Otaku USA Magazine
Manga Sales Are Down, But It Could Still Be One of Viz’ Best Years

spy x family

Manga sales exploded globally during COVID, but what’s happening in 2023 now that people are back at school and work and not socially distancing? ICv2 decided to interview Kevin Hamric, the VIZ Media Vice President – Publishing, to find out.

Hamric acknowledged that manga sales have dropped this year. “Unfortunately, the category is still trending down a bit,” he said. “The entire book industry in the US is down 3.2 percent right now. The category is down 23 percent. That’s BookScan numbers; that’s right for what they track.”

He also said, “Call it what you will: a market correction, just a softening, there’s no really good way to put a particular name to it. All of entertainment is down; all of consumer products is down; the cost of everything has gone up; people are traveling. They’re just not buying books and going to movies and watching anime right now.”

While that might sound depressing, their sales this year are still better than most years in the company’s history. “If things continue like this, it’ll still end up being the third best year on record. We’re still trending above 2020 right now, VIZ in particular and the category as well. With COVID, we hit this huge high. Now I think we’re going to probably finish down this year, probably be flat in ’24, and then see that really nice organic growth that we were experiencing before the pandemic, anywhere from two to eight percent per year, just going up year after year after year.”

Asked about what titles are still on the upswing, Hamric pointed to Chainsaw Man, SPY x FAMILY, Jujutsu Kaisen, and Demon Slayer, calling them the “big boys.” He has also seen growth with One Piece (especially since the movie and release of the manga’s 100th volume), Vagabond (which is from the same creator as Slam Dunk, so the Slam Dunk movie might be helping sales, though Hamric is uncertain) as well as the classics Naruto, Bleach, and Death Note. Speaking of the last three, Hamric thinks they’re getting new readership discovering them, and thinks this might be what’s happening with Vagabond as well.

Source: ICv2


Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.