Contact Us

Japanese Game Developer Square Enix Head Hazards A Theory On The Nation’s Manga Sales Supremacy

As far as suits were concerned, in the early 2000s manga (and anime) were the next big thing. Aside from the occasional nagging quality issues, most comic fans couldn’t complain. The market may have become flooded and bookstore space may have competed with traditional graphic novels, but by golly, stuff was finally widely available.

So why didn’t America’s reading base, which is potentially even larger than Japan’s, eclipse manga’s sales in the motherland?The reasons are many, including the most obvious – that comics are more integrated into Japan’s mainstream culture, but Square Enix’s Kouji Taguchi pointed out some other practicalities working against full-on US integration on the Web site Sankaku Complex:

The best sellers in the US were “Full Metal Alchemist” and “Naruto,” but these only sold a tenth to a twentieth of what they sold in Japan. I think the main reasons are as follows:

1. Fewer copies are printed and those that are get sold at a much higher price, from $8.99 to $12.99.
2. Children don’t get as much money, their allowances are just smaller.
3. The other reason is location. If you live in Tokyo there will be 3 bookshops nearby, which you can easily cycle to. In the US there aren’t any, they can only buy on a weekly trip to the mall. Even if anime is highly popular, they just don’t visit the stores to buy manga often.

However bleak these observations, Taguchi wasn’t without hope. Digital distribution through gaming devices and other platforms, he argues, could potentially bolster sales on both sides of the Pacific.

[Via Kotaku]

Recommended For You

Around the Web

More From ComicsAlliance

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Please solve this simple math problem to prove that you are a real person.

Sign up for ComicsAlliance quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!