Why the anime Big 3 are called the Big 3, explained

Despite the increasing popularity of series such as Jujutsu Kaisen, Demon Slayer, and Chainsaw Man in modern times, the Anime Big 3 remains cherished by numerous fans.

The phrase “Big 3″in the world of anime is used to describe the highly beloved trio of One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach. This title was first introduced in the early 2000s and still holds significant cultural significance among modern day anime enthusiasts.

Despite numerous attempts by individuals to incorporate their own personal preferences into the “Big 3,”it should be acknowledged that this title cannot be simply applied to any popular or adored anime. Keeping this in consideration, let us examine the reasons why Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece have earned the prestigious designation of “Anime Big 3″and have maintained their relevance even in present times.

Exploring the Rise of Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece as the Anime Big 3

During the late 1990s and early 2000s, Weekly Shonen Jump experienced a golden age that many longtime manga readers may remember. It was during this era that three exceptional manga series emerged and dominated the scene – Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto, Tite Kubo’s Bleach, and Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece.

Despite the abundance of captivating manga series in Shonen Jump, the three aforementioned titles reigned supreme in the industry, captivating the hearts of numerous young readers.

Despite their differences, all three series were defined by strongly developed characters, enthralling plotlines, breathtaking action scenes, and distinctive world-building.

The protagonists of the Anime Big 3 - Ichigo, Naruto, and Luffy (Image via Sportskeeda)
The protagonists of the Anime Big 3 – Ichigo, Naruto, and Luffy (Image via Sportskeeda)

Despite their immense popularity, the defining factor that earned Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece the title of “Anime Big 3″was their significant influence on the manga industry and their profitability. All three series saw tremendous success in terms of sales during their serialization, with One Piece still reigning as the top-selling manga to this day, followed by Naruto and Bleach.

The most recent sales data for the three manga series revealed that One Piece had reached a milestone of over 500 million copies sold worldwide. In comparison, Naruto has an impressive sales figure of 250 million copies, while Bleach has sold an estimated 130 million copies. While Tite Kubo’s masterpiece may not reach the same level as One Piece and Naruto, it is still a testament to its huge fan base around the world.

The three series were all given faithful and enduring anime adaptations, which only served to heighten their already widespread appeal. In addition, these adaptations proved to be profitable as they generated substantial income from DVD and Blu-ray sales.

The Anime Big 3 also contributed to the growth of a worldwide market for merchandise, which included a variety of products such as action figures, clothing, video games, and collectibles for fans to purchase. This not only solidified the three series’ commercial success but also sparked a trend among fans to proudly display merchandise featuring their favorite anime characters.

Despite the introduction of new series like My Hero Academia, Jujutsu Kaisen, Demon Slayer, and Chainsaw Man, the shonen anime genre has continued to evolve. However, the impact of Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece cannot be denied as they remain prominent influences in the genre. These three series were instrumental in the global success of anime and have served as inspiration for numerous other creators.

Despite the emergence of new contenders, the “Anime Big 3″have maintained their iconic status as their stories continue to be discovered by new generations of viewers. This is evident in the fact that Bleach’s Thousand-Year Blood War arc is currently airing, Naruto’s legacy lives on through the Boruto series, and One Piece continues to dominate the anime and manga industry. These three series have proven their relevance even in the present day.

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