ICv2's latest issue of the ICv2 Retailers Guide to Anime/Manga (#7) focuses on important issues in both the anime and manga markets (as well as picking the top properties in both). 


In the manga market, one of the most important phenomena of the last few years is the rapid growth of the bookstore market, which has now passed comic stores as the primary sales channel for manga.  The parallels between that channel shift and the shift from newsstand distributors to comic stores twenty years ago are strong.  In both cases, the new channel serves a customer base under-served by the dominant channel, format and content shifts are tied to the new customers, and information systems and logistics fit the format and sales patterns better in the new channel than those in the dominant channel.  For a more complete analysis of these parallels, and our consideration of where the future trends will lead, see the Guide (see instructions at the end of this article).


In the anime market, prices are dropping, both because of increased mass merchant sales of anime DVDs, and because anime manufacturers are putting out catalogue titles at new, lower MSRPs.  Two retailers that we talked to had divergent strategies for competing in this environment, but do have some in common.  Both rent anime DVDs, carry a broad selection of backlist, and rely on good product knowledge behind the counter.  For more info on how they compete with nearby mass merchants, see the full article in the Guide.


The ICv2 Retailers Guide to Anime/Manga #7 includes a look at the Manga Top 50 for Q2 2004, as chosen by the editorial staff of the Guide.  Based on sales reports from both the comic store and bookstore channels, as well as interviews with retailers, distributors, and publishers, the rankings can help retailers identify those properties that are selling well in a variety of venues.  The top half of the list is:

1. Rurouni Kenshin

2. Fruits Basket

3. Tsubasa

4. Trigun

5. Alice 19th

6. D.N.Angel

7. Negima

8. InuYasha

9. Naruto

10. Megatokyo

11. Xxxholic

12. .hack//TWILIGHT

13. Hellsing

14. Yu-Gi-Oh!

15. FLCL

16. Chobits

17. Ai Yori Aoshi

18. Ai Love You

19. Gundam Seed

20. Love Hina

21. Berserk

22. Angel Sanctuary

23. Kare Kano

24. Fake

25. Gravitation


ICv2 also looked at the top anime properties, again based on sales information from multiple channels and sources.  The top Q1 anime properties are:

1. Initial D

2. Witch Hunter Robin

3. Dragon Ball GT

4. InuYasha

5. Neon Genesis Evangelion

6. Ninja Scroll TV

7. .hack//Legend of the Twilight

8. Kiddy Grade

9. Final Fantasy Unlimited

10. Tenchi Muyo GXP


For the full lists of the top Q2 anime and manga properties, the Q3 launches, anime on TV, and our coverage of the important issues in the anime and manga markets discussed above, see the magazine, available free to retailers (for info on how to get this magazine, see 'ICv2 Releases Retailers Guide to Anime/Manga #7').