© Reki Kawahara / ASCII MEDIA WORKS / SAO Project

Amid the sea of trending topics featuring TV shows, love teams and other inane phrases over the social networking site Twitter, there is one anime series that dominated the conversation, at least during the time it aired.

The highly-popular anime hit Sword Art Online, which premiered on terrestrial network TV5 last Saturday, surprisingly became one of the top trending topics in the Philippines during the time it is on-air.

This will be the first time an anime title had appeared on Twitter’s trending topics, at least in the Philippines.

Proving itself as one of the most awaited latest anime series to hit Philippine TV, which also marks the return of Japanese anime programming on the Manuel V. Pangilinan-led network, Sword Art Online trends at No. 8 during it’s pilot episode.


According to social media tracking site Trendinalia.com, the phrase “Sword Art Online” trended in the Philippines for at least an hour & a half on Saturday.

On the second episode aired on Sunday, “Sword Art Online” catapulted again to Twitter’s top trending topics, going to at least the 7th spot, according to the social media tracking site Trends24.in.

Trending in the Philippines for January 25. (Source: trend24.in)
Trending in the Philippines for January 25. (Source: trend24.in)

It also became the No. 10 trending topic in Davao City during the show’s airing on Sunday, despite the fact that the network’s owned & operated station breaks away from the Manila flagship channel to air a Visayan blocktime program.

Trending in the Davao City, Philippines for January 25. (Source: trend24.in)
Trending in the Davao City, Philippines for January 25. (Source: trend24.in)

Audience reactions to the popular anime, however, were mixed, with some complimenting the quality of the Filipino dubbing, while others were focused on the translated dialogues. The Facebook page of TV5 AniMEGA, meanwhile, were flooded with the same comments, reactions and requests.

The “trending” of the popular anime on social media proved one thing in general, that Kirito simply didn’t trended beyond the confines of TV5’s old base of Quirino (highway), but the whole Philippines as well.

But the big question is, will the networks see the potential of niche programming, including Japanese pop-culture programming?