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Old 2004-08-02, 19:05   Link #1
Roots
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Is it just me or is manga getting REALLY popular lately???

I went to the mall today and I saw at least 4 stores that were selling manga. And none of these were even bookstores! Also the manga section at stores like Barnes and Noble seem to be increasing in size at an exponential rate these days. Is it just my imagination, or is manga really catching on in the US?
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Old 2004-08-02, 20:29   Link #2
Superchop
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Yeah, Manga is really getting around...

In an arts and crafts store they're selling "how to" books on drawing manga...of course they're extremely bad...but the fact that they have it there does say a lot...
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Old 2004-08-02, 22:49   Link #3
AG3
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Yeah, it's getting popular here too. We have two shops (that I know of) in this town selling manga in English (and a lot of American comics too, but mainly manga).

Lately though, I've noticed regular stores and supermarkets selling manga in Norwegian along with their other magazines. I've seen Dragon Ball and Ranma 1/2 so far, plus one or two I can't remember the name of. In addition, a magazine called Manga Mania started here about a year ago, which had chapters from a few series (Love Hina, Chobits, Blade of the Immortal, and one I can't remember) printed in Norwegian.

Whether or not the Norwegian ones will become popular enough to have series translated here regularly remains to be seen. So far though, the store selling them in English seems to be doing well enough. A friend and I were at the store a while ago, and two kids around age 13-14 came in and asked if they had the latest issue of Naruto ( bleh -_- ). The guy behind the counter said that they were all out, the issues sell out almost the same day the shop gets them.

I don't see what's so great about Naruto, myself. But regardless, the more manga sold here, the more I can get. Although... I usually buy them off the net to save money, so it might not matter much to me in the end. I'm so unpatriotic -_-;
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Old 2004-08-03, 01:42   Link #4
Bandersnatch
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Yeah it does seem to be getting more popular, I didn't even know what manga was a year ago and now im seeing commercials for it. Ive been going to Borders bookstore alot lately and there is always kids just sitting there reading, and thats not just on the weekends. At first I thought it was cool because more people were reading manga but now its kind of pissing me off because they are just sitting there blocking all the manga and ripping the shrink wrap off....little bastards. I guess manga makes a better babysitter nowadays. To those that go to Barnes and Noble, do the ones near you carry the more mature manga such as Berserk and Battle Royale? The one near me doesn't seem to, just wondering if they all choose not to sell them.
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Old 2004-08-03, 01:53   Link #5
Roots
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I picked up a random manga from B&N the other day and started flipping thru it, and there was FULL FRONTAL NUDITY on several pages (boobs WITH nipples!). And I don't remember what the name of it was so don't ask me. I was mildly shocked at my discovery.
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Old 2004-08-03, 02:18   Link #6
slovadon
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I deffinetly agree

I completely agree that manga is gaining popularity. I think that the two main reasons are Sonen Jump's release in America and Tokyo Pop's releases. Shonen Jump is the biggest selling mag. in Japan and I think sometime last year they gave it a try in america. Before that English manga was pricy (even more so than now.) Viz and Darkhorse were releasing graphic novels that were $15 and up (ones that would have been about 1/3 the price in japan.) Shonen Jump is only $5 for 300 pages or so of manga and they released DBZ which already captured kids attention because of the anime all over the place. Tokyo Pop has brought over a lot of manga for decent prices. That gave american's a lot of variety and for a decent price. I was thinking about it the other day and Manga is becoming more popular than American comic books. The graphic novel section at places like Barnes and Noble and Borders are filling up with manga and less classic american stuff. Interesting stuff, that's just my theory anyways.
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Old 2004-08-03, 02:37   Link #7
snoopy
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Um... actually, manga is enjoying an over-inflated bubble effect.

