Regarding Oricon Rankings and What You May Want to Know

Introduction

Hi guys! Erzat here. First of all, allow me to thank all of you for visiting this really small blog of mine. I hope the information you find here can help you out in all sorts of ways. As usual, I appreciate any feedback regarding the site. If there is anything that I can do to make it better, do let me know.

Now, let us put the above out of the way and talk about Oricon for a little. As you may be aware, I have been putting up posts pertaining to sales ranking through my site since last year with the first post being on July the 14th, 2019. Ever since then, I have been posting charts on a weekly basis without fail. I am quite surprised by this. There is a reason for this. For some months prior to my first post, I have noticed that a number of sites such as MyAnimeList (MAL), AnimeNewsNetwork (ANN) and someanithing have all suddenly either completely stopped posting sales ranking or slowed down. In particular the first two. However, someanithing is still updating sales information every once in awhile. MAL, I have not seen them posting any for a long time now. ANN on the other hand, would occasionally post sales news in their usual news articles, but not like the one we used to see.

Sales ranking is quite hard to come by, especially when they are all in Japanese. I like Oricon and their site. I can read a little Japanese so navigating through their site is not much of a problem, but to many others, this could be quite a challenge. I recalled the time when my Japanese was so bad, I even struggled at Hiragana. At the time I felt hopeless and finding information was really hard. I was glad that someanithing, MAL and ANN were posting all sorts of news, especially with regards to sales ranking. Hence, thinking that I could be of somewhat of a use to the community, I thought perhaps I could do the same. MAL, someanithing and ANN had their reasons for no longer being able to post charts like they used to, which I will be discussing later.

Methodology

When it comes to the sales chart you find here in the blog, I can assure you that the data is 100% from Oricon. How do I get the data? Refer below for the step-by-step:


1. Go to Oricon’s official website here:

Oricon (1)

Click on the item listed in the yellow box: ランキング (Reads ‘Ranking’)

2. Then you will reach here:

Oricon (2)

This is the front page of Oricon’s main ranking page.

3. When you are in the ranking’s front page, look over to your right and you shall see a list of items. From there, scroll down a little and you should see a TV icon:

Oricon (3)From here, you shall then see a list of items such as DVD, Music DVD and such, please refer below:

Oricon (4)

From the top it reads:

DVD
Music DVD
Film DVD
Anime DVD
Blu-ray
Music Blu-ray
Film Blu-ray
Anime Blu-ray
Music DVD and Blu-ray
Theatre Film

4. Here, click on DVD or Anime as shown in the yellow boxes and you shall see this:

Oricon (5)

Top reads ‘Daily’ while the bottom reads ‘Weekly’.

Oricon (6)

The item inside the yellow box reads ‘Weekly’.

5. Now, once you are here, click on the item. Since I report the weekly chart, you can try that one out. Click on the weekly chart for both Anime DVD and Blu-ray (opening new tabs would be better). You will then find the followings:

Oricon (7)

The front page of the Anime DVD ranking.

Oricon (8)

The front page of the Anime Blu-ray ranking.

Now you noticed the yellow boxes right? To find specific rankings for certain years or months can be done here. If you click for instance the arrow pointing downwards, you will see something that says:

2020年
2019年

Which means year, in the middle would be the month (月) and the last would be the week (週目). You can click which you want to view, then click on the blue button that says ‘検索’ which reads ‘retrieve’. Okay, once you are here, everything is great! But, do you notice something? The estimated sales are not there! There is a way to obtain them. Now, let us have a look at the next step:

6. To obtain the estimated number of sales you will have to go to different pages for Anime DVD and Blu-ray. In this case you will have to visit the ranking pages where all of the DVD and Blu-ray regardless of genres are displayed. They can be found here (DVD) and here (Blu-ray):

Oricon (9)

DVD Ranking’s front page.

Oricon (10)

Blu-ray’s ranking front page.

If you look at the yellow box beneath Promare you will see ‘推定売上枚数’ which reads ‘Estimated number of sales‘. This is the piece of information that we want. There is a problem though, the ranking for all DVD and Blu-ray only show up to 20. It means, any Anime DVD or Blu-ray which do not or did not make the top 20 will not have its estimated number of sales displayed. So, unless we subscribe to Oricon’s chart through their official ‘YouTaijou’ platform where the full data would be displayed, we will no longer be able to obtain the estimated number of sales of Anime Blu-rays and DVDs of the titles that did not make into the list.

For Light Novels and Manga, we are a little lucky since the estimated number of sales are all displayed right on their own respective pages which you can find here (Manga) and here (Light Novels):

Oricon (11)

Front page of Manga top 30 chart.

