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.
|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
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
|Manga||TI||TII||C/ TI||TIII||C/ TI|
|Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle||5||8||↓||9||↓|
|Kungfu Boy Legends||7||4||↑||5||↑|
|The Law of Ueki Plus||9||7||↑||7||↑|
|Magic Kaito Kid||12||—||—|
|The Great Detective Kiyoshiro Yumemizu||19||—||—|
|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|
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)