Internet users looking for information about their favorite interests searched for Dragonball more than any other topic except Britney Spears in 2000, according to the Lycos 50 top searches for 2000.  Dragonball's #2 status was a new high from its strong #4 showing in 1999.  Pokemon came in third (down from first last year), and Gundam (#26), Sailor Moon (#27) and Digimon (#35) also represented anime on the top 50 list.  All three of the latter above were moving up fast, with Gundam and Digimon making their first appearances on the list, and Sailor Moon up four slots from #31. 

With nearly 26 million users in December, Lycos was the #9 site on the Web and the third search portal (behind Yahoo and MSN) according to PC Data Online.   That many users can be fairly considered to be reasonably representative of the web population as a whole.  As such, these numbers confirm the extremely high popular interest in anime and particularly in Dragonball, which has broken out over the last year from a cult property to the kind of mass popularity it achieved in Japan and Europe years ago.  More importantly for retailers, Dragonball has not achieved anything like the mass market ubiquity of Pokemon, meaning that there is more unfilled demand to be exploited.  It's also worth noting that as this is written, Dragonball is running at #1 in the weekly Lycos 50, indicating that its popularity may still be growing.

Other notables included WWF at #4, tattoos at #7 (we've seen a lot of pop culture stores with at least a couple of tattoo books or magazines on their shelves, and more could definitely be tapping this niche), Final Fantasy at #17, Simpsons at #28, X-Men at #31 (the only comic property on the list), South Park #at 12, Harry Potter at #38, and Star Wars at #50, down from #6 last year).