What Are The Big 3 Anime? Where Did The Term Come From?

Published Categorized as Anime
What are the Big 3 anime
The Big 3

Manga books have been a part of Japan for a long time. Every year, hundreds of new manga books get published, each ranging widely in terms of story and art. Even among the best, we have come across several brilliant stories that have left a big impact on us. For Shueisha, the big 3 anime hold a high and mighty place in its history of publication. The Big 3 anime have exceeded unexpectedly in terms of popularity and fan-favoritism. They set an example of how huge the anime fanbase is and how much people can get involved with it. This in itself is an amazing statement.

Good stories are appreciated. Manga books are sources of fluffy emotions and thrilling illustrations. Several people, within and outside Japan, are enthusiastic about getting their manga published by notable publishing houses like Shueisha, Kodansha, or Shogakukan. Popular publishing houses lay down a  good base for manga to reach more readers. The Big 3 anime are rare cases that led to the rise in popularity of the publishers instead. 

There are many misconceptions regarding the significance of the Big 3 anime. What are they? Why are they called so? Here’s everything about them and why they hold such a prestigious place in the manga industry.

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What is The Big 3 Anime?

The Big 3 anime are based on three powerful manga books serialized by Shueisha’s Shonen Jump in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Back in the time, the Big 3 were said to be the breadwinners of Shonen Jump as people brought the magazine solely to read them. This led to high sales of the magazine every week. Even now, the Big 3 have high numbers of sales that make them a superior category. The nickname ‘Big Three’ was given by Shonen Jump. Big three anime comprise these three distinct anime series: One Piece, Naruto and Bleach. You can read them on Viz Media or Shueisha’s Manga Plus app.

One Piece

One Piece has been one of the best Japanese Manga series for a long time now. It is written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda. The story is about the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy, a boy who had the ability to turn his body into rubber-like after eating a Devil Fruit. He lived life with his crew of pirates called the Straw Hat Pirates. He aims to explore the Grand Line to look for the world’s ultimate treasure, which is called One Piece, which would enable him to become the next pirate king.

Launched on July 22, 1997, this manga has been able to gather 100 volumes and millions of fans over time. The manga itself has sold over 490 million copies. It has been the best-selling manga for eleven consecutive years from 2008 to 2018 since the company began its manga chart, and that is quite an astonishing achievement. 

Big 3
One Piece (1997- present)


Naruto is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. The story is about Naruto Uzumaki, who is a young ninja seeking recognition for his skills from his peers. His dream is to become the Hokage, which means the leader of the village. The manga has been adapted into an anime series that is produced by Aniplex and Peirrot. It has about 220 episodes in Japan, running from 2002 to 2007. Cartoon Network and YTV, too, ran the anime series from 2005 to 2009.

Naruto has been the fourth bestseller in history. The manga series has sold over 250 million copies worldwide, with over 153 million copies sold alone in Japan. It has garnered much international attention, with the English translations being ranked as the best-selling series by the New York Times several times. The seventh volume of the manga series even won a Quill Award in 2006. 

Naruto (1999-2014)


Bleach is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Tite Kubo. The story is about the adventures of Ichigo Kurosaki, a hotheaded teenager who inherits the destiny of his parents after he gains the powers of a soul reaper, someone who is similar to a grim reaper. He gained the powers from another soul reaper named Rukia Kuchiki. The original launch of the manga was from August 7, 2001, to August 22, 2016. The manga series has about 74 volumes in total.

On an international level, Bleach has sold over 120 million copies. It has also been the 6ty best selling manga series in history. The 34th volume of the manga series sold 874,153 copies and was also the 12th bestseller in the year 2008. Moreover, the series has been considered as the best continuing Shōnen Manga of 2007 by Deb Aoki from About.com due to its compelling storyline and amazing character development.

Bleach (2001-2016)

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About The Author

  • Krishna Mayuri

    Because weekends are best with a cup of coffee and anime, let me recommend the best to you! You can reach out to me at FB or on my email at KrishinaM@otakukart.com