2006 Japanese Manga Market Drops Below 500 Billion Yen
According to a report filed by The Research Institute for Publications, the total sales of domestic manga in Japan last year (2006) were 481 billion yen, a 4.2% decline from 2005. This is the first time ever sales of the manga market dropped below 500 billion yen.
The report says that tankoubon sales have been decreasing for the past two years, and that manga magazine sales have been decreasing 11 years in a row. The decline of manga magazine sales was especially noticeable, which indicates that the readers are moving away from the magazine field.
Japan's domestic manga market has been gradually decreasing for the past 10 years. In 1996, the scale of the market was estimated to be 584.7 billion yen. After 10 years, the market has decreased by almost 20%. Last year, the size of the market has dropped under a symbolical number - 500 billion yen. This news should draw attention to the gradual reduction of the manga market.
The reasons behind the decline of the manga market could be attributed to the decline in the young adult/teen population Japan, and the movement away from the printed-book culture. Especially with the declining sales of manga magazines, which indicates a change in social trend where the younger generation's time is occupied by their cell phones.
Anime adaptations of manga have always been popular. Recently, many movies and TV series were adapted from popular manga title. Popular hit movies include Nana, Death Note, ALWAYS Sanchoume no Yuuhi, popular TV series include Nodame Cantabile and Boys Over Flowers. The interest for manga in Hollywood is increasing as well. Moreover, manga-based video products such as movies, anime and TV series are increasing in neighboring countries like Taiwan and Korea.
The manga market is one of the foundations of the Japanese entertainment culture; therefore, the weakening of the manga market should cause concern to those in the industry. Research Institute for Publication's February issue of Publishing Monthly Report featured an article "Comic market 2006," which offered an in-depth analysis of the situation.