The number of new manga series launching in September, October and November has reached a new high according to the ICv2 Guide #45: Anime/Manga, which reports that 87 new series are slated to debut during those months. In the manga market report covering the second quarter of 2007, ICv2 reports that, according to retailers and distributors, sales of yaoi manga are growing, but not as fast as the number of yaoi releases, which could indicate the possibility of a logjam in the marketplace this fall since 32 out of the 87 new series are yaoi properties.
Is anyone concerned? Not really. The forecast calls for shakeouts and corrections not implosions. However, the word that the well-received EDEN published by Dark Horse has not been selling well leads various manga commentators to reach a shocking conclusion: Seinen manga — that is books aimed at older men, 18-35, traditionally the sweet spot for the superhero industry — just don’t sell very well here.
Endo Hiroki’s EDEN, quite possibly the best title of 2007 (if it isn’t then Endo’s Tanpenshu might be then), is on the verge. Sadly not becauses it taking the world by storm as it should, but the title is not seeing the numbers it should get. And in this day and age that is not something any manga fan, EDEN fan or not, wants to hear. I have never heard a comment like that made at a panel before, so for a fan like myself it really sent a message as to how much DH loves that title and how much it needs help, as well. I never want to see a title discontinued or put on hiatus and generally when they do suffer such fate fans of the series are often the last to know. This time though DH made those at AX aware and the ball is now in the fans’ court.
Kethylia has an even more brutal conslusion
Anyway, the bottom line is simple: Seinen is not widely marketable or profitable in the US right now, and the quicker the boys acknowledge and accept it as The Money Pit of Manga Licensing, the better off we’ll all be.
Brigid rounds up the rest of the commentary.
Woman are consumers…who knew? Maybe this Minx thing has a shot.