Elex Media Bestselling Manga of 2008: The Naruto, Conan, and One Piece triumverate rules

Elex Media Bestselling Manga of 2008: Naruto, Conan, and One Piece are Top 3 banner

Naruto © Kishimoto Masashi/Shueisha
Meitantei Conan © Aoyama Gosho/Shogakukan
One Piece © Oda Eiichiro/Shueisha

No contest. In numbers and hard cash, Naruto, Detektif Conan (Meitantei Conan), and One Piece captured the Top 3 spots for the first nine months of 2008, the most consistent performers for Indonesia's premier manga imprint Elex Media.

Elex Media bestselling manga and manhwa (2008)

# Trimester I II III
1 Naruto Naruto Naruto
2 Detektif Conan Detektif Conan Detektif Conan
3 One Piece One Piece One Piece
4 Yu-Gi-Oh! R Kungfu Boy Legends Yu-Gi-Oh! R
5 Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle Doraemon Kungfu Boy Legends
6 Doraemon Nakayoshi Lovely: Sun Flower Doraemon
7 Kungfu Boy Legends The Law of Ueki Plus The Law of Ueki Plus
8 Ghost School (Gakkou no Kaidan) Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle Ghost School
9 The Law of Ueki Plus Ghost School Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle
10 Yakitate!! Japan Yu-Gi-Oh! R InuYasha
11 MÄR Fullmetal Alchemist Yakitate!! Japan
12 Magic Kaito Kid Ruler of the Land (Yul Hyul Gang Ho) Nakayoshi Lovely: Sun Flower
13 Fullmetal Alchemist YuYu Hakusho - Ghost Files Ruler of the Land
14 YuYu Hakusho - Ghost Files InuYasha Fullmetal Alchemist
15 Midori's Days Yotsuba&! YuYu Hakusho - Ghost Files
16 Ranma ½ Dragon Drive Parfait Tic!
17 Yotsuba&! Yakitate!! Japan Demon King (Majeh)
18 Black Cat Dear Boys Act. II Yotsuba&!
19 The Great Detective Kiyoshiro Yumemizu Kungfu Komang Dragon Drive
20 Mama Colle Eyeshield 21 Eyeshield 21

Based on total quantity sold and net sales
Source: Highly Acclaimed Manga of Elex; figures from Elex Media Research and Development; updated 10 December 2008

(I did a similar bestselling list, back when the first trimester results came out; I'll post the full year's results if/when figures are complete.)

a shot at an analysis by huamulan03

What do these rankings tell us? Beyond Naruto, Conan, and One Piece doing well anywhere, on any given day, not much. I would've preferred to compare performances with the year-earlier period (instead of the melon and ringo quarter-to-quarter comparisons I have here), but those numbers aren't available. Working with what's on tap, we can see this much: jockeying for position is pretty much relegated to the other 17 slots.

Table 1: Rank 4 to 20, changes in succeeding periods, and comparison with original TI position

Yu-Gi-Oh! R 4 10 4 UNC
Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle 5 8 9
Doraemon 6 5 6 UNC
Kungfu Boy Legends 7 4 5
Ghost School 8 9 8 UNC
The Law of Ueki Plus 9 7 7
Yakitate!! Japan 10 17 11
MÄR 11
Magic Kaito Kid 12
Fullmetal Alchemist 13 11 14
YuYu Hakusho 14 13 15
Midori's Days 15
Ranma ½ 16
Yotsuba&! 17 15 18
Black Cat 18
The Great Detective Kiyoshiro Yumemizu 19
Mama Colle 20
Nakayoshi Lovely: Sunflower 6 NEW 12 N/A; C/TII ↑
Ruler of the Land 12 NEW 13 N/A; C/TII ↑
InuYasha 14 NEW 10 N/A; C/TII ↑
Dragon Drive 16 NEW 19 N/A; C/TII ↓
Dear Boys Act II 18 NEW N/A; C/TII N/A
Kungfu Komang 19 NEW N/A; C/TII N/A
Eyeshield 21 20 NEW 20 N/A; C/TII UNC
Parfait Tic! 16 NEW
Demon King 17 NEW

