Manga sales have skyrocketed in recent years thanks in part to the coronavirus pandemic as well as countries around the world being more exposed to the medium as a result of advances in technology. Now, a number of experts took the opportunity to comment about the latest uptick in sales for manga while also making predictions for how the medium will only continue to have more in the way of sales and how the boost caused by COVID-19 might be here to stay.
Ben Applegate, director of publishing services at Penguin Random House, had this to say to ANN regarding the uptick in manga sales due to COVID-19 and his belief that overall manga sales will continue to be strong moving forward:
"COVID certainly drove new fans to join online communities and watch anime and read manga, and probably led to existing fans reading more. I don't think we're ever going back to 2019 levels. Even as the COVID situation improves worldwide, I would anticipate manga sales stabilizing somewhere in between—probably closer to 2021 levels than 2019 levels. This is especially remarkable given that 2020 was our best sales year ever."
Adding to Applegate's commentary, Mark DeVera, director of marketing and sales at Yen Press, noted that a number of new genres within the medium of manga was getting the opportunity to shine and sell more than they had previously, making for a rather significant change with sales numbers from the past:
"One of my favorite developments in the last year has been seeing previously under-represented types of manga really start to shine. There has been a significant resurgence in interest in Shojo and BL titles, for example. I predict we'll continue to see more and more categories find their fans and audiences in our territory."
Manga is becoming a very profitable marketing in North America and around the world, with some manga titles routinely beating out sales for North American comic book publishers such as Marvel and DC Comics, so it will definitely be interesting to see if the trend continues of franchises such as My Hero Academia, One Piece, and Demon Slayer sitting on the top of the ladder.
Do you think manga will continue skyrocketing in sales this year? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and the world of manga.