After dropping in popularity in the early 2010s, anime viewership and manga sales hit an all-time high in 2020 thanks to the shutdown.
Although manga is considered a hugely growing industry in Japan, there’s no denying the popularity of manga in the West is greater than ever. Large bookstores like Barnes and Noble to smaller local bookstores, struggled to keep popular manga series on shelves, with some titles running out of stock for weeks or even months. The stats only reinforce this, as manga is its biggest year to date.
An ICv2 analysis shows that manga sales hit an all-time high in 2020, with North American manga sales nearing $250 million. This surpasses the totals of previous years, including 2007, which was the last peak in manga sales in recent history. This is due to the increase in popularity of anime and manga during the pandemic as well as sales of background lists and boxes from best-selling series.
The popularity of Anime on cable television and American media in general was largely responsible for the popularity of manga in 2007. The year that saw the “Big Three” in manga (Naruto, One Piece, and Bleach) was airing and hitting shelves at the same time, as well as major titles like Death Note and Gurren Lagann.
However, after this successful year, the manga fell in sales for a number of reasons. Manga’s decline the following year and up to 2012 can be traced back to the global financial crisis, which led to the bankruptcy of Borders in 2011, a book retailer that has been publishing manga for years. . The popularity of American television has also contributed to manga’s decline, as more and more cable channels sponsor American titles and other interests, largely putting anime in a difficult position.
Ten years later, manga’s resurgence and record popularity is due to the increased streaming of anime on services in tandem with the global pandemic, resulting in larger-than-normal streaming numbers. It’s only natural that manga sales will drag on popularity in the anime, as it gives similar viewers the chance to capture some of their favorite moments from the anime in their original form. It also allows viewers to similarly stay ahead of the anime, as manga stories are often further away from anime stories.
Titles for popular anime series are becoming increasingly abundant on streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max. With Funimation and Crunchyroll set to merge soon, the competition between the streaming services versus larger anime titles only further proves how popular it is here and the manga sales behind it.
The most popular manga of 2020 includes Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba at the top of the charts, with a record 82 million copies sold, a feat no other title has achieved that year. Behind that are series like Kingdom, One Piece, Jujutsu Kaisen and Attack on Titan, all of which have numbers in the millions. Current popular titles like Chainsaw Man and Komi Can’t Communicate are expected to receive anime adaptations in the fall, so it’s likely that readers can also look forward to those titles on the year-end list. Future.