Oricon (12)

Front page of Light Novel top 10 chart.

With that! You can find the information you need, although for a more thorough and full data on Anime Blu-rays and DVDs, you may have to subscribe to Oricon’s YouTaijou platform. I am planning to subscribe, and once I have done so, I will have a guide up on that too! Play around with the site more and you may find some other information not available in my blog that you may find useful.


The Big Questions

So, you have got your data, you know what is selling well and what is not. Then, something comes across your mind, you start questioning yourself, can these data be trusted? What is the margin of error? Can there be errors or why is it ‘estimated number of sales’? Does that mean the data is not accurate?

Honestly these are very hard questions. We don’t actually know the degree of how accurate these data are, but we can assume that they are fairly accurate. To understand this, we will need to know how Oricon gets their data which is something that I will be discussing below.

Oricon has partnered with according to them, 19,027 stores nationwide that sells music and video products. The charts do not include products that are exported out of the country. If you have seen my Code Geass review – I did a simple unboxing video of the limited edition of the movie – despite importing it over from Japan, it would not be made into Oricon sales chart as it is counted as an export product. Only those that are imported are counted thus, why you see K-Pop albums or Hollywood films making the list every so now and then. The aggregation period will be calculated every Monday to Sunday, so only 6 days. The weekly results would be the cumulative figures of the total number of daily sales volumes reported by the partner stores. A good example would be yesasia.com which sells Asian entertainment products. According to them, they submit a weekly report of the sale quantities of all Japan Version CD, DVD, and Blu-ray music products sold at YesAsia.com to Oricon on a weekly basis. The number of sales is calculated using a Point-of-sale system (POS) by the participating stores. Those machines you see at the counter where you make payment for products such as groceries and etc? Yes, that system is what records the number of sales. Every time an item is scanned and payment is made, the system will record it. The participating store will then send these numbers over to Oricon. Therefore, a mistake is unlikely although, there can be system errors and such. You can read more about POS here. If you have heard of SoundScan, they too used the same method. For anything more on how Oricon calculate number of sales, the Pros and Cons, you can visit someanithing and kpoppersguide. They have summed up really well.

The problem with this methodology is that, even though the number of stores participating is quite significant, this does not mean that all stores are accounted for. I suspect, the total actual number of sales, may be higher than the figures reported by Oricon. By the end of the day, only the distributor or producer or licensor will know the actual number of sales. As all of the stores authorized to sell their products will have to report the numbers to help the business strategize or determine if the sale of a certain product should be continued or stopped. To do that, we may have to go to the producers’ website but, this is really hard. Often, only listed companies such as Square Enix would disclose some number of sales however, they are often vague. Like, total shipped and digital sales:

Square Enix (1)

Extracted from Square Enix’s 2019 Annual Report, page 14.

We hardly ever get to see something such as weekly sales or on a more specified period. Often, major companies would report sales from a quarterly window or mid-year or yearly.

Nevertheless, sales provided by Oricon does amount to something. It gives an idea at least what is the appetite like for consumers in Japan. To a certain extend, it does tell you what is doing well especially for Manga or Light Novels. To gauge the popularity or the possibility of a continuation of Anime or Manga though, will be through other considerations. Sales of merchandises, viewership, studios’ ability to continue the project and many more would play a role in determining whether something gets to go on or whether if that will be the end of it. For instance, One Piece’s Anime do not do well in terms of DVD or Blu-ray sales, but it is still on-going till this day. Why continue the Anime if Manga is selling way better? There could be a number of reasons. Sponsorship could be one of them. There is a whole lot is what I am trying to say, so don’t jump on the gun whenever we see if something is doing bad yet still gets a sequel. That said, I do think it is nice to see in particular our favourite series making into the chart and selling well. It could surprisingly be addictive. If sales chart such as these could actually boost sales or provide some recognition to some series or titles, I don’t see why it is not important.


As for MAL, ANN and someanithing

If you have been watching Anime or reading Manga for some time now, you may have come across these three sites. I don’t think we need much of an introduction. If you do not know them, you can visit them here: MAL, ANN and someanithing. I would like to make this short, recently there have been some changes with the three. MAL stopped posting sales chart for quite some time now while ANN has only been mentioning sales figures through their usual articles unlike before. For MAL it would have looked like this. However, you don’t see weekly sales stats such as these for quite some time now.

