Kai-Ming Cha observes:
Guys, I’m at AX and I’m gonna say it: the future looks bleak.
I’m not sure that manga readers here are really manga readers and I would even go so far as to say that they’re not even comics readers. There’s a love for the medium, but only within the shojo or shonen genre.
Meanwhile, Chris Butcher posts part two of his look at the manga industry and comes to much the same conclusion:
Part and parcel of my last post on the subject is age: the age of the readership and the buyers, and of the folks not already buying the work. I mentioned offhand that perhaps there is a class of comics buyer, or potential comics buyer, that has no interest in navigating the aisles of akimbo-limbed young people. But what if that’s just false? What if the market is solely comprised of this 13-18 demographic, forever? What happens next?
If you were the recommended age of 13 years old when Naruto Volume 1 dropped in August of 2003, you’re going to be coming up on your 19th birthday any day now. In Canada at least, that means booze, and College or University, and sex. Does it also mean Naruto Volume 30?
Butcher concludes that josei, seinen and gegika will make only limited inroads on manga reading youth, and will remain a subset of the indie comics reading audience.