The third volume in Viz's Rurouni Kenshin manga series topped the Nielson BookScan list of graphic novels for two weeks straight after its release on January 24. Rurouni Kenshin is part of Viz's popular Shonen Jump line of graphic novels -- all titles which got their start in the pages of Japan's most popular anthology of 'boys' comics. Since the Rurouni Kenshin anime began appearing on the Cartoon Network last year, the property has really taken off. Media Blasters, which had already released the entire Kenshin anime saga on DVD, experienced a big upswing in sales after the series began airing on the Cartoon Network, and Viz's Rurouni Kenshin manga has definitely benefited from the property's new-found popularity. The first two volumes of Kenshin manga did very well, and Viz has sold over 8,500 copies of Volume #3 in just two weeks.
With plenty of swordplay Rurouni Kenshin is a title, like Lone Wolf & Cub, which has done well in the direct market as well as in the bookstores. Pop culture retailers who can't carry all the manga titles being published in the U.S. today, and who are trying to identify the bestsellers, should note that Rurouni Kenshin is a proven winner.