MAL has stopped sharing sales figure as they discovered that they may be violating Oricon’s terms where a personal account of YouTaijou – where they get all the data – is not allowed to be shared elsewhere on any other sites be it personal or commercial. Oricon is quite strict to the extend that any data from personal YouTaijou account cannot be shared through even emails, or social media. Realising this, MAL decided to stop before any action is taken upon them. Which is wise of them. They have considered of changing the personal account to a corporate one, but Kineta – who is the database administrator – noted that, the amount Oricon wanted them to pay is exorbitant and was not feasible. Unfortunately there are no other data provider in Japan that they could find, who can provide reliable data such as Oricon and thus, they did not think that it is worthwhile to start posting the shortened version of the data. You can refer to Kineta’s post down below:

MAL (1)

Obtainable here.

As for ANN, there has been no conclusive evidence why they have stopped. I have tried searching the forums but, I could not find any information. I did receive information from someone really nice who told me that one of the ANN’s staffs suggested a possible budget cut and as a result they have not been able to post as usual anymore. As a disclaimer, this is not 100% confirmed.

Someanithing on the other hand, has a simpler reason. While the site used to do frequent updates, that is no longer the case. Someanithing has noted in one of the posts that weekly post is no longer a thing due to physical media becoming less relevant. You can find the post down below:

someanithing (1)

You can find the post here.

Sales data are still available, but due to Oricon’s strict policies, it is unfortunate that the sites as the above could no longer present data or news as they used to. It is understandable that a high fee is incurred on Oricon’s side. To them, if they allow a small fee and people could post the entire data on their own sites, they would lose potential customers as these customers could just flock over to these sites for the full data.

As for Oricon’s terms and condition, I am not sure to what extend do they cover when they say sales data are strictly not allowed to be shared on personal sites, blogs or commercial websites. My Japanese is still limited. Law terms are still a far reach as of now. If they do indeed cover to even the publicly available data as I pointed out above (the step-by-step) then, my site may be affected in the future too. Let us hope that, that is not the case. You may find the terms here. From my understanding of the things that I have read, as far as delivering news pertaining to their already publicly disclosed sales figure, it should be okay. However, any information from the YouTaijou platform is strictly prohibited. If any of you know more about these, do let me know! I still want to visit Japan in the near future, I would rather not be stopped at the immigration.


Prediction Sites

This will be the last one, I promise! Although Oricon remains the best site so far for weekly sales stats on products such as DVDs and Blu-rays, there are these predictive sites out there where they prognosticate the potential amount of sales a series could achieve. This information is also thanks to the person who told me about ANN’s possible reason for not doing the weekly sales chart. I have to curse my ignorance for completely overlooking sites such as these. Do note that they are just predictions, and they could be wrong. One such site is pripri.xyz. For the amount of Blu-ray and DVD an Anime is expected to sell can be found in the second table down on the main page here:

pripri (1)

As for the method of calculation, more about it can be found here:

pripri (2)

So the calculation is as follows:

Days point = 2400*0.9/exp(log(rank)/log(base))

And the ranking is based on Amazon’s site here:

Amazon (1)

You may have noticed rank and base in the above calculation. The rank and base are assigned based on the Amazon ranking you see above. There is another site, though they no longer do prediction on DVDs and Blu-rays. If you have been following someanithing, they have noted that the site has ceased to exist due to a copyright claim. You would be surprised, I was curious enough to click on the link to see that it is still up and alive except that this time they focus on video distribution instead. You can find them here:

rankster (1)


To Close

Well, I ended up writing more than I should! Anyways, I hope you guys can find my site useful and the above information I have provided should they be of any help to you, I will be very happy! Also, if I got anything mistaken, or if there is anything that I may have misunderstood, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Do check some other stuffs that I have here on the site. I did write some reviews, well, I don’t really see myself much as a writer – I still don’t know why my review for RAW Hero is getting a lot views – but, I do hope you guys will enjoy some of the things here. There is some data you can find about studios in the ‘Animation Studios’ directory section and also Manga releases which I have made for easy viewing. Occasionally some news, though that is mostly covered up by MAL and ANN.

Don’t worry, I will still post the weekly chart on a weekly basis. Thank you for reading and may you have a blessed day ahead!


Sources: Oricon (Main Page), Oricon (About Ranking Page), Oricon (YouTaijou), someanithing (FAQ/Guide), someanithing (RIP Amazon Ranking Stalker), rankstker, pripri.xyz, MAL (Front Page), ANN (Front Page), yesasia (Customer Support Page), Investopedia (POS), kpoppersguide, Square Enix 2019 Annual Report

Featured Photo by Matt Popovich on Unsplash

 
Consider following me by clicking on the button below:
Follow Erzat on WordPress.com

Leave a Reply