The Gear 5 reveal in the anime generated a lot of buzz on social media, and the manga also began its transition into the final saga, marking a huge step towards resolving a lot of story threads that were launched decades ago. To top it all off, One Piece also has a successful live-action adaptation that was released on Netflix. There’s no doubt that this is an amazing year to be a One Piece fan.
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On the grander scale of entertainment, there are also reports that suggest One Piece’s popularity has surpassed titan franchises like DC and Harry Potter. This sounds a bit perplexing at first, but if you take a closer look at the Fandom Factor Score by Fandom.com, you’ll find that experts in pop culture have figured out a brilliant way to determine the most relevant franchises of the year. The score is a weighted data calculation against five criteria determined by Fandom.com. These include Worldbuilding, high ratings, fanbase engagement, cultural relevance, and consistency. There’s a lot of interesting data to unpack, so let’s take a closer look.
For one, Star Wars sits at the top spot with a score of 100. While the franchise has struggled with establishing the next big step after Rey Skywalker, Star Wars still has plenty of stories to tell among its colourful characters. This year, the Disney+ hit series Ahsoka has kept things interesting.
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The next franchise is also partially owned by Disney, and for the longest time, it would have sat at the top of this list. Marvel may have fallen off a bit with phase four, but they are still capable of delivering some heavy hitters, especially this year with films like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. Their performance this year earned them a rating of 87 from Fandom.
For the third place on this list, One Piece has taken a huge step forward with a score of 72. As a result, this puts it higher than Harry Potter with a score of 69, and DC with a score of 52. Interestingly enough, Barbie and Yellowstone are rated 66 and 64 according to the Franchise Factor Score. This implies that the score may be heavily biased towards American audiences. Internationally, Yellowstone is likely to sit at a much lower spot. Still, it’s quite interesting that One Piece managed to find itself among America’s biggest franchises of the year.
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Part of the charm that comes with One Piece involves how the brand is structured. Pretty much everything goes through its creator, Eiichiro Oda. With this tight continuity, there’s a very consistent experience regardless of where you first encounter the franchise. Even with the anime movies, you’ll find that nothing ever feels out of place compared to the canon One Piece experience. With Season 2 confirmed for One Piece’s live-action, there’s even more to show new fans.
What do you think, is One Piece now bigger than DC & Harry Potter?