To explain, take this example. You are a bookstore manager in charge of new purchases (remember, the bookstores buy the manga from the publishers, then sell it to the consumer). You see that your sales on manga have been increasing, so you buy more varieties of it. You don't know anything about it, by the way, since you're nothing but a manager at Barnes and Noble who makes decisions based on numbers. Eventually, you stock just about everything that TP and Viz and Dark Horse and everyone else is releasing. Sadly for you, most of what they're releasing is pure and total shit that you bought simply because it's 'manga'. Your customers will buy the first volume or 2 of these new breed of shit mangas from you, inflating your confidence in the series and publisher, pushing you to buy even more, then they will realize that the story sucks giant Rhino balls and they won't buy the 1500 copies you got in stock last week, leaving you in the red and pissy.

Now why do I say this? Because places like TokyoPop and some others (more specifically ADV Manga) have begun simply buying licenses left and right for no-name worthless stories (come on... neither me nor any of the people I've talked to have ever heard of half of ADV's new manga line-up...) that will begin hitting English store shelves at the end of the year. Currently and in the past, the companies have provided the English audience with a kind of 'shit filter' by not releasing things that aren't worth buying, and now that concept is about to fly out the window and get sucked into a jet turbine. It won't hurt most of the fan's opinions of manga as a whole, but it'll be a set back for lots of companies. And all of these new people jumping in aren't slowing the process any.

Oh yeah, yes, manga's getting more popular.
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Old 2004-08-03, 04:25   Link #8
AG3
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Ah, yes. The curse of "mainstreamness". Anything going mainstream is bound to get mixed in with a crapload of... well, crap. That's why cheking up on stuff before buying it is important, regardless of what you're getting.
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Old 2004-08-03, 17:32   Link #9
EVILteddie
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I am all for manga getting mainstream if that means more stuff is going to come. Sure some will be crap, but more stuff is always better.
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Old 2004-08-03, 18:08   Link #10
7thMethuselah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EVILteddie
I am all for manga getting mainstream if that means more stuff is going to come. Sure some will be crap, but more stuff is always better.
Problem is many people will get desillusioned by buying crap manga's and thus a drop in sales will follow. which will mean the death of certain companies and a possible decrease of manga's available.

Manga around here is still pretty unknown. Apart from DBZ which has been available in stores for years and years, the only other place to find manga are specialised anime/manga stores or comic stores.

Off course there are more anime stores than there used to be, but still only few of them.
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Old 2004-08-03, 18:14   Link #11
FreakyEyes
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So sad. We can't read manga anymore, 'cause it's way too "mainstream" nowadays

Last edited by FreakyEyes; 2004-08-03 at 18:26.
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Old 2004-08-03, 18:36   Link #12
EVILteddie
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Well manga can drop in sales, but it ill always have the main fan base it has had for the past few years, so it will never die out.
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Old 2004-08-03, 18:49   Link #13
7thMethuselah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roots
I picked up a random manga from B&N the other day and started flipping thru it, and there was FULL FRONTAL NUDITY on several pages (boobs WITH nipples!). And I don't remember what the name of it was so don't ask me. I was mildly shocked at my discovery.
Actually that doesn't surprise me all that much, several manga have some form of nudity in them. I mean even Planetes has it, imagine that , well at least that was part of the story (sort of).
Or for example Ai Yori Aoshi, where suddenly out-of-nowhere a naked woman appears for no reason at all.

Personally I don't think that anime and manga will become mainstream in belgium (apart from a couple of shows). Especially manga will remain behind, comics are very popular around here, but mostly european comics. Kids around here rarely read comics aimed at older people, those kinda comics are mostly read by collectors (like me), same goes for manga, popular series shown on tv are known by the kids but they've never seen a manga and couldn't care about it either, besides manga are 200 pages thick compared to the 48 - 64 page count of a normal comic. I remember my nephew saying he didn't want to read my manga's since they had too many pages
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Old 2004-08-03, 18:52   Link #14
jennwenn
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But people are buying that crap. And, worse yet, liking it. (Well, this is not so bad if it means these people will also like and buy good stuff, thereby encouraging more good stuff to be translated...)

I don't think the manga market is experiencing a bubble unless many readers who have been supporting the manga boom just decide to up and quit reading manga. Maybe these readers will grow out of it, but newer, younger readers will replace them. Also, the beauty of manga is that there are titles aimed at older readers as well, so we don't need to get bored of sappy romances when we're 30.

