Chainsaw Man Video Sales Put the Anime's Success Under Scrutiny

The 2022 anime gambit is long over now, but all the fallout from the run is just starting. As the new year carries on, netizens are looking ahead to what shows are on the horizon all while reviewing anime's last batch of hits. Of course, one way to measure the latter is with home video sales given the anime industry's love of Blu-ray bundles. But right now, those figures have put Chainsaw Man's legacy into question.

The information comes from Japan as Blu-ray and DVD were totaled overseas for the last week. This was done as Chainsaw Man's first volume hit the shelves, but its rollout was shockingly slow. Only 1,735 copies of Blu-rays and DVDs were sold which is dismal compared to other home video debuts.

For instance, shows like Lycoris Recoil did insane numbers with its Blu-ray launch as sales were over 23,000 in week one. Bocchi the Rock did well with nearly 17,000 copies sold, and even lesser-known hits like The Eminence in Shadow mustered up 3,163 sales in week one.

Of course, it is wild to see Chainsaw Man pull in such few sales in its first week, and that has caused a firestorm online. Both fans and haters alike are warring over the figure's true meaning. Some theorize the low number is a simple fluke while others have suggested the flop was inevitable given Chainsaw Man's bumpy reception in Japan. While hugely popular globally, Chainsaw Man did draw backlash in Japan thanks to its overly 'Western' style. A group of Japanese netizens even began a petition to reboot Chainsaw Man with a new director, so the anime's reception was hardly smooth.

Still, the anime's low Blu-ray sales must be taken in full context. These sale figures don't count internal sales from MAPPA's online store, and the studio is offering lots of goodies firsthand. There is also the fact that Chainsaw Man isn't relying on Japan's core otaku audience. With a global fanbase on hand, Chainsaw Man's mettle comes in licensing with steamers. International Blu-ray sales may do fine, but Chainsaw Man knew from day one it would need to negotiate solid streaming deals to profit off its international fanbase. And while boosted video sales would help the anime's reputation in Japan, well – a blowout sale isn't necessary for Chainsaw Man at this point.

What do you make of this latest report on Chainsaw Man? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.