Anime Vice News

America's Top Sellers: And the Surprise Is...

The surprise is...that there are no surprises! HA!


 Don't worry, kids...Naruto will never, ever leave you.
 Don't worry, kids...Naruto will never, ever leave you.
The surprise is...that there are no surprises! HA!

ICv2 has released its top 25 manga properties list for the third quarter of 2009, along with the split versions ( top 10 shounen and top 10 shoujo). It's important to note that the shoujo list is specifically the top 10 shoujo-TYPE manga, not the top 10 best-selling manga among girls (I've seen people get confused on this elsewhere).

Anyway, you won't be surprised at all to hear that Naruto and Fruits Basket are still the top two manga overall. In fact, you have to go aaaaaall the way down to #8 to finally get a difference from the second quarter list: where Chibi Vampire, Maximum Ride, and Negima once rounded out #8, 9, and 10, it's now Maximum Ride, Negima, and Ouran Host Club. While I'm thrilled to see Ouran break the top 10 (Chibi Vampire has been relegated to #12-- it also just released its final volume int the US in September so presumably it will continue to fall off the radar.)

Newer on the list: not a lot, but Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei is a welcome addition amidst the usual suspects, and D.N. Angel is back on the list thanks to the August release of its 12th volume, after a early three-year break from US publication. The typo of VIZ's " Otomen" to "Ottomen" is also kinda funny. (Go ahead, say it out loud. It's an "Ottomen" Empire!)

I suppose it shouldn't be surprising that there's not a lot of shift throughout the year on these things, but it makes it harder to report! The Top 10 Shonen list is even more dull; literally the only change is a swap from Yu-Gi-Oh! to D.Gray-Man and the Chibi Vampire drop from 6 to 8. While shoujo has fewer megahits than shounen, their list is pretty much the exact same 10, shuffled around slightly. The only title change is Captive Hearts is gone and D.N. Angel is on.

What one title do you love and just wish to god would make it onto this top 10 sales list someday? I'd like to see Black Jack on here myself.
JackSukeruon Nov. 6, 2009 at 11:49 a.m.
Shikamaru Nara is my favourite character of the Naruto series btw, closely followed by Hinata. I stopped watching the anime a while ago though and the manga hasn't really caught up IMC yet (currently at Sasuke retrieval arc). 
 
Moving on to the topic, I don't really have an underdog favourite. I read mostly the super popular stuff, Naruto, Bleach, FMA etc. 
 
...Thinking about it is really starting to bum me out.
giaon Nov. 6, 2009 at 12:29 p.m.
@RockmanBionics: Then challenge yourself! ;) Pick out a less popular manga and see if you like it ^_^
InfiniteGeasson Nov. 6, 2009 at 1:40 p.m.
I wonder how long it'll be before Naruto isn't the number 1 seller.
FoxxFireArt moderator on Nov. 6, 2009 at 2:18 p.m.
I enjoy reading Negima. I haven't seen the Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei titles in the US as of yet. I enjoy the animes. They have a very entertaining way of telling a social commentary. I love how everyone's name has a meaning behind it.
giaon Nov. 6, 2009 at 3:28 p.m.
@InfiniteGeass: I suspect it'll be a little while yet, but not until something else really takes off.
 
@FoxxFireArt: I believe two volumes of Zetsubou are now out, so I'm surprised you have't seen them yet. That said, if you've watched the anime, you can probably skip the first volume.
Monkeynohitoon Nov. 6, 2009 at 8:53 p.m.
The interesting thing about the lists is how relatively old a lot of these properties are now. Fans of Naruto and Fruits Basket from the beginning are all adults by now. I'm surprised Zetsubou-sensei made the list too. Do kids even dig it? I don't see kids understanding any of it. I don't think it's really kids supporting many of these books.
giaon Nov. 7, 2009 at 8:04 a.m.
@Monkeynohito: Oh, I doubt very much that kids are reading Zetsubou-sensei-- that's all OUR target demographic (the 16-25 year old fan), and I'm really happy to see so many people supporting it, since its audience tends to be the fansub/scanlation readers/viewers. :)
 
And yes, many of these titles are a bit old now, but people in America are really used to that kind of getting into a brand and sticking to it. Look at American comics sales charts; the biggest sellers are literally series that have been running for decades. Spider-Man was a top seller in January and he started in 1962; in June it was Batman and Robin, and Batman was first published in 1939. Dark Avengers is a new comic series, but it's based on characters created in '63; Captain America first started in '41, and Blackest Night is a 2009 series that crosses over Green Lantern (1940), Superman, Batman, and the Titans (originally the Teen Titans), amongst others. In fact, according to that site, not a single *franchise* created in the last forty years has actually topped the sales charts in 2009 so far; the youngest franchise is the Teen Titans (technically built up mostly of preestablished characters, but became its own team in '64)-- that's still 45 years old.
 
Which is totally fine. People love what they love. But it puts even my whining about the lack of change in the manga sales charts into perspective, doesn't it ;)
Monkeynohitoon Nov. 7, 2009 at 3:06 p.m.
@gia:  Hee, yes, you do great making a counterargument against yourself.
 
I think a comment you made elsewhere about the fandom aging beyond the target audience of a lot of newer titles is really poignant too. It's true, people can stick with what they liked in their youth for years, but as series like Inu-yasha, Naruto, Fruits Basket start coming to a close, I'm wondering whether more mature titles like Zetsubou-sensei will start making it onto the list or will it still be the next incarnation DBZ?
 
Wah, you also unintentionally point out that American comic sales are still all about the superheroes though. I know my Baron Zemo from my Baron Mordo, but I say 'manga' in mixed company, I get sucked into some huge debate and I'm painted as some West-hating Japanophile. Conversely, manga is really starting to get bigger over in Europe now and I just don't see that kind of resistence. It's possible over there that a manga could be a huge deal in the comic world, but in North America, it's hard to say they could ever surpass superheroes and the adolescent power fantasies that come in the package.

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