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Japanese Comic Market Grows to 675.9 Billion Yen

posted on by Alex Mateo
Combined print/digital publishing sales increase 10.3% from previous year

The National Publishing Association and Publishing Science Institute revealed in the monthly publication journal Shuppan Geppо̄ that Japan's domestic comic market, which combines print and digital publishing, has reached 675.9 billion yen (about US$5.9 billion) in 2021. This is an increase of 10.3% from the previous year.

The proportion of manga in the overall publishing market grew to 40.4%, which is the first time this number has exceeded 40%. Total digital sales increased by 20.3% from the previous year to 411.4 billion yen (about US$3.6 billion), which is also the first time this number has exceeded 400 billion. This figure accompanies a general rise in the overall digital publishing market by 18.6% from 2020 to 2021. The print manga market decreased by 2.3% from the previous year.

Manga magazine sales in 2021 reached 55.8 billion yen (about US$481 million), a decrease of 11%. Digital magazine sales fell from 11 billion yen (US$96.64 million) to 9.9 billion yen (about US$86.98 million) from 2020 to 2021. The hon.jp website credited the growth in digital comics to comics that received screen adaptations, as well as popular vertical-scrolling comics such as Webtoon and Smartoon. The website also noted that the digital manga numbers do not include revenues from advertising and digital libraries. The monthly print periodicals market (including comics and magazine books/"mooks") fell 4.5% compared with 2020, and weekly print periodicals fell 9.7%. Within the monthly print periodicals market, regularly published magazines fell about 7%, while mooks fell about 14%.

Compiled manga book volume sales reached 208.7 billion yen (about US$1.9 billion), an increase of 0.4% from the previous year. This is the third consecutive year of overall growth for manga volume sales.

The magazine cited the Jujutsu Kaisen (pictured right) and Tokyo Revengers manga as significant contributors to sales, following the big increase in reading in 2020 due to the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba manga's success. The magazine also attributes sales to increased reading due to the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the shutdown of illegal manga websites.

The All Japan Magazine and Book Publisher's and Editor's Association (AJPEA) revealed in January that the publishing market in Japan as a whole grew 3.6% in 2021 to a total market value of 1.6742 trillion yen (about US$14.70 billion) thanks to rising digital revenues, though the print market shrank by 1.3%. It was the third consecutive year of overall growth for the market as a whole.

The AJPEA previously reported last year that the manga market went up 23% in 2020 compared to 2019. In 2020, Japanese sales of print books and magazines fell 1% in 2020 compared to the previous year. This was the smallest per-year decline since 2006.

Sources: Oricon News, Animation Business Journal (Tadashi Sudo)

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