Anime Expo wasn't just a platform for anime studios and creators to announce their latest creations or returning series, it allowed for executives and folks within the industry to take a magnifying glass to the industry of manga. The East and the West have been at odds in terms of what forms of entertainment they enjoy the most, with countries like the U.S. taking a shine to comic books and Japan and company leaning more toward manga in general. A congregation of minds in the creative field got together to break down what are the current major manga differences between Japan and the U.S.
Twitter User Deb Aoki posted some quotes from the Project Anime 2019 panel, with Ben Applegate from Penguin Random House Book Publishers and Keiichiro Sugawara from Kodansha USA:
Another major difference between US & Japan is that in Japan, there are over 100 different manga e-commerce platforms/apps. In US, most eBooks are sold on Amazon/ComiXology. “We’re much farther away from sales parity of digital & print (in US),” - Ben Applegate @ #ProjectAnime19— Deb Aoki (@debaoki) July 2, 2019
“Before, Shonen Magazine’s only rival was Shonen Jump. But now our rivals (for readers’ attention) is Disney, TV shows, games...” - Keiichiro Sugawara, Kodansha USA @ #ProjectAnime19— Deb Aoki (@debaoki) July 2, 2019
Comic books have continued to try to find their footing in this new digital age, with both Marvel and DC being the main players that have moved to digital outlets to get their comic books into the hands of fans. DC Comics uses DC Universe that combines both a portion of their comic books with television and movies themed after the comic book universe. Marvel meanwhile has long relied on its platform of Marvel Unlimited which allows readers to read through most of their comic book catalogue for a monthly/annual fee. Viz has recently taken a page from these services by offering their own catalogue to readers with their Shonen Jump subscription.0comments
Manga have always been a strong fixture within the country of Japan and that influence has spread across the world. It's very interesting to see one of the higher ups of a publishing house such as Kodansha USA break down that there are over 100 manga apps that Japan users have to choose from while American readers simply have to choose from either Amazon/Comixology for the most part. Whether or not any serious contenders will arise to attempt to overtake the king is yet to be seen, but we'll be sure to keep a close eye on it and let you know if there is!
What do you think of these opinions on the major differences between the US and Japan when it comes to manga? Do you feel that manga is in a good place right now or do you think that there are changes that could be made to improve? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics and anime!