Dragon Ball Z topped the Lycos 50 list of 'most searched' items for the second consecutive year -- the first time that any topic has ever been able to repeat its dominance over a two-year period.  Lycos guru Aaron Schatz attributes DBZ's success to 'teens and college-age Japanese animation buffs,' and there is no doubt that the show's popularity stems from its highly rated run on the Cartoon Network.  But in the world of pop culture, 'all things must pass,' and DBZ actually showed a 10% decline in Lycos searches for 2002, leading the list for only 13 weeks in 2002 versus 25 weeks in 2001.


Searches for the once all-powerful Pokemon plunged some 57%, but the property still managed to stay in the Top 50 at #41.  But another Japanese anime/CCG sensation, Yu-Gi-Oh, was this year's 'biggest breakout success' coming from nowhere to #32.  Yu-Gi-Oh first made it onto the Lycos Top 50 in April (when the TV series went daily) and has been moving up ever since.  Another property that didn't make the list last year and fared even better than Yu-Gi-Oh early in the year was Spider-Man, which finished the year at #25, two slots ahead of Star Wars, which moved from #59 to #27 on the strength of Attack of the Clones.  Harry Potter remained very strong moving up one spot from #14 to #13, though Lord of the Rings made a bigger leap from #50 to #15.  Other properties of interest to pop culture retailers include Buffy the Vampire Slayer which went from #63 to #56, while The Simpsons slipped from #33 to #59 and Star Trek declined from #40 to #63 in spite of the launch of the Enterprise TV series.