Dragon Ball Super's final story arc has been a major game-changer not only for the franchise, but for the anime genre as a whole. The Tournament of Power battle for universal survival was as a gripping, edge-of-your-seat thrill ride, marked by some big, headlining-grabbing milestones like Goku's complete Ultra Instinct transformation, or the Saiyan hero teaming up with nemesis Freeza to finally defeat Jiren. And it is no exaggeration to say, the whole world was watching.
But where in the world is Dragon Ball Super's popularity the strongest? Well, a little Google Trends search has revealed that answer - and the numbers don't fall at all where you might expect they would!
First of all, Japan and America - two countries you would think be top spot-holders - don't turn out to be very high on the list, at all. Japan and the US actually come in at a numbers forty and forty-one in terms of Dragon Ball Super popularity, which is something few fans would probably guess. Check out the actual top 10 regions of DBS popularity, listed below:
- El Salvador
If you can't tell the major connective thread between the Top 10 placeholders, it's that 9 out of 10 of them are South American countries - the exception between Réunion, which is a French island region off the southeastern coast of Africa.
Setting Réunion aside, it makes sense that South America is dominating in terms of Dragon Ball fandom; when Super's penultimate episode (130) aired, we reported on the fact that live-stream parties held in places like Mexico, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina and other South American countries drew tens of thousands of fans - if not more! See for yourself:
Photos #DragonBallSuper Episode 130 public live streams hosted by governments across Latin America:— ?Oppai Senpai? (@MrOppaiSenpai) March 18, 2018
Santiago, Veracruz, Machala (Ecuador) & San Miguel (El Salvador). More photos from Mexico at City of Juárez, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí... And dozens more, possibly hundreds more pic.twitter.com/gOFUPMLElZ
The level of fandom that South America proudly displayed just serves as further evidence that Dragon Ball has grown into a mainstream breakthrough hit on a global scale - which is probably a big reason why Toei Animation has built an entire creative division around the franchise. It also demonstrates that this new generation of entertainment consumers is all-too savvy about how to consume anime, with live-streaming services like Crunchyroll steadily becoming the norm. Streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu have all taken notice, and are now building massive new anime divisions, with bigger simulcast streaming offers for popular series like My Hero Academia (which returns this week).
In the meantime, Dragon Ball Super will continue with a movie that arrives in December, with plans for the next anime series expected to be revealed, as well. If fans really need a fix, the Dragon Ball Super Dub series is also in a pretty exciting place, right now.
Stay tuned for more Dragon Ball info as we get it.