Growing sales of manga are spread out over an increasing number of books, and low-end titles are feeling the brunt of the increased competition, according to the new ICv2 Retailers Guide to Manga (#8).  The growth in the number of titles, both by existing and new publishers; increasing frequency of publication; and continued strength from completed series all contribute to the competition for the manga dollars.  So even though the manga pie continues to grow robustly, there's some pain being felt at the bottom of the title rankings.


The issue ranks the Top 50 Manga Properties for all channels combined for the third quarter of 2003, based on sales rankings for both the comic and bookstore channels, as well as interviews with distributors, retailers, and publishers.  The top half of the list is:


  1. Rurouni Kenshin
  2. Fruits Basket
  3. Tsubasa
  4. Trigun
  5. Naruto
  6. dot Hack
  7. D.N.Angel
  8. Hellsing
  9. InuYasha
  10. Yu Gi Oh
  11. Negima
  12. Alice 19th
  13. Chobits
  14. Megatokyo
  15. FLCL
  16. Saiyuki
  17. One Piece
  18. Ai Yori Aoshi
  19. Xxxholic
  20. Love Hina
  21. Ai Love You
  22. Yu Yu Hakusho
  23. Aquarian aGe
  24. Angel Sanctuary
  25. Bleach


On the anime side, although sales remain solid, there is no new hit to take the place of Dragon Ball GT, which has nearly run its course.   Several TV shows have the potential to drive anime sales, but all are in the 'deserves watching' stage, rather than clearly breaking out. 


By looking at sales reports for both the comic and video store channels, as well as interviewing distributors, retailers, and manufacturers, ICv2 ranked the Top 25 Anime Properties for the third quarter.  Here are the top 10:


1.      Ghost in the Shell:  Stand Alone Complex

2.      Initial D

3.      Gungrave

4.      Dragon Ball GT

5.      InuYasha

6.      Witch Hunter Robin

7.      Ninja Scroll TV

8.      Neon Genesis Evangelion

9.      Last Exile

10. Tenchi Muyo GXP


For the full lists of the top anime and manga properties, as well as sales analysis and other news and features about the anime and manga markets, see the magazine (for information on how to get your copy, see 'ICv2 Releases ICv2 Retailers Guide to Anime/Manga #8').