Manga Increases Sales in Spain and Beat Superheroes

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During confinement, amidst adult conversations via Zoom, a terrifying thought often arose: “Imagine this happens to us as teens”. the fact that the millions of Mini Spaniards that make up our youth population today were non-negotiable and hormonally compliant against nature Which prevented them from taking to the streets to meet their counterparts and seek their identity. chain platform streaming Those months were the refuge of a generation that lived as a houseplant for 99 days and then with a limited amount of freedom. It was at that time, with the copious amounts of anime content being consumed on the screen, that our kids discovered manga.

a study published by Late last year I was putting in the numbers for this new behavior: Of the 100 best-selling books in Spain at the time, 20 were manga. In the Fnac chain of stores, sales have increased by almost 200% since 2019.

This trend continues to grow and today this graphic art that originated in Japan has been crowned the most successful in our country above superhero comics. Big publishers haven’t been slow to smooth out their manga divisions, as labels (there are 25 across the country) have grown like mushrooms focused on their publishing. Children in Japan are furious, who jump immediately from the animation and vignettes to its gastronomy, its cinema, its music…

To make it clear, the manga is infinite. It is not a sub-genre of comics or literature, it is a universe in itself that encapsulates all subjects. -Adventure, Terror, Sports, Sexuality, Custom, LGTB…- And he points to all ages already today. We are talking about the world’s most important publishing market.

out of 100 books
Of the 100 best-selling books in Spain during the lockdown, 20 were manga.World

The cornerstone is laid by the draftsman Ozamu Tezuka, Known as the creator of The God of Manga and historical pop icons such as Astro Boy. After World War II, Tezuka outlined the style of drawing and description that we associate with this art today. Currently, 60 percent of Japanese read at least one manga a week, short books of about 200 pages that are characterized by their cinematographic dynamism and their visual power, their easy consumption and their resulting ability to engage.

Member of the Association of Critics and Disseminators of Comics and Manga Content Advisor for events such as Fimik and Manga Barcelona, Oriole Estrada He was one of those readers who were drawn to Japanese comics through ‘Dragon Ball’ as a child, and who did not make it through on the way to adulthood. In his opinion, after the crisis and hiatus in 2008, when the industry’s good progress was limited by the caution of publishers, a series of technological improvements were subsequently achieved. Reactivate its publication to reduce publication cost.

In this new context, publishers such as Galaxy (most important among independents) for which the pandemic and limited preteens gave him the final push. Today the term corona otakus is gaining ground to refer to this new mass of readers between the ages of nine and 13. “All of these factors have created a very broad panorama that has ended up attracting a diverse audience that, on many occasions, never leaves the manga,” summarizes Estrada, the author of such titles.501 Manga to Read in Spanish You ‘Manga Culture’.

Added to all this is the fact that we are talking about very cheap books (about 7.5 euros on average), especially when compared to the price increases experienced by Staples and the whole superheuristic edition. Editorial Director of Comics at Planeta, David Hernando So much so that these last two years have changed the industry. “We’ve doubled the market. Their collectibles and accessibility have also been important. They’re a less complex universe that requires no prior knowledge.”

'Coming to you' cover of the manga.
‘Coming to you’ cover of the manga.World

Planeta is the house responsible for editions in Spain of some of the best-selling series, such as ‘Naruto‘ You ‘My Hero Academia’. For the most part, this best Sellers They are aimed at a very young audience who take a position within this world as was the case with children and young comic readers in the 80s and 90s and who are buyers of graphic novels today. In short, the entire market benefits from this boom. “As concerns mount, viewers can find their sleeves at the height of maturity. Series like ‘Uzumaki’, which we published on Cardboard, is aimed at a more adult population”, says Hernando. In September, Planeta will launch ‘Kaiju No. 8’, Which has shipped five million copies per volume in Japan, a publisher’s wet dream. “The labels there do not allow us to give statistics on what they sell in Spain, they are too jealous to reveal the data”Contribution He says that piracy is no longer a problem, the public is so loyal that if a series attracts them, they buy it.

“Despite these changes, there are still people who think we go through life with katanas,” protests Paula Navarro, Responsible for the manga section at Norma Bookstore in Barcelona. In the old days, when a successful chain came to Spain in Japan, I asked for 100 copies for the store. Today, it easily climbs to 1,000. After four years in this department, they have seen a significant increase in their clientele, especially the male and younger masses, who are the largest consumers in the country. Shannon, youth adventure style. “There are series of this sub-genre that have been with us for a long time, like ‘one piece’and others that have become best sellers as soon as they land, like ‘Tokio Revengers’, Edited by Norma herself. Once these guys ate everything on the platform, they dared with the anime and from there they moved on to the manga. On the other hand, youtube users They have also internationalized their consumption,” explains the expert, who does not fail to remind that other authors are aimed at a more educated public, such as Naoki Urasawa or classic Rumiko Takahashi, They are also enjoying excellent reception amongst the readers. Overall, in Spain we see only 10 percent of the content published in Japan.

This phenomenon is so powerful that we can now speak of a generation of Spanish writers, many of whom have already set foot in Asia. This is the case of Kenny Ruiz, who started doing “mogul“, jokes Estrada, and who later entered the French industry vigorously to conquer the Japanese market with his series’Team Phoenix’, made up of exactly Tezuka’s characters. In other words, a Spaniard who attracts the most sacred creatures of his popular culture to the Japanese. Along with Ruiz, others are also specialties such as Eduard Balst and Juan Albarán, Both with series regulars in Japan, or Ana C. Sanchez, author of Celebrated ‘Another Self’, That Planeta has already established in five countries.

The cover of the manga 'Uzumaki'.
The cover of the manga ‘Uzumaki’.The planet

Ultimately, manga hooks because it’s a product designed for serialization and because its marketing and audience study are on the same level as great television series. As is the case with DC cartoonists today, cartoonists are also exploited because of the demands of their masters. If one product does not work, it is immediately collapsed and another is launched until it is a massive success.

With video games, interviewers still agree, with many voices condemning it Sexualization or Violence of Manga Can wreak havoc on minors. However, feelings of companionship, love and loyalty form the DNA in this narrative. “magazine ‘Shannon Jump’, Which brings together all the great successes of the manga, has friendship, victory and victory as its symbol”, opposes Estrada. ‘Tokio Revengers’, Which follows the adventures of criminals without a beard, however, offers a point of rebellion against strict Japanese society and a focus on the value of friends. “Not all series are for all ages. But, as with any other cultural product, it is up to the parent to determine what the child can read.

Finally, there is another value that can be attributed to these comics, and that is they are able to rip books off bedside tables to encourage readers to meet them at comics stores, conventions, and fairs. They are the ones who demand translation, the driving force of an all-powerful market that boasts community spirit that is light years away from any other.

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