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Weekly Wrapup 31/5 - 5/6

Pirates beat ninjas, samurai, death gods, mages, manga authors and sadistic black spheres full of guns;

Oricon's sales figures show that the shounen manga One Piece was by far the highest-selling manga in the first half of 2011. Volumes 61 and 62 of One Piece are ranked first and second in top-selling individual manga volumes, and the series has sold 23,366,030 copies overall. By comparison Gantz ranked second in the list of top ten highest-selling manga by series, has sold 3,110,842 copies. From third to tenth other top-selling series so far this year are Naruto, Shingeki no Kyojin, Fairy Tail, Bakuman., Kimi ni Todoke, Gintama, Bleach and Toriko. Other series appearing in the top fifty of manga sales by individual volumes include Fullmetal Alchemist, Nodame Cantiabile, Yotsuba&! and Kuroshitsuji.

According to manga author Shuho Sato (Say Hello to Black Jack, Umizaru), a manga researcher has calculated the top hundred manga creators would earn an average of 70 million yen from book royalties in 2009. The creator of One Piece, Eiichiro Oda, was reported to have earned an estimated 1.3 billion yen (US$15.9 million) in royalties from manga volume sales alone. However, the average earnings for all other manga creators who had their works published in volumes during 2009 was 2.8 million yen, less than the average salary worker's wage of 4.09 million yen.

Also this week, a hold on the U.S. anime license for Yu-Gi-Oh has been ordered, meaning that its owners, TV Tokyo and Nihon Ad Systems (NAS), may not re-license the anime in the country for the time being. TV Tokyo and NAS terminated 4Kids Entertainment's license of the show, claiming that the company allegedly withheld royalties to the Japanese companies. 4Kids filed for bankruptcy in April, after stating that it may have to file after the lawsuit was issued, and the case is being dealt with by the bankruptcy court as a result. The hold on the license comes at 4Kids' request after learning that the new series, Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal, was to be promoted at the Licensing Expo International Fair later this month. 4Kids Entertainment now has until June 10 to respond to the lawsuit, and the first part of the trial to determine if the termination of the license was valid will begin on August 29, with the issue of the missing royalties to be dealt with later. The licenses for other Yu-Gi-Oh! properties, including the original card game and related video games are not affected by the legal proceedings.


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