What’s the anime equivalent to Game of Thrones or Twilight?

I’m not talking about anime that are epic fantasy settings with dragons, or a vampire romance to be clear. I’m talking about anime that have the same cultural impact in this case.

Love them or hate them, both GoT and Twilight took the teen into young adult market by storm and at their peaks had pervaded popular culture into the most obscure niches. I mean I was a Twilight girlie, I won’t lie. It also coincided with Vampire Knight‘s release so that was also a thing. But by the time Twilight had stretched into a two part ending I was over it and wrote a super sarcastic fanfiction about how Vampire Knight vampires were better.

I personally never got into Game of Thrones. Not the books, nor the TV show but I couldn’t step into any fandom space from around 2016 forward without some sort of reference. I stopped counting after 50+ times of people asking if I watched (assuming I did) and me replying no and the incredulous “OMG! I can’t believe you of all people haven’t started yet!” that followed.

As I think most of us in fandom know though; those two titles are dust. Aside from the awkward Twilight Renaissance that allegedly happened on tumblr in 2020 or something – no ones referencing Twilight. I mean, sure it made the interspecies romance triangle more a thing especially in the young adult series that came after, but that’s existed long before Twilight and will continue to exist long after. I haven’t heard a whisper of Game of Thrones since the dull thud that was the conclusion.

So that got me thinking… what would be the anime/manga equivalent to these two titles? A series that during it’s peak was absolutely at the tip of everyone’s tongue and you could not escape it but once the title wrapped as an anime or manga – it’s never been talked about again.

I’m going to throw my own pick into the ring and say Tokyo Ghoul. Granted, this is my own biased experience but here’s my argument. The anime was botched with censorship, yet people still turned into watch and mimicked Kaneki Ken’s infamous knuckle crack all the damn time. There was for sure a following because fans of the franchise were so sure that that sequel would finally do the series justice.

In terms of the manga, that’s more where I was at. The story was solid enough, entertaining enough that corners of the internet I frequented still had fans of the series pushing it everywhere they could. However as soon as the main story and sequel finished there was not a peep from the former fandom. The only references I see, which are few and far between are footnotes in listicles of manga that got bad anime adaptations.

So, I’m curious to see what others think would be the anime/manga equivalent of a Game of Thrones and Twilight. A series that in it’s heyday you couldn’t escape if you wanted to, but not isn’t even a honorary mention. Of course, this is a full invitation for you to let me your pick(s) down below~


  1. Personally, I think Death Note might be an interesting candidate or this list. I couldn’t stand it myself – but that’s not why I am proposing it. Rather, for a while there it just seemed to b everywhere, with both anime and live-action adaptions. And now – crickets chirping…

    Liked by 3 people

      • A Death Note revamp? Oh man that would be interesting. OHSHC would be a personal choice for me since I think it’s aged poorly, but I do think it was more well-liked as you said.

        Liked by 1 person

    • That’s true, Death Note was pretty inescapable (I know I got suckered into watching it). I feel like it still hangs around since I see it pop up once in awhile. It might just be because of Platinum End being so bad though. lol


    • Oh! Those are interesting choices. I’ve always through Trigun was more cult classic, but that might just be me.

      .hack//Sign might be a good choice too especially how big that franchise was back in the day.


    • … I completely forgot Haruhi was a thing despite how predominant the fandom was. So that’s a huge candidate now lol.

      Oh man, kinda breaks my heart that you mentioned Patlabor since everyone who I’ve seen speak of it really loves it. But… It does make sense.


      • It’s kind of crazy how things just come and go like that.

        I’ve even thought of more like Durarara which was huge but disappeared and the small stint with Spice and Wolf. It’s scary how these things just happen.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Now that you mention it, especially with Durarara and Spice and Wolf there’s so many series that could really fit this mold it’s kinda wild.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Like Scott, I also thought of Haruhi. Although its popularity started plummeting during its second season with the Endless Eight episodes. But while it had dance crazes, votes for English voice, tons of merch and stuff, now it barely gets any mention.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oof. The Endless Eight episodes were exactly the reason I never touched the series. But it seems like Haruhi might be the winner, tied with Death Note at least in this comment section.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t watch a lot of anime but Bleach’s end was just meh for me. P. S I didn’t like Game of Thrones and couldn’t watch last the first episode

    Liked by 1 person

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