The kind of people who will quit reading manga are the ones who read one or two and decide they aren't into it. Now maybe companies are over-projecting how many new readers they are going to get, which is a possibility but one I'm not so sure will happen. Time will tell I guess.

As for ADV manga and Tokyopop releasing crap, I concur! They have maybe 10-15 worthy titles between them (Apocalypse Meow, Kodocha, Marmalade Boy, Planetes, etc.) while the rest are just not worth reading, reviewing, or even glancing at.

But what really pisses me off about this "manga boom" is that in this boom we are seeing NO critically acclaimed or serious manga. I thought the freakin market was exploding and yet no one wants to take this opportunity to deliver us something excellent from the likes of Naoki Urasawa, Yoshiharu Tsuge, Osamu Tezuka, Moto Hagio, Ryoko Ikeda, etc. Instead, they're just flooding us with cheap fluff. (The only exceptions to this would be Vertical's Buddha, and a few independent or foreign publishers like Ponent Mon/Fanfare or DH Publishers. But have you even heard of them? At least Viz sometimes graces us with a good manga, like Phoenix...)

The main reason publishers have been holding back from releasing serious manga is because they didn't think the manga market was big enough to support it. Well that's great. So when will it be big enough? In another 10 years? *sigh*
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Old 2004-08-03, 19:11   Link #15
babbito2k
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennwenn
...what really pisses me off about this "manga boom" is that in this boom we are seeing NO critically acclaimed or serious manga...
I think this is a good indication that manga is not really as popular as all the new publishers wish it was. If they knew that there was a serious market out there they would try harder to distinguish themselves from each other. Instead they are bargain-hunting and fighting over a couple of titles which will be dead easy to sell.

And selling the popularity of anything is a dead end, because it basically labels whatever it is as a fad. It would be better to invest something in making an argument for quality, so that people have a reason to come back and read more.
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Old 2004-08-03, 20:23   Link #16
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Well, being in Singapore, we always had manga translated and published here by a variety of publishers. Most of the translated series that I bought were typical shounen AND popular ones. I think the most cardinal sin I ever have as a manga fan is to have all 30+ volumes of Dragonball (including Z) on my shelves. Ah! Megami-sama must be the oldest ongoing series that I am still reading...

I just got into reading scanlations several months ago and I think it really affected my wallet since it widened the variety that I actually bother to read. I have cable service so I actually download quite a bit to read.

I picked up (manga of course!) Full Metal Alchemist, 20th Century Boys and Yakitate Japan this way. I had an old volume one of Fruits Basket and I went back to procure the more current ones recently. I even managed to get the store to do me a favour and get me a full set of Monster as well - that series was completed for some time. Ouch for my wallet - I need to get rid of some of my older collections... =_=

Japanese manga is getting even more popular here - in the past, most of the shops here carried Hong Kong publishers and I can tell you they used very poor quality paper (*sobs for my torn and tattered Nausicaa collection I inherited from my older brother*) and ink. I think as the manga fans matured and grew older, they brought in better quality ones - like Tong Li and the Taiwanese publishers.