We can probably include the classic Doraemon, Ghost School (Gakkou no Kaidan), and conditionally, Yu-Gi-Oh! R and Yotsuba&! among the more stable manga performers. Doraemon started ranked sixth, advanced to fifth and finished at sixth; Ghost School fell from eighth to ninth, before climbing back to eighth. Yu-Gi-Oh! R started out in fourth place, dropped to tenth, only to rebound in the third trimester to the same position with which it started; Yotsuba&! started at #17, rose to 15th in Trimester II, but slid down to 18th by the end of the third trimester

Meanwhile, generally upwardly mobile titles include Kungfu Boy Legends (7—4—5), and to a certain extent, The Law of Ueki Plus (9—7—7). Although I'm almost sure Ueki Plus would drop out of the list in the fourth period, seeing as the series has already finished.

Which brings me to my point. Tracking so-called gainers and losers—with only results posted—is an academic exercise, with variables such as spotty release timetables likely hurting performance. I think this is what happened with Tsubasa, the popularity of which doesn't reflect in its generally downward 5—8—9 showing. Disappearances likewise can also be traced back to that same release schedule quirk and/or the manga ending.

That Naruto, Conan, and One Piece came out on top was a dead giveaway

What is glaring is the shounen domination. For each trimester, there has only been one, at most two, shoujo titles among the bestsellers, and with the exception of Shueisha's Parfait Tic!—all serialized in Kodansha's Nakayoshi (Toyama Ema's Mama Colle and Enue Kei's The Great Detective Kiyoshiro Yumemizu). Surprisingly, Kodansha's shoujo one-shots anthology, Nakayoshi Lovely: Sunflower posted a pretty strong performance for something so under the radar. It debuted at #6 in the second trimester and by the third trimester, albeit plunging to #12, still made it into the Top 20.

Elex's apparently shounen focus could be the reason for the dominance; the Gramedia shoujo imprint, after all, is m&c! I really doubt it would be due to purchasing power differences. More plausible is the lack of opportunity. I would dearly love to see m&c!'s bestsellers but again, that list's not available. What is on hand are the bestselling lists for Elex's other imprint—Level Comics—and shoujo fares seems to fare slightly better there.

Who's got the biggest market share, as it were...

In terms of who owns what, Shogakukan assets number nine in total, Shueisha, eight. Kodansha is third with six. Share movements below. (Again, this might not mean much, given the reasons I already stated.)

Table 2: Share by original publisher, changes in succeeding periods, and comparison with initial share

Original publisher TI share (%) TII share (%) TIII share (%)
Shueisha 25 30 ↑ 35 ↑
Shogakukan 40 25 ↓ 25 ↓
Kodansha 20 20 UNC 15 ↓
Poplar 5 5 UNC 5 UNC
Square Enix 5 5 UNC 5 UNC
N/A 0 5 UNC 0 UNC
Daiwon C.I. 0 0 UNC 10 ↑
ASCII Media Works 5 5 UNC 5 UNC

huamulan03's predictions for 2009?

We might be seeing a thrust for large volumes of choice popular titles versus selling more niched manga in smaller quantities. IOW, following the Pareto principle or the 80-20 rule that seems to be the Indonesian retail market's guiding precept. Is the trend for manga box sets (not so coincidentally released for Naruto, One Piece, Conan, and Doraemon) part of this direction? I'm inclined to think so.

Level Comics Top 20 Bestselling Manga

~niki DBA huamulan03 (花木蘭03) from the Elex Media rankings


Cover images used here are © their respective intellectual rights holders. No infringement intended.

other invaluable resources

Amazon Japan (images)


aquayers said...

Knp ya Indo gak bisa niru luar negeri dgn menyediakan data number sales nya. Biar bisa dibanding2kan gitu. Gak abstrak kek gini. Btw nice assessment. ^^

huamulan03 said...

Yup, also wish for the same thing... Thanks for the back pat comment ^^

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