It ‘s a compel and attention-grabbing claim, to be certain. however, a closer examen of the article ‘s sources and arguments indicate a miss of research and asperity. It states that “ Demon Slayer has sold 100 million copies while american english amusing books raw have alone sold 15 million units, ” but does not state of matter a specific time frame for comparison .
It is important to contextualize where these numbers came from to begin with. Matrix cites Otaku USA, which in change state cites Anime News Network. The ANN article in question is about Demon Slayer ‘s sales in Japan for the October 19-25 workweek in 2020, according to Oricon. Though not part of the headline floor, the article states that the series had 100 million copies in circulation ( including digital copies, which Oricon does not count ), not sales, as of the twenty-second bulk ‘s unblock on October 2 .
Neither ANN nor Otaku USA reported on american english comic reserve sales. The television version of Matrix ‘s article indicates that his source for the “ 15 million ” numeral is a sankaku Complex article, which in turn cites comedian book blog The Beat ‘s analysis of NPD BookScan data for 2019. It should be noted that the analysis is restricted merely to the top 750 titles, so the 15 million figure applies only to that choice. It should besides be noted that BookScan only represents a excerpt of retailers, and is not representative of the entire commercialize.
That said, even the 15 million number from The Beat ‘s limited-scope analysis is a lower measure than Oricon ‘s reported sales figures for Demon Slayer in 2019 : 12 million copies. That figure is besides disputed ; publisher Shueisha reported that the manga sold 10.8 million volumes that year. So Demon Slayer clearly did n’t outsell the american comics diligence in the same frame of clock time. By conflating Demon Slayer ‘s life circulation numbers with annual sales and stacking them against partial sales numbers in the american grocery store for 2019, the numbers provided in Matrix ‘s article paint a misinform mental picture .
If we shift the class to 2020, however, it ‘s a more complicate story. Estimated sales figures for the american english comics industry are n’t out even, but it ‘s difficult to ignore the meteoric sales of Demon Slayer in that year. According to Oricon, Demon Slayer entirely sold over 82 million copies, an order of magnitude higher than its closest rivals on the charts. ( The second best-selling manga, Kingdom, sold around 8.2 million copies. )
due to factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 besides represented a rare year of growth for Japan ‘s manga diligence in general, which earned a record 612.6 billion yen ( about US $ 5.77 billion ), improving 23 % from the 498.0 billion yen in 2019. U.S. manga publishers such as Viz Media and Yen Press besides noted that they enjoyed firm increase in 2020, even after the print and provide issues earlier in the year.
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In this context, the question of whether Demon Slayer did better than american english comics as a whole in terms of hard-and-fast sales numbers is a sideshow to the larger course : manga ‘s extraordinary growth compared to American superhero comics. Although the american comedian grocery store has seen growth on a year-on-year basis, particularly with juvenile graphic novels, Marvel and DC Comics have been on long-run decline. Putting aside the extraordinary circumstances of 2020, what explains the inadequate performance of american english superhero comics ?
” Well, even for manga, Demon Slayers ‘ sales numbers over the past year or therefore has been incredible. It surprised about everyone how it blew about all other popular series out of the water system across the board. then a lot so that american english pop culture industry watchers are equitable as, if not more, gob-smacked than their japanese counterparts. But demand numbers or not, it ‘s not hard to see that manga is doing identical well present in North America, ” Publisher ‘s Weekly manga diarist and podcaster Deb Aoki said .
” Superhero comics nowadays are more like seinen manga—it ‘s created by and for older male adult readers, but as we know, kids and teens love comics. The huge growth of kids ‘ graphic novels proves this detail. Shonen manga, even though it ‘s appealing to adult readers, is primarily created with tween and adolescent readers in mind. One aspect of this is Demon Slayer ‘s strong emotional content. They cry ! They die ! They struggle in a chilling, often unfair world. ”
meanwhile, American superhero comics come with baggage : linage. Storylines often rely on years of continuity and it can be hard to parse where to start in any particular character ‘s line-up, specially for new readers enticed by the massively popular films. When it comes to manga, that problem does n’t exist. Some series might be daunting when they are long-running with piles of volumes under their belt, but when it comes to starting ? You start at volume one .
” It ‘s just easier to get into, easier to follow, ” Aoki said. “ The One Piece zanzibar copal aligns closely to the One Piece manga. The superhero movies do n’t have that kind of easy cross-media continuity of floor. so why do superhero comics not sell angstrom well as manga ? Superhero comics did it to themselves. They chased the older male collector market to the period where they lost the kids market. ”
Whether Demon Slayer outsold the american comics industry concluding year or not, its achiever offers some significant lessons for publishers to chew on .