Funimation Production's Dragon Ball has remained in the Top 10 most-searched terms on the Lycos 50 for 200 consecutive weeks, an incredible testament to the continued popularity of one of anime's most famous franchises.  Dragon Ball won Lycos' Web's Most Wanted Award for both 2001 and 2002.  It has never been out of the Top 10 since the very beginning of the Lycos Top 50 Report of Internet Searches in August of 1999.  It is the only TV series to have remained on the list for 200 weeks.  Only six topics have appeared on the list for all 200 weeks--Britney Spears, Pamela Anderson, Las Vegas, WWE, and Jennifer Lopez -- and only Dragon Ball has spent its entire career in the Top 10.


In assessing Dragon Ball's record performance Gen Fukunaga, President of Funimation Productions, Ltd., the U.S. producer of Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball GT noted, ' Not only is this the two hundredth week that Dragon Ball has been in the Top 10 on the Lycos Top 50, but Dragon Ball is also the only franchise with this kind of stamina and proven popularity on the Internet, TV, home video, video games, action figures, collectible card games, apparel, and more.'


Aaron Schatz, who deftly analyzes the trends on the Lycos 50, commented on Dragon Ball's unique performance, 'The popularity of Dragon Ball has really shown remarkable consistency over the past four years.  Trends have changed, other animated programs have moved up and down in popularity, and short-term fads have faded away, but Dragon Ball continues to be one of the Web's most-searched terms week after week.'


There two major reasons for Dragon Ball's continuing popularity (in addition to Akira Toriyama's great storytelling ability and Toei Animation's first rate work on the 3 series).  First of all the three Dragon Ball series represent a total of over 500 episodes and allowing programmers to avoid the constant repetition of the same episodes over and over again, which eventually dooms the popularity of any animated show.  Secondly the Cartoon Network has provided the ideal venue for the series.  When Funimation first tried to get Dragon Ball on American TV via syndication, it was unable to secure the proper time slots, and the property fizzled until it appeared on the Cartoon Network.  Since then it's sizzled.  For a look at the future of the franchise, check out ICv2's interview with Gen Fukunaga, 'The Future Of Dragon Ball.'