The Oricon rating service has released its list of the top selling print manga in Japan for the period November 22, 2021 to November 20, 2022, and the lineup of the top series mirrors what Americans have been reading. There are some interesting trends lurking beneath the surface, though.

The top five series, as reported at Anime News Network, are Jujutsu Kaisen, with sales of almost 12.3 million copies; Tokyo Revengers, with sales of over 11 million; Spy x Family, 10.6 million; One Piece, 10.4 million, and My Hero Academia, with over 5.3 million copies sold. All five series are published in North America and regularly make the graphic novel best-seller charts, with Spy x Family getting a good boost from the anime and One Piece from its 100th volume as well as the One Piece Red film. My Hero Academia continues to do well, although its popularity is dwindling in both markets. Tokyo Revengers has a higher profile in Japan than in North America, but the series got off to a later start here, launching in print in May 2022 (see “‘Tokyo Revengers’ Coming to Print as Two-in-One Omnibi”).

Interestingly, Chainsaw Man, which has always sold well in North America and has had particularly strong sales since the anime was released in October (see “November 2022 NPD BookScan – Top 20 Adult Graphic Novels”) is not in the top five in Japan. It’s not clear why this is, as the timing for the anime was the same in Japan as in North America, but Oricon only counts print sales so it’s possible more people are reading that series digitally.

It's also worth noting that sales of the top five series have dropped in the past few years. In 2021, Oricon estimated that the top seller, Jujutsu Kaisen, had unit sales of almost 31 million, according to ANN, and the top three titles all had sales over 20 million apiece, higher than the top title in 2022. In 2020, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba had sales of over 82 million units (again, via ANN), although the other four titles in the top five had sales of less than 10 million apiece. In 2019, on the other hand, the chart looked a lot like today’s, with the top seller in the 12 million range and a slow taper to about 6 million for the number 5 title (ANN).

The ominous conclusion: If the top five is any indication, manga sales are decreasing in Japan, just as they are starting to soften in North America as well.