Japan's Manga and Comic Industry Hits Record Profits in 2020

The manga industry is strong in a way it has never been before, and that was made clear last year. [...]

The manga industry is strong in a way it has never been before, and that was made clear last year. Despite the pandemic's supply chain problems, manga sold very well around the world in 2020. Now, a new report has been published about the industry's growth last year, and it turns out the sector has broken records to chart the highest profits on record since 1978.

The publication comes from AJPEA, an organization that tracks the progress of manga and comics sales from Japan. It turns out the combined market size for Japanese comics both print and digital is up more than 20%. Looking at things year over year, the market size for Japanese comics is up 23% which pushed its total to 612.5 billion yen. And for those curious, that is a cool $5.6 billion USD. This record marks the first time the market size has crossed 600 billion yen, and the reason why is clear.

When you look at the chart above, the advent of digital comics has sent the market soaring. Digital comics and magazine make up more than half of the industry's total profit in 2020 with comics coming in second ahead of print magazine sales. Clearly, the virtual age has helped profits in that arena, and it made the market break a big record.

After all, the biggest profit peak from this market was just blown out of the water. It went wild with 586 billion yen in 1995, and this 2020 data is the highest profit recorded period since tracking began in 1978. With digital comics becoming more prevalent in Japan and other countries, it has become easier than ever to buy manga online. And in the end, that money only boosts numbers for the industry as we can see here.

What do you make of this wild update? Are you surprised by how well manga did last year? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.