The latest sales report from Weekly Shonen Jump reveals a big problem in the manga publishing industry: the economic inequality between the best-selling works. We know that anime and its written counterpart are currently quite popular, however this may not necessarily translate into monetary success.
While names like One Piece or Jujutsu Kaisen reach record figures, the rest are far from that figure. In fact, the manga scene was once dominated by the so-called “big three”: One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach. These three alone were largely responsible for popularizing contemporary Japanese culture throughout the world and for the unprecedented expansion in the early 2000s of an industry that includes not only manga, but also anime, merchandise, movies, and more. But, the rest of the works did not have the same future.
In fact, the sales volume of manga and book magazines in Japan has been steadily declining for the past few decades. The report shared by Oricon, specialists in this type of editorial data, indicates that One Piece volume 102 sold 1,050,333 copies and Jujutsu Kaisen volume 19 sold 1,160,230, two impressive numbers.
Weekly Volume Sales;
April – Week#1 (April 4th – April 10th)
One Piece in the lead with the first week and Jujutsu Kaisen following right behind with its Limited Edition added.
PPPPPP of to Nice start with its 2nd Volume. Regular Numbers for the Rest.Shugomaru didn’t rank. pic.twitter.com/vuppHlM5UO
— Jump Oricon (@WSJOricon) April 15, 2022
However, all other series are well below these figures. Black Clover volume 32 is the one that did the best, with just 105,158 copies. This is a manga that is already seven years old, so the low sales number cannot be attributed to a lack of knowledge among readers.
This case could be made for PPPPPP and Doron Dororon, in the second and first volumes respectively, but their sales (13,970 and 4,936) still seem unbelievably low compared to industry giants. While these are not official numbers, Jump Oricon is generally trusted by the manga community, and the implied chasm in performance is huge.
The problem of manga and anime currently
The seemingly huge difference between the One Piece and Jujutsu Kaisen duo and the rest of Weekly Shonen Jump’s works may be a symptom of a publishing problem, and the manga industry in general, which is struggling to find a formula for success that can be applied equally to all products. Another argument in favor of this theory is that, in 2021, while magazine sales were declining, the market as a whole continued to grow, mainly thanks to the popularity of Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer), which continued to sell millions more volumes. one year after the end of its publication.
The fact that the publishing industry in Japan is struggling is well known. In 2021, Weekly Shonen Jump sales fell to the lowest point since the 1970s (1,422,766 copies per week in distribution), even though it remains the most popular manga magazine in the country. For reference, in 1995 Weekly Shonen Jump averaged 6.53 million copies per week in distribution.
One of the reasons for the decline in sales in recent years could be that the magazine’s biggest recent hits (Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer) and Chainsaw Man, even if the latter is on hiatus, came to an end in 2020 and there have been no equally successful replacements.
The popularity of One Piece is an issue in itself, as the series is not only the best-selling manga of all time, but also one of the best-selling literary works of history But with One Piece nearing its end in the next few years, it looks like the weight of Weekly Shonen Jump’s sales will soon fall on the shoulders of Gege Akutami’s dark fantasy opus Jujutsu Kaisen.
Neither manga can last forever, and when they stop, there will be no clear heir to take his place. The suggested big difference in sales between One Piece and Jujutsu Kaisen and everyone else shows that the industry has to find a way to sell new stories to fans as new blood is desperately needed before previous series end if it wants to. stay afloat.
Related topics: one piece
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