The commercial impact of anime goes well beyond its disk sales. Manga may sell to more people, but anime is extremely visible, airing on TV (albeit often late at night) and propagating around the internet at a very rapid pace. This visibility very often can lead to an increased strength of the franchise in general, propping up sales of print material, figures, and any various other related goods. Sometimes, anyway. 2013 was no exception, and saw a number of manga adaptations have anywhere from minimal to explosive effects on the sales of their source material.
I collected the manga sales history, including thresholds for series which charted sporadically, on this doc, and plotted it below. Note that these sales are not total, but the total number reported in a roughly fixed time period. Comparing sales tail length is a whole other issue, and I’m trying as much as possible to compare like figures.
One important difference from similar breakdowns of 2011/2012 series is that here I’ve opted to use the total sales from a series’ first 2 weeks of release (the highest reported total in that time interval), to attempt to minimize the effects of a bad split in creating artificial variations. It’s still an issue either way, but the difference between 9 and 14 days is a lot less than the difference between 2 and 7 days.
Two important series-specific notes prior to the plots. First, Maoyu is plotted here, in the manga section, because the manga charts more consistently than the light novel did and, more importantly, has available data from both before and after the anime aired (the LN ended just prior to 2013). Second, I can’t parse impact for series that don’t have at least one volume which released after the anime began to air. I thus will not be covering Servant x Service here, though there is data available. I will cover it in an addendum post come September when volume 4 has been out for 2 weeks.
Ace of the Diamond
Aku no Hana
Arpeggio of Blue Steel
Attack on Titan
Cuticle Detective Inaba
Kimi no Iru Machi
Series that haven’t chart period, thus not having info available to plot (this does not necessarily mean they didn’t get a boost):
Ai Mai Mii
Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge
Non Non Biyori
Yama no Susume
-“Everybody’s third choice” might be too simple a way to describe Watamote. It put up great numbers across the board in almost every indicator, but failed to produce any sort of tangible commercial benefit. With disks, that can be explained away by other things (Titan/Monogatari/etc.) taking a higher priority with people who liked the series. But that same cost wall effectively doesn’t exist for manga. My best guess? The anime’s broad base of support came near-exclusively from existing manga fans who either weren’t disk buyers or had other priorities at the time. Ditto for Prisma Illya, with the all-important caveat that the disk buyers showed up for that one.
-I really can’t wait for the volume 9 data (due out in June) for Arpeggio. It put up numbers well in excess of volume 7’s threshold in the first month of the anime’s existence. It’s been quite common for what eventually became very substantial boosts into the 100k stratosphere to be basically invisible at that point. I’m presently trying to talk myself out of 80,000 volumes in 2 weeks as an acceptable target figure.
-Silver Spoon is kind of a tough call. Sales before the anime are slightly greater than they were after, but just based on those figures, it’s not easy to rule out splits/limited edition contents/word of mouth as bigger factors than the anime (though it was almost certainly *a* factor).
-Puchimas’ v5 first-time chart at first appears to be a blip, but v6 had separate oad bundled* and non-oad editions, splitting the numbers of a series that probably would have passed the threshold combined. Can’t complain, though; Takane, Miurasan, and a kotatsu versus the world was worth every penny.
-Similar limited/regular edition issues for Blood Lad, with the wrinkle that those two versions of v10 were released in separate weeks. v11, at least, made the boost obvious.
-Attack on Titan obviously is putting up monster numbers, but that’s kinda the case on both sides of the anime; the post-airing numbers are just kooky.
-Gifu Dodo, Arata Kangatari, and Coppelion all seem like poorly timed adaptations, coming after a series declined from a clear peak figure. Those didn’t do well, but Ace of the Diamond, which was coming down less hard from its peak in 2010, got a fairly strong showing from its post-anime volumes.
-It’s nice to see some series with notable detractors and middling-to-poor disk numbers get manga boosts (even if I’m sometimes one of the detractors). Good showings by Maoyu, Cuticle Detective Inaba, and Aku no Hana.
-Speaking of which, I regret that I wrote a piece on the manga sales impact of Aku no Hana thinking 9 was the last volume. Having an extra volume sell a minimum of 50,000 extra copies moves the needle a bit more in the neutral direction. Then again, disk sales averaged about 300 (not just sub-1000), so it’s more likely than not a wash based on what’s been charting. It’d be nice to have printrun data for the series in addition to Oricon chart data – might give an idea of how long the tail is and allow further analysis. Maybe, anyway.