The year-end report for The Lycos 50, which totals the number of searches for particular topics through the Lycos search engine, finds Dragonball firmly ensconced in first place with more than twice as many searches as second place finisher Britney Spears. Dragonball finished second in 2000, but quickly moved into first place in 2001, finishing with 25 weeks at number one. Dragonball searches actually went up the week after September 11, one of the few topics not related to those horrific events that didn't drop precipitously. Dragonball remains the top rated series on the Cartoon Network (see 'DBZ Rules'), and DBZ toys, comics, and videos are an important part of the product mix in a large number of pop culture stores. In the words of Aaron Schatz, who does the analysis for The Lycos 50, 'Dragonball continues to be obscenely popular on the Internet among both teenagers -- it has a target audience older than competitor Pokemon -- and among college-age Japanese animation buffs.'
While it is important not to assign too much importance to precise positioning on this list, substantial movements can indicate when a property is losing steam or regaining some momentum. Pokemon slipped from number 3 to number seven and the WWF fell from number 4 down to number 10. A new movie and the imminent release of Final Fantasy X caused that property to move up from number 17 to number 13. The immensely successful Harry Potter film helped the young wizard move up from number 38 all the way to number 14, while the new Star Trek series Enterprise helped that venerable property go from number 68 to number 40. Buffy the Vampire Slayer switched networks and moved from number 93 all the way up to number 63. The Simpsons only slipped a little bit from number 29 to number 33 and Star Wars held at 59 (just down 9 spots from 50) with only the DVD release of the Phantom Menace to drive interest. In spite of its significant exposure on the Fox network, Digimon dropped from number 35 to number 48. Lord of the Rings, which wasn't in the top 100 last year, clawed its way up to number 50.