Issue #5 of the ICv2 Retailers Guide to Anime/Manga, just released through distributors, is the annual market report issue, and we are happy to report that both the manga and anime markets experienced robust growth in 2003.  Starting from smaller numbers, the manga market was the fastest growing area of pop culture last year, with 75-100% growth to an estimated market size of around $100 million at retail.  The key demographic group in this growth was females, who are primarily shopping for manga at bookstores.  Looking ahead at 2004, we see continued rapid growth in the number of releases; whether the number of consumers will grow at the same pace is harder to predict.


Anime continued a long string of winning years in 2003, and while its 10-20% growth rate was a fraction of manga's, it's still a rapidly growing category by any other standards.  We estimated the total market for anime at $550-$600 million at retail.  While much of the market dollars come from a handful of hit properties, the line between core and mass titles began to blur last year, as venues for anime on television grew and broadened their demographic appeal.  Ordering for retailers became more difficult as the number of releases grew, and that trend is expected to continue in 04.  One relatively new factor influencing anime sales was the growth of manga; while manga sales have often influenced anime sales in Japan, the reverse has generally been true here.  Now for the first time, we are seeing indications that the Japanese pattern is being seen here, in at least some cases.   


For more details on the anime and manga market sizes, channels, and trends, as well as help picking the winners in these rapidly growing categories, get the ICv2 Retailers Guide to Anime/Manga #5.  For info on how to get this issue, see 'ICv2 Releases Retailers Guide to Anime/Manga #5'