Comic books might rule the box office, but when it comes to book sales, you cannot beat manga. The medium is selling like crazy these days whether you shop in Japan or the United States. In fact, a new report confirmed suspicions today as fans were informed just how big manga has gotten. Its sales have more than doubled stateside, and things can only go up from here.
The update comes from ICv2 as the company pulled data from NPD BookScan from the last year. It was there numbers revealed 24.4 million units of manga were sold in 2021 by tracked accounts. This is about 15 million more sales than those found in 2020, so the industry grew 160% in the last year.
And honestly? It turns out that number might be low-balled. ICv2 admits the data provided for 2020 and 2021 is skewed due to a classification error with My Hero Academia. The hugely popular series wasn't always labeled as manga in inventory sales, so the report is likely underestimating total sales for both years.
Recently, ICv2 spoke with Viz Media about manga and its boost in popularity considering this recent report. It was there Kevin Hamric said the company is already going through more sales in 2022 than it did at this same time in 2021. However, the overall growth trend is slower right now than it was last year. This may be due in part to supply chain issues and increased digital sales. Publishing has been hit hard by production and shipping delays during the pandemic. And for now, Hamric says the issue will likely persist through 2022.
As you can imagine, all eyes are on manga sales this year as the industry keeps racking up higher records. ICv2 confirmed sales for print manga hit an all-time high in 2020 with just under $250 million. This peaked the previous record set in 2007, and it seems like total sales for 2021 could give the recent milestone a run for its money. And as manga continues to takeover retail space in stores like Books-a-Million, the industry can only go up from here.
What do you make of this latest sales report? Have you picked up any manga in the last year? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.