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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Japanese cartoon again most popular Lycos search

By Janet Kornblum
USA Today

War, unemployment and business scandals may have dominated the news this year. But people using the Internet apparently had other things on their minds — namely, Japanese cartoons, swapping Internet files and, oh, tattoos.

At least, those were the most popular words plugged into the Lycos Net search engine in 2002.

"No matter how the news ebbs and flows, people still use the Internet for entertainment," said Aaron Schatz, who monitors the top search terms for Lycos. But he added that although searches for state lotteries didn't make the top 50, they were up this year, perhaps in a response to the economy.

The Japanese cartoon "Dragonball Z" was the No. 1 search term for the second year in a row. And relative list newcomer "Yu-Gi-Oh!," a Japanese TV show and card game, was the Internet's top fad.

"There's a great sociological study yet to be done about why Japanese kids' television is so popular in the United States," Schatz said. "What area of the young male brain do they tap into?"

Equally addictive for adults and kids this year: Internet file swapping. Although swapping pioneer Napster remains dead, KaZaA (www.kazaa.com) came in at No. 2 and Morpheus (www.musiccity.com) was No. 5. Both programs allow Internet users to trade music and video files.

The ever-popular search term "tattoos" took the No. 3 spot.

Netizens also had their minds on the NFL (No. 6); the IRS (No. 7); Halloween (No. 8); and Christmas (No. 9). And it may not have been just their minds that prompted them to search for two list evergreens: pop icon Britney Spears and actress Pamela Anderson, who came in No. 4 and No. 10, respectively.

Lycos, incidentally, eliminates from its top search term list queries for pornography, which, of course, are as popular as ever.

To see the entire list, go online to 50.lycos.com.