As a symbol, the manga Kaiju n ° 8, named after the giant Japanese monsters à la Godzilla, arrives this Wednesday in bookstores to “break” everything, with, as recalled Books, an exceptional edition of 250,000 copies for its first volume, and as many for the second to be published on December 8. Never seen.
It must be said that this release comes in a particular context. From the first quarter of 2021, the seers began to panic and announced a record year for the manga, carried by the giants of the shônen (One Piece, Demon Slayer, Jujutsu Kaisen) and boosted by animated adaptations (My Hero Academia, The attack of the Titans).
GFK sales figures fell at the end of September, and from January to August, the French bought 212 million books (+ 28% compared to 2020), including 51 million comics (+ 75% compared to 2020). And among these comics, 29 million are manga. It’s huge. Twice as many as in 2020.
A new golden age of manga shônen
Enough to boost the optimism of French publishers. Started in summer 2020 in Japan on Shônen Jump +, the digital platform of the famous publisher Shueisha and version of his magazine Weekly Shônen Jump, Kaiju n ° 8 quickly found its audience and had already sold three million copies in June. Very quickly too, rumors circulated who in France was going to acquire this new shônen bomb and at what price. Kazé Manga, with titles like Chainsaw Man, Black Cover or recently Mashle, won the auction, and is planning a “maousse” launch with a poster campaign, TV and cinema spots, and even a Parisian operation the size of a kaiju.
Since the phenomenon Demon Slayer, and now with Jujutsu Kaisen Where Tokyo Revengers, there is a kind of speculation on the new golden age of manga, and more precisely of shônen, and even on who will succeed, one day, perhaps, to One Piece. But we should not forget the manga themselves. Yes Kaiju n ° 8 makes so much talk, and pleases the fans as much, is that it summons the shônen as much old school that new generation, with its originality, its identity, here the kaijus.
Not a revolution but a blockbuster of the genre
These giant monsters are part of the daily life of Japanese people, to the point that they exist, a bit like in Pacific Rim, Defense Forces responsible for combating them. Kafka Hibino has always dreamed of being a part of it, but after many failures in the entrance exam, he is reduced to cleaning the streets after their passage and getting rid of their corpses. One day, a strange creature enters his body and metamorphoses it into a half-human, half-kaiju being.
Yuji swallows a relic and is possessed in Jujutsu Kaisen, Nezuko turns into a monster in Demon Slayer, Eren becomes a Titan in The attack of the Titans… The mangaka Naoya Matsumoto does not revolutionize the genre, but masters the codes, and finds the balance between action, humor and even a beginning of reflection on the lost humanity of his character, which make Kaiju n ° 8 a big blockbuster.