So, what exactly are the Big 3 Anime and what do they represent in today’s Modern Day of Anime?
What is Big 3 in Anime?
For starters, Big 3 is a term given by the Western Fanbase of Shonen Jump for 3 specific shows at the specific time of the early to mid-2000s for their great dominance and success in the Anime and Manga industry.
During the Big 3 Era, there were hardly any other series that could come anywhere near to these three, when it came to reputation and popularity.
What are the Big Three Anime?
One Piece, Naruto and Bleach were the three consistent Manga Series that were able to not only surpass but completely dominate the Weekly Shonen Jump, and because of the immense success of these 3 Manga Series during the same time, they were given the Title of Big 3 Anime by Weekly Shonen Jump.
There would most likely never be a big 3 era ever again. One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach were hailed as the Big 3 because of their total dominance in Weekly Shonen Jump. They were so dominant that, other manga series while despite being good, struggled to take off. This scale of success by just 3 Manga series, coincidentally at the very same time, was the first and only time ever in Manga History.
This term Big 3 was made in reference to One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach by western anime fans when these 3 manga outsold literally everything else running alongside them by such a large margin that they seemed unstoppable. It’s a term that has only ever referenced Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece, and a term that should only ever reference Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece.
It’s not a title that gets passed along, it’s a static title made for only those 3.
Is Dragon Ball the Part of Big 3 Anime?
Most of the people in the Anime Community always talk about how Dragon Ball is one of the Big 3 alongside Naruto and One Piece but this statement is completely false. And believe me, I’m extremely tired of explaining this over and over again on why, Dragon Ball is not one of the Big Three Anime.
This is why Dragon Ball is not one of the Big 3 Anime.
Firstly, DB is from an entirely different generation. I already stated above that Big 3 is simply just a TERM given by the Weekly Shonen Jump for the Top 3 moneymakers for Shonen Jump Magazine in the late ’90s and 2000s. Big 3 is not a statement on the quality of the shows. It was just a term that was used at that time because of the dominance of those 3 Manga in terms of sales and popularity. It was a term, popular in the West specifically.
To put it simply, it was just used to describe the amazing Manga Sales of Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece and their overall popularity, especially in the West. What the Big 3 did was something extremely memorable and breathtaking. When we take a slight look at the sales of Big 3 compared to other Manga series at that time, it wasn’t even close. This is how the TERM Big 3 got its introduction.
Dragon Ball not being in the Big Three does not mean it isn’t as good as them. Just like Bleach, Naruto, and One Piece being the Big 3 is a fact, here is another simple Fact, Dragon Ball does not need to be in Big 3 in order to be relevant or legendary. Dragon Ball hasn’t been called “the father of all modern Shonen manga” for nothing.
Dragonball clearly influenced these 3 mangas. There’s also a comic panel that shows the big 3 with Naruto passing the torch to Deku. It shows Goku alongside the big 3.
It’s very weird that people would consider Dragonball as part of the big 3. It clearly came before and if anything else, without Dragon Ball, Big 3 wouldn’t exist.
Is There A New Generation Big 3?
Big 3 is not a title that gets passed along, it’s a static title made for only those 3. So, there is no Old Generation Big 3 and similarly, no New Generation Big 3 either.
However, in the future when we are in a New Era of Anime and Manga, it is possible to see a Brand new term coming to the mix of the current generation of Anime and Manga. Of course, the term must be something different from the Big 3, otherwise, it wouldn’t make sense.
Talking about Big 3 as a whole, there probably might never be a better group of series to ever exist. So it’s kind of useless to find new Big 3 Anime as it might never happen again.
Absolute domination of a group of series that’s so overwhelming that other series got completely overshadowed. This is what Big 3 did during their airing days. As it stands, I don’t see anything like this.