The number of anime DVD releases in Q1 2007 dropped nearly 35% from 159 in Q1 2006 to 104 during the same period this year.  This drop comes on top of a 20% decline from 759 anime releases in 2005 to 607 in 2006 and, according to the market report in the new ICv2 Guide #42: Anime/Manga, indicates continued softness in the North American market for anime DVDs.  But if the quantity of new anime releases is down, the quality is up and ICv2 has designated a number of 'Pick Hits to Click' among the anime titles slated for release during June, July and August.  With the bulk of sales increasingly concentrated in a small number of titles, the decline in the number of anime DVD releases doesn't necessarily translate automatically to a decline in sales, though it does provide indication that American anime companies are increasingly circumspect in their planning.


On the other hand sales of manga remain strong and the number of manga releases continues to grow as new publishers enter the field and existing ones step up their output.  Although sales of manga are also increasingly concentrated in the top properties, a number of new releases including Viz Media's Vampire Knight (#7), Tokyopop's Mugen Spiral (#24) and Viz Media's Gentleman's Alliance (#27) all made surprising inroads into the ICv2 Top 50 Manga Properties list.  Also in spite of the fact that shonen manga properties such as Naruto, Bleach, and Fullmetal Alchemist receive the bulk of American TV exposure for their related anime series, ICv2's Top 50 list contains nearly as many shojo titles as shonen releases.


In addition to reviews by librarians, retailers and the ICv2 staff of key anime and manga releases the new ICv2 Guide includes a glossary containing a number of the key types and classifications of manga as well as listings for the key manga releases slated to debut during June, July and August (along with ICv2's  'Pick Hits to Click'), and our usual authoritative 'Top 50 Manga Properties' list, which is based on BookScan reports of bookstore sales during Q1 2007 and ICv2's own analysis of Diamond Comic Distributors sales to the direct market.  Here are the top 10 titles from the list:


ICv2 Top Ten Manga Properties

            1.  Naruto

            2.  Bleach

            3.  Kingdom Hearts

            4.  Fruits Basket

            5.  Death Note

            6.  Fullmetal Alchemist

            7.  Vampire Knight

            8.  Absolute Boyfriend

            9.  Loveless

            10. Tsubasa


And the ICv2 Top Ten Anime Properties for Q1 2007

            1.  Dragon Ball Z

            2.  Pokemon

            3.  Voltron

            4.  Naruto

            5.  Robotech Shadow Chronicles

            6.  Fullmetal Alchemist

            7.  Hellsing Ultimate

            8.  Howl's Moving Castle

            9.  Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

            10. Bleach


For information on how to obtain your copy of the ICv2Guide#42: Anime/Manga, with all the special feature articles, the complete Top Properties lists, and much more, see 'ICv2 Releases ICv2 Guide #42: Anime/Manga.'