On December 31st, 2019, Crunchyroll released a write up titled “Decade in Review: The Most Watched Anime of the Decade by Country”.
Part of that write up included a segment about RWBY and viewership in Japan over the decade.
“Now we need to talk about the elephant in the room. Japan, the country that invented and is majorly the origin point of most anime, watched RWBY, an American-made series, more than anything else. While a big part of this is the fact that most anime viewing in Japan doesn’t happen on Crunchyroll, the viewership of RWBY in Japan is actually quite impressive. Anime is becoming a truly global industry and fandom, and the fact that the country that invented anime has embraced a foreign animated series is a pretty beautiful indication of this.”
Notice how Crunchyroll specifically says that the claim is RWBY is the most watched anime on Crunchyroll, in Japan. A very important distinction. Crunchyroll further clarifies that most people in Japan don’t watch their anime on Crunchyroll, which really should not be a surprise to anybody.
However, even with Crunchyroll disclaiming that information, it didn’t stop certain fanatical RWBY viewers from taking to social media in order spread a false narrative.
Apparently RWBY is Japan's top anime of the decade?????
— Chris | RWBY V7 Spoilers! (@SHSLChris) January 2, 2020
The most watched anime of the decade in Japan according to Crunchyroll's World Map was Rooster Teeth's RWBY.https://t.co/YfVr66vBNO
— NESbot Etc (@NESbot_OT) January 2, 2020
Anyway anytime someone tells you RWBY is dying remind them that Japan's most watched anime of the decade is RWBY pic.twitter.com/lTSJX2F0KX
— #BuffWomenAreSexy (@ZetaCannon3) January 2, 2020
— Jester's Chessboard (@schessboard) January 1, 2020
Lmao, "RWBY is dying"
That's why Miles and Kerry announced that they already have the green for volume 8 and volume 9 and right now they are making progress on volume 8.
And that's why one of Japan's most watched anime is RWBY
Sure pal, RWBY is dying xD pic.twitter.com/z6mSWkYdib
— SaveTheBees🐝🐝🐝||''Not friends…Family'' (@alle1304) January 2, 2020
The above user then “corrected” their post ( with more mis-information).
Finally on their 3rd attempt, they came close to posting the proper statistics by Crunchyroll. Not surprisingly while still trying to skew the narrative as much as possible.
In the RWBY fandom, Twitter has rapidly been becoming a place many avoid. Full of false information like the above and plenty of hate. If you have an opinion that falls out of line to what the majority believe on Twitter, you will likely be witch hunted for it.
Even a post that made it to /r/RWBY had reddit users clarifying that the statistics were specifically for RWBY viewership on Crunchyroll. Not overall viewership of anime in Japan this decade as some on Twitter would have you believe.
“As the article points out, most anime viewing in Japan does not happen on Crunchyroll. That said, I still think it is insanely impressive that RWBY beat out every other anime giant over the last 10 years. This is proof that RWBY is truly an international phenomenon, and that it has found acceptance in the very country where the vast majority of anime originates from.”
“A disclaimer they indicate is that there are other ways than Crunchyroll to watch anime, and Crunchyroll Japan has a limited selection.
So basically Crunchyroll is the most convenient way for the Japanese audience to watch the show.
I wonder if RWBY is still as popular in Japan. I’ve heard the popularity of the show died down with V4 either due to a lack of dub or the fact the Japanese audience prefered the school setting of V1-3 over the adventure setting of V4-6.”
It is true that RWBY was becoming quite popular in Japan some years back. The western animated series by Rooster Teeth even receiving it’s own Japanese dub. However, there has not been much news regarding RWBY in Japan since. According to Google Trends, RWBY interest in Japan saw a brief, sharp rise. Then a steady fall and has been rather obsolete since. The interest in the United States, according to Google Trends, is also not looking great; with most of the interest by far occurring back in 2016 and trending down since.
The message here is, hopefully to the surprise of no one reading this; be careful what you read on Twitter.