Fun With Numbers: Dragonball, Naruto, Love Live, and the Importance of Second-Tier Hits

Weekly Shonen Jump is Japan’s most successful manga magazine, something that’s been true, excluding a brief early-aughts blip, for upwards of 20 years. But the brand didn’t get there by some fluke – it earned notability by harnessing a number of talented artists in many eras; Go Nagai in the late 60s, Buichi Terasawa and Osamu Akimoto in the 70s, Hirohiko Araki, Masami Kurumada, and countless others in the 80s.

But that doesn’t mean the past 2 decades were free of uncertainty or bad luck for Shueisha. In actuality, in between the early-nineties peak where the magazine’s circulation topped 6 million copies and the modern era of Oda Eiichiro breaking his own volumes’ records on a regular basis, they experienced one of the biggest misfortunes that can befall a publishing empire: two franchise cornerstone series ending withing 13 months of each other.

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Via Anime Insider: Akitaro Daichi (July 2005)

The cool Akitaro Daichi talks about all sorts of stuff, including sponsors’ influence on Kodocha, writing Sana’s improv songs from Kodocha basically solo, details on the production of Fruits Basket (he says he got the script because the producer was comfortable with him and that he didn’t get what the story was about until near the end of the show), and Kodocha author Miho Obana dancing the flamenco in Times Square.

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Via Anime Insider: Manga’s Performance in the US (December 2004)

A quick article on the impressive dominance of manga in the US in 2004, where manga titles reportedly made up 47 of the top 50 selling titles.

(Which reminds me: I should probably go back and add 2003-2006 US manga data at some point.)

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