How is the US manga industry doing? Well, it’s currently the end of summer when I’m writing this and Anime Expo already happened. I’ll be talking about manga guests at conventions in the past year, the current big players in US manga publishing,, state of digital manga, and speculations on the future of the industry.
I would like to focus on the manga portion of The Beat’s thorough analysis of BookScan 2017. NPD BookScan tracks between 80% and 85% of print sales according to Publisher’s Weekly. FYI Brian Hibbs did an amazing job on this report and went crazy into the numbers portion in a way that more casual readers could understand. He kept mentioning “long tail,” which is “used to refer to the large number of products that sell in small quantities, as contrasted with the small number of best-selling products.” Apparently, manga has a long tail? I only skimmed the article since it’s about 15K+ words (90 min read) and focused my attention on the manga portion. If you want to check out last month’s BookScan chart, see Feb 2018 Top 20 Manga Chart.
With over 10,248 items listed, 5.9 million sold for a total of $85.6M, manga seems to be selling well! However, compared to 2008 when 7842 items listed, 10.2 million sold for a total of $100.8M during the manga boom, it pales in comparison. Remember that Borders closed in 2011, which led to many US manga companies to shut down.
Let’s see the top 6 manga publishers of 2017 and analyze the numbers after the break!
As a manga lover, this past year has been amazing for digital releases with Kodansha USA picking up the speed on volume releases.. We can strongly say that seinen, sports, and josei manga have a chance of getting licensed again! Seven Seas Entertainment now includes a monthly manga request survey! You can also give feedback to Weekly Shonen Jump with their weekly feedback survey (even if you’re not subscribed).
I’m starting a monthly request series for manga licenses! It will be a quick way to keep this blog updated while I type up reviews on the side (I actually want to do at least 1 manga review each month…)
Last time, I talked about manga industry guests that are brought over to US anime conventions. Here’s an overview of the English manga publishers that are worth mentioning.
Part 2: Current Players in US Manga Publishing
Finding new legal manga releases online in English is sometimes complex, since the big name publishers offer their series on various online services. Most people will pay to support their favorite artist and series though! Here’s a list of simulpub manga and where to find them~
I’m including only websites/services that offer simulpub (released on same day as Japanese or up to a week later). They are: Weekly Shonen Jump, Yen Press Digital, Kodansha Comics, Crunchyroll Manga, Manga Box, ComicWalker, and Comic Zenon International. The series that they host are listed below the cut!
Ballroom e Youkoso
by TAKEUCHI Tomo
Published in Monthly Shonen Magazine by Shodansha.
Licensed in English by Kodansha USA
BUY / READ: Amazon JP, eBookJapan, Kodansha Comics Plus
(English) Kodansha USA (ch1 free), Amazon, RightStuf
My first review on this blog has to be dedicated to Ballroom e Youkoso by Takeuchi Tomo, also known as Welcome to the Ballroom. I found this series during a search for new sports manga, as I wasn’t up to catching up to popular series like YowaPeda, Daiya no Ace, or Haikyuu!! at the moment. I think I fell in love with dance manga after reading Swan by Ariyoshi Kyouko when it was released by CMX in 2005 and I read it at the downtown library. However, this particular manga was nominated in the prestigious 6th and 8th Taisho Awards in 2013 and 2015, which lists the best manga series in Japan for that year.
The mangaka introduces the main character of Ballroom, Fujita Tatara, as an average student who stumbles into the world of sports dance and becomes enraptured after watching a performance by his mentor.
I’m kpossibles and this blog contains reviews of manga, from official US releases to webcomics to currently released manga in Japan that you should be reading.
My weakness is probably sports or yaoi manga. I wouldn’t say no to a seinen manga too! I have up to 2nd Year College level Japanese, so not good enough to understand raws but able to look up kanji…