Check out this article on the state of the Manga industry in the United States.
#1: Viz Media
With no surprise, Viz Media takes first place by a huge margin? Damn, they sold 3x more than their next competitor! Viz has nineteen books that have over 20k in sales and forty more that sell over 10k. They have 4443 items listed, 2,958,351 sold for a total sales of $41,594,729.
11 of their creators sold over $1 million according to Bookscan 2017 with Sui Ishida’s Tokyo Ghoul as their top seller with 272k copies sold at a total of $3.5M.
Other top sellers were Akira Himekawa (Legend of Zelda), Hidenori Kusaka (Pokemon Adventures), Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto), Eiichiro Oda (One Piece), Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball), Kohei Horikoshi (My Hero Academia), Tsugumi Ohba (Death Note), Hirohiko Araki (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure), Junji Ito (Uzumaki), and ONE (One Punch Man).
Note: most of Ito’s titles are licensed by Viz
Within the Top 750 Graphic Novels, Tokyo Ghoul series sold reports 272k copies sold, My Hero Academia series reports 176k copies sold, The Legend of Zelda series reports 158k sold, One Punch Man series reports 179k sold, Pokemon series reports 110k sold, Death Note series reports 74k sold, and Boruto series reports around 23k sold (definitely weak compared to the heyday of Naruto).
It also shows when you look at the BookScan’s 2017 Top 20 Manga… it’s all Viz titles! Another WTF moment from me… the numbers don’t lie and with about $6M in the top 20 manga volumes alone… All Shueisha titles besides the Legend of Zelda series (Shogakukan) which shows the power of shonen aka teen titles! 8 out of 20 are superhero manga which shows the potential for major growth if comic book shops started focusing on these titles in their manga selection!
Taken from ICv2
Viz is going to do well in 2018 since My Hero Academia (season 3) is airing in the spring and season 2 hype (along with sweeping the Crunchyroll Awards and more people cosplaying the more interesting characters ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) ) will continue the rapid growth on another shonen series. Golden Kamuy and Tokyo Ghoul:re anime are also starting in the spring to also bolster both seinen manga series popularity.
#2: Kodansha Comics
Kodansha has eight books that sell over 10k. They have 895 items listed, 917,596 sold for a total sales of $13,616,224.
Their bestseller is Attack on Titan volume 1 which sold 18.7k copies. However, it places as #23 in the manga category for single volumes sold… Overall, Attack on Titan series reports 170k sold. They really haven’t had a hit title after Attack on Titan (which is on the decline) and now that Fairy Tail has ended, they don’t have much going for them shonen-wise besides Seven Deadly Sins. Their other titles Fairy Tail volume 1 sold 17.2k copies and Sailor Moon volume 1 sold 12k copies.
Going forward into 2018, Kodansha has invested in Crunchyroll for distributing their manga simulpub series, which will serve as long-form previews until the physical volume comes out. I might buy To Your Eternity and Our Precious Conversations after catching up to the simulpub! In addition, Kodansha is leading on digital-only releases which aren’t counted by BookScan, especially for long-running titles that might not have a chance to have a physical release. Some fans will have to buy the series twice if they really want a physical version!
#3: Yen Press
Yen Press has only one book selling over 10k. They have 1403 items listed, 928,962 sold for a total sales of $13,866,675.
Its bestseller is Black Butler volume 1 with just under 15k in the bookstore market. The Beat comments that “In the Long Tail, Yen is actually selling slightly better than Kodansha, but they need 60% more SKUs to do so.” This means that they have to publish tons more in order to get the same amount of sales. Kudos for Yen Press tenacity in the struggle!!!
They have various simulpub titles out which gives you a preview of physical releases but nothing that stands out or is award-winning. However, Yen Press is great on cross-promotional licenses like Your Name and Erased. They partner up with anime loot box companies to also spread their brand name. Yen Press tends to license some series aimed at young women or GanGan or Square Enix titles. They’re also majority owned by Kadokawa so expect more light novel print editions!
#4: Seven Seas
Seven Seas has four books that sell over 10k. They have 554 items listed, 478,336 sold for a total sales of $6,801,527.
Its bestselling title is The Ancient Magus Bride volume 1 with over 13k and the series reports just under 67k sold! Another surprise hit title is My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness with about 11k sold. My Lesbian Experience is probably going to win some awards this upcoming year and beloved by the LGBTQ community.
As for the future, they might be licensing some older hit titles like how they did with Devilman, which has a planned release in May 2018. They are a fan-favorite in the manga buying community since they’re the only publisher that has a monthly manga survey for anyone to suggest a new license! They also continue to license monster girls series and have a couple of new titles from popular anime from fall 2018 season like
#5: Dark Horse
Dark Horse Manga has two books over 10k. They have 527 items listed, 238,089 sold for a total sales of $3,795,506.
Its bestselling title is Berserk volume 1 with over 14k sold. They also did a reprint of the series in 2017 iirc and had major bundle deals at Right Stuf during Black Friday weekend for new and old collectors to get their hands on the series.
Looking towards the future, Dark Horse already has a brand around being the publisher that releases darker seinen hits like Berserk, I Am a Hero, Drifters, Blade of the Immortal, Blood Blockade Battlefront, Gantz, and more. They represent a gateway for western comic book readers to get into manga. Hopefully, they announce more licenses this year with something super exciting that’s also getting an anime adaptation that won’t suck?
SO WHAT IS THE KEY TAKE AWAYS FROM THIS?
These are my takeaways as the CEO of Black Sands Entertainment. Tell me your thoughts in the comments below and please be detailed in your assessment.
Privacy: We won’t share your data, or post to your wall, without your permission.
Already have a Wefunder account? Login
Don't have a Wefunder account? Signup