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Monday, March 28, 2005
Manga in June
My comments here are probably going to be fairly balanced between my views as a reader and my views from retailing, so bear with me.
Usagi Yojimbo: After all this time, still a steady seller in both monthly and book format. In fact, with the rise in popularity of the book-format manga, the books of this series probably are doing a little better now.
Berserk: Seems to have a strong cult following, but not much else.
Blade of the Immortal: This has largely shed it's audience, and I don't know why. It's also the last manga title whose fans seem to prefer the monthly comic format over the book format.
Oh my Goddess: Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Sales on this have slowed to the point as to be non-existant. I never really saw the appeal, as the book always struck me as a watered down riff on Urusei Yatsura, but there was a time that it seemed like everyone was reading this series.
Super Manga Blast: The only thing in here that really works for me is What's Michael. Otherwise, sales have slowed to a trickle, and if sales on book collections from the sereis here are any indication, What's Michael is the only thing in here that people are enjoying.
Appleseed Movie Book: My gut feeling is that it's probably been too long since the last Appleseed project was released for this to do well, and it appears to be a fumetti style book, so we'll probably keep orders low.
The Devil Does Exist: I don't recall the first issue shipping, so I have no idea how it'll do. The plot strongly resembles about a dozen other shojo titles that do sell well for us, so it'll probably do okay.
Monster Collection: I flipped through the first volume and was very unimpressed. So far, so have our customers. We'll probably get a copy of this and leave it at that.
Sword of the Dark Ones: I flipped through the first volume of this and thought it had sales potential, but wasn't for me. I'll probably keep a close eye on sales for the first volume, and if it does well, match them for the second.
Seimaden: The story sounds very similar to Bride of Deimos, which was a strong seller for us, so I expect this will do okay as well.
As a retailer, I really hate the "solicitisement" type pages in Previews. They're hard to read, and it's very difficult to differentiate between new material, reoffered material, and non-comics material. I know it's an attempt to look more like a "front of the book" publisher, but in this section of Previews, clear, easy-to-read layouts are essential, and ADV isn't providing those. Anyway...
Yotsuba&!: Azumanga Daioh had a dedicated following at our store, so we'll probably match that, plus a couple extra copies since genuinely all ages manga is something I'd like to build our stock on.
By the Sword: I really enjoyed Fake, and was really turned off by the premise of Under the Full Moon. This series looked like it had potential, but I think the tiny demon father of the romantic interest killed it for me.
Chrono Crusade: It looked like a fan-service book to me, and our fan-service buyers have been picking it up.
Gunslinger Girl: This is just eccentric enough to have developed a small audience at our store.
Cromartie High School: So far, this has been a hard sell to our customers. I think it's too weird for them. It's on the list of titles I want to check out once I make a little more head-way into the unread manga pile, as I like absurdist comedy.
Kids Joker: I don't think the first volume did well for us, and the premise and art felt generic to me.
Noodle Fighter Miki: Great title. Generic execution.
Orphen: Has the first volume of this even shipped yet. If so, it made no impression on me at all.
Full Metal Panic: Overload: Another title that seems to do well with our fan-service customers.
Anime Works Publications
If the first volume of these three series have even shipped yet, that they made no impact on me at all, either good or bad, is probably not a promising sign.
I don't care for anything they put out. With the exception of Fred Perry's and Rod Espinosa's stuff, we can't move it. Now that real manga is readily available, there seems to be a lot less demand for the facsimile stuff Antarctic puts out.
Galaxy Angel Party: I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, but this title sells to our fan-service customers.
It appears to be all resolicited material this month. Since we're on top of reorders anyway, anything we needed back in stock has already been taken care of.
Negima: This opened as a strong seller for us, and it continues to pick up new readers. Surprisingly, given the creator's previous work, most of the customers on this have been young girls.
Othello: It's gotten good reviews, but it hasn't clicked for me. It's selling respectfully.
A Perfect Day for Love Letters: Without knowing a little more about it, it's hard to say how this will do. We'll probably go with slightly conservative orders on this, as we have with most of the Del Rey books, and see how it goes from there.
Wallflower: I'm enjoying this series, especially after the dramatic turn in tone that the second volume took, incorporating supernatural and mystery elements into the story. But, as with most Del Rey books, we'll probably go with conservative orders on this.
Digital Manga Publishing
Antique Bakery: I've seen a couple chapters of this at fan-translation sites and really enjoyed them, so I've been looking forward to this. It may be not quite "yaoi"-like enough to appeal to our yaoi-customers (mostly teenage girls and a few older women...and, well, sometimes me), but it does look like it could strongly appeal to a general gay audience as well, or at least moreso than most yaoi does. Unfortunately, though we do have a good number of gay customers, I've noticed, most of them are pretty firmly super-hero only buyers, so we'll probably go with conservative orders on this as well.
Yellow: This looks promising too. The boys are a little pretty, but not overly much, and they appear to be well over age eighteenj, so it should appeal to our regular yaoi buyers, and I won't feel vaguely creepy after reading it.
Bambi and Her Pink Gun: Oh, I can already tell our manga customers are going to hate this. But our indy comics fans will probably dig it, and I have a suspicion that if I shelve it next to our Couriers display it'll move.
This used to be Comics.One, right?
Dark Edge: This has been a hard sell so far.
Tsukihime: The cover promises a romance story, the description promises a violent story. So one or the other is misleading. So we'll probