We Look at What's Driving Sales
Posted by Brigid Alverson on December 16, 2019 @ 9:20 am CT
Demon Slayer first made the Top 20 Adult Graphic Novels BookScan chart in September (see "September 2019 NPD BookScan – Top 20 Adult Graphic Novels"), and in November, the first, second, and ninth volumes all made the top 20 manga chart (see "November 2019 NPD BookScan – Top 20 Author, Manga, Superhero Graphic Novels").
Kimetsu no Yaiba is big in Japan: Anime News Network reported last month that Demon Slayer was the top selling manga there in 2019, breaking a 12-year streak for One Piece. The most recent volume had a first printing of 1 million, and there are over 25 million volumes in print right now, also according to ANN.
The manga is getting a push in the U.S. from the anime; the first season was released earlier this year and is available on Hulu, FUNimation, and Crunchyroll streaming platforms, and began running on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block in October. Reception has been good: the anime won eight Newtype Anime Awards and made Crunchyroll’s list of the top 25 anime of the 2010s.
At AnimeNYC, where Demon Slayer cosplayers were a noticeable presence, VIZ Media announced that they will start releasing a new volume every month so they can catch up with Japan (see "AnimeNYC: Viz Announces New Junji Ito, Splatoon Manga"), where 18 volumes have been released (vs. nine in the U.S.). Manga fans can read the first three chapters for free on the Shonen Jump app, which also carries the most recent chapters as they are published in Japan.
Demon Slayer blends several popular tropes: Tanjiro, the main character, becomes a demon slayer to avenge his family, who were slain by demons, and save his sister, who was not killed but became a demon herself. So there’s the journey to mastery, family drama, the tension between human and supernatural, and plenty of battles.
Creator Koyoharu Gotouge uses a clear, expressive style and makes judicious use of period details from the Taisho Era, when the story is set. The result is not only easy to read but also beautiful to look at.
Click Gallery below for some of the U.S. covers!