Variety Intelligence Platform did a report on the most pirated TV shows in America, and discovered that five of the top 10 are anime titles. All the anime titles in question are licensed in America, currently streaming, and easy to access legally.
HBO’s House of the Dragon, a prequel to Game of Thrones, was pirated more than any other show in 2022. Second place went to the anime Chainsaw Man, which premiered back in October. (When you just look at the fourth quarter of 2022, Chainsaw Man was the most pirated show in America.) The next three places go to Running Man, Rick and Morty (specifically season six) and Moon Knight.
Then, in sixth place, we’re back to anime. Variety Intelligence Platform listed this spot as season one of Bleach, though they probably mean season one of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War.
Seventh and eighth place went to The Eminence in Shadow and The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Finishing off the list in ninth and tenth place are two more anime: SPY X FAMILY and The Rising of The Shield Hero (specifically season two).
Variety Intelligence Platform noted that the most popular original streaming series in 2022 — Stranger Things, Ozark, Wednesday, Cobra Kai and Bridgerton, in that order — did not rank on the piracy list. It also noted that Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, which has performed below expectations, is nevertheless one of the shows most pirated.
The report wondered if the high number of anime being pirated is because people who used to pirate when anime was largely unavailable are continuing to do so, even though all of these titles are available in America.
This is part of a larger problem—in America, Japan and around the globe—of anime being pirated.
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.