I'm curious as to where/how exactly MyAnimeList gets their data. I understand there are a lot of similar services that let you "Manage watching anime", and I found them to mostly scraping the data they use from MAL (Or previously the MAL API).

AniDB and AniList were some of the larger players I found.

AniDB provides a reference to where the data (I assume) comes from:

AniDB showing "Resources" with Wikipedia, MAL icons, etc.

So for a random anime I inspected, I was able to see that AniDB has used Wikipedia, MAL, as well as a few Japanese sites.

As for AniList and MAL, I could not find anything relevant.

So, where was/is the root of all the data? Did these services originally scrape from somewhere?

  • 1
    AniDB data comes from manual edits of its users, just like MAL as explained below. What you show on screenshot is simply links ot another databases, that too were added manually among other data. Just like on MAL, there are no automated imports or displaying data from external sources. Aug 31 '19 at 21:44

MyAnimeList sources and curates their data manually with the help of their staffs and users.

Their Frequently Asked Questions stated,

Database Problems

I can't find a particular anime/manga entry on MAL.
First of all, make sure the entry meets the Database Guidelines. Foreign productions (e.g. Avatar, Original English Language "manga") and Korean webcomics are not allowed.

You may also check the recent posts in the removals/merges/denials threads for the entry you are concerned about, to ensure it hasn't been submitted and denied before.
Anime | Manga | Characters & People


If you still cannot find the entry you are looking for, you may submit it to the database.

I would like to add a new anime/manga/character/person to the database.
First make sure that you have gone through the steps above. If you cannot find a denial for the entry and it meets our guidelines, you can add the entry here:
Add Anime | Add Manga | Add Character | Add People

A moderator will review your submission and approve or deny it. This may take a while, so please wait patiently.

I would like to modify a database entry.
Under the main picture and on the right side of some sections of every entry are "Edit" links. Please use them to submit modifications to be approved. If the edit button does not have the option you would like to submit, please use one of the respective threads:
Anime DB Modifications | Manga DB Modifications

From a quick search/browse on their forum, they don't seem to use any automation, and their database mods have to manually check and confirm the data before adding the submitted works to the database (which explains the delay).

  • Thanks. I suppose this is a sustainable way to keep their db up-to-date and in sync with the latest releases. EDIT: I assume at some point very early on, they used some automation to get the most popular anime at the time, and could rely on community entries thereafter.
    – J Z
    Aug 31 '19 at 10:19

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