Although anime as a category was probably flat to down a little in 2004 (see 'Anime Market Flat in 04'), early indications in 2005 are promising. A year-over-year comparison using Videoscan year-to-date numbers shows a 7.6% growth rate for 2005.
Two likely sources for the growth include ADV, which had the #1 share slot in the week we saw and which has had several titles do well in Q1 (Chrono Crusade, Gantz, and DNAngel), and Disney, which is riding the success of its Miyazaki titles (see 'Nausicaa Reaches #14 in DVD Sales'). Gantz is particularly interesting because of its format. ADV packaged it two episodes per disc at a $14.98 MSRP.
Videoscan tracks sales as provided by participating retailers. Wal-Mart, the nation's largest video retailers, does not participate. Comic and game stores where anime is sold are also not in the reports, for the most part. Regardless, Videoscan tracks a significant percentage of video sales, and the growth in its numbers is a solid indicator of a good start to 2005.