Of course, there was that Tenjou Tenge craze that started some time back. *Shudders*
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Old 2004-08-03, 23:45   Link #17
Kyuven
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennwenn
But what really pisses me off about this "manga boom" is that in this boom we are seeing NO critically acclaimed or serious manga. I thought the freakin market was exploding and yet no one wants to take this opportunity to deliver us something excellent from the likes of Naoki Urasawa, Yoshiharu Tsuge, Osamu Tezuka, Moto Hagio, Ryoko Ikeda, etc. Instead, they're just flooding us with cheap fluff. (The only exceptions to this would be Vertical's Buddha, and a few independent or foreign publishers like Ponent Mon/Fanfare or DH Publishers. But have you even heard of them? At least Viz sometimes graces us with a good manga, like Phoenix...)
Osamu Tezuka's Astro Boy has been one of Dark Horse's mainstays for a while
and what do you mean "no critically acclaimed manga"? GTO, Love Hina, and Fruits Basket (all 3 Tokyopop releases, btw) are some of the most "critically acclaimed" manga available
yes, it is acclaimed by american companies, but that's who they're selling it too. Tokyopop only licensed Fruits Basket after droves and droves of fans sent in requests asking them to license it. If you want stuff like 20th Century Boys, or Monster, or Midori no Hibi (yeah, that's me), or Yakitate, etc. to get licensed, then do what those Furubu fans did and SEND IN YOUR LETTERS/EMAILS/FAXES/MORSE CODE MESSAGES. Believe it or not, they DO listen, but they have a hard time hearing just one voice. Be VOCAL, get your friends to send in requests.
Oh, and about the "crap" hitting the shelves from ADV that no one's ever heard of...it was part of a licensing deal with Blade Comics apparently, similar to Del Rey's deal with Kodansha (the difference being Del Rey, as far as we know, only got series by popular authors (CLAMP(XXXholic, Tsubasa) and Akamatsu (Negima) or from a popular franchise (Gundam SEED) while ADV, as we've seen from their licensing techniques ("more is better"...hey more power to em...i wish they'd hurry up with gunslinger girl and full metal panic though) milked the deal for all it was worth.
i'll honestly say that there are only 2 manga series i've ever bought that were boring: Baby Birth and Real Bout High School...but both of those were just hyper condensed and should have been a lot longer (especially baby birth...my favorite critiquing phrase for manga/games/TV/anime/movies applies to this: "Nice idea, poor execution") everything else i've bought has been worth following to the end (and i don't have a small collection by any means: 3x3 Eyes, .hack, AI Love You, Ai Yori Aoshi, Battle Vixens (Ikkitousen), Azumanga Daioh, Comic Party...ok it's a long list (close to 200 collected volumes from a dozen or so series)
i just wish they'd release unflipped Narutaru, 3x3 Eyes, Ranma 1/2, and rerelease Urusei Yatsura
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Old 2004-08-04, 02:10   Link #18
babbito2k
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Originally Posted by Kyuven
...what do you mean "no critically acclaimed manga"?
I think "no critically acclaimed manga" means "no manga praised by people willing to call a spade a spade." Why the hell isn't Monster licensed? You can try and hold up industry puff pieces about Love Hina as examples of critical acclaim, but that's just logrolling or backpatting on the part of all concerned. Meanwhile there are titles which won awards in Japan which haven't even been touched.

And it's all very nice to invoke democracy on behalf of Tokypop, but I don't WANT Tokypop to grab up and mangle Moto Hagio - I just want them to curl up and die and leave Viz in peace, so Viz can do a proper job of it instead of having to flog 50 Watase Yuu titles every month.
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Old 2004-08-04, 05:01   Link #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babbito2k
I think "no critically acclaimed manga" means "no manga praised by people willing to call a spade a spade." Why the hell isn't Monster licensed? You can try and hold up industry puff pieces about Love Hina as examples of critical acclaim, but that's just logrolling or backpatting on the part of all concerned. Meanwhile there are titles which won awards in Japan which haven't even been touched.
Companies license manga/anime based on how well they think they will sell. The actual quality of the manga/anime is mostly irrelevant to them.
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Old 2004-08-04, 05:19   Link #20
Ri_
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Manga is gradually getting bigger and more popular in Germany... the scene however is dominated by mediocre shoujo and shounen-ai, Angel Sanctuary and Yu-Gi-Oh! and the like. Seinen series' like Monster, NaruTaru, Eagle, Eden ect. sell awfully here, and 20th Century Boys nearly got cancelled. They actually had this "Print On Demand"-system, where the next volume could only be printed if enough people pre-ordered it; thankfully, there were enough, though only barely, and now we're still waiting for vol. 9 to actually come out; it's almost a year already since it's release has been first announced. It's a disgrace. ;_;

Last edited by Ri_; 2004-08-04 at 05:32.
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