Japanese Digital Comics Account for 55% of the Total Sales of Comics and have Become the Primary Sales Model

The scale of Japanese digital comics accounts for 55% of total sales, and the use of comic APP has become the primary way for readers to read comic. (Photo via Pexels.com)

In 2020, the sales of Japanese manga were close to 613 billion yen, and the market scale has grown for the third consecutive year. In addition, the Japanese manga market for digital comics reached 342 billion yen, accounting for 55% of the total manga sales. This data indicates that digital comics have become the mainstay Sales Model.

Tokyo,JP (WS News Publisher) – The covid-19 caused a significant drop in sales in many industries, but the Japanese manga industry has grown against the trend. According to statistics, the sales of Japanese manga in 2020 will be close to 613 billion yen, an increase of more than 114 billion yen over the previous year. The market scale has grown for the third consecutive year. It is worth noting that the scale of the Japanese comic market for digital comics reached 342 billion yen, accounting for 55% of the total sales of comics, making it the most oversized format in the comic market. The most popular manga, “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba,” sold more than 150 million copies in Japan in 2020, making it the best-selling manga series in Japan during that period, with sales about ten times that of the second-ranked series “Kingdom.”

The Japanese manga market consists of printed manga books, printed manga magazines, and digital manga, including digitally published manga magazines. As the Internet has gradually become an indispensable tool in people’s daily lives, online reading has slowly become a habit, making Japan’s print media generally declining, while digital publishing products are becoming more and more popular. Although the sales value of printed comic books and magazines has been declining over the years, due to the boom of “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba” and the coronavirus pandemic, the demand for online reading of comics has increased, prompting the emergence of a significant digital comics model in 2020 increase.

Like other parts of the Japanese media industry, the Internet has had a huge impact on the publishing industry. In 2020, the scale of the digital comics market in Japan will be approximately 342 billion yen, an increase of nearly 83 billion yen over the previous year, with a growth rate of 32%. As far as comics are concerned, various apps cater to readers, such as Piccoma, LINE Manga, or Shonen Jump+. In recent years, the competition of cartoons APP has become more and more fierce. This new reading method has created challenges for many traditional printing publishers. APP adopts different charging ways, but usually, some chapters are provided as trailers for free. The increasing popularity of this new form of content distribution will gradually make digital comics an essential role in comic marketing and sales.

Demon Slayer has published more than 150 million copies, the digital version accounted for the primary mode of sales, becoming the best-selling manga series in Japan during that period. The sales volume was about ten times that of the second-ranked series “Kingdom.” Critics praised it because of the distinctive characters and the rapid and orderly rhythm of the plot. It has won numerous awards and is considered one of the best anime of the 2010s. The popularity of manga has led to the boom in peripheral products. The sequel movie “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train” was released in October 2020, becoming the highest-grossing anime movie ever in Japan. As of December 2020, the total sales of the Demon Slayer franchise in Japan are estimated to be at least 1 trillion yen ($8.75 billion). It has become one of the highest-paid media franchises in history.

Despite the gradual changes in the comic market and readers’ reading methods, the comic exhibition is still one of the most popular exhibitions. The Tokyo Bay area hosts Comic Market (Comiket), a self-published comics exhibition twice a year, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each summer and winter. The comics traded at the show include original works and derivative works based on franchise rights. At the event site, many fans practice cosplay by dressing up as their favorite characters. The performers who participate in the dress-up activities are generally called cosplayers or closer for short. They are common in these activities and attract the attention of many tourists.

Japanese manga is valued by the Japanese and welcomed by people from all over the world. Many interesting manga tours have resulted in products that combine manga elements: food, clothing, accommodation, transportation, and entertainment. UNIQLO’s Japanese clothing brand often cooperates with many comics, allowing consumers to wear their favorite comic characters on their bodies to increase their life interest. HOTEL TAVINOS is a metropolitan hotel chain built on the theme of Japanese comics. The design of the lobby, restaurant, and even the room implements the piece of comics, creating a non-daily fantasy space so that travelers can feel happy and excited during their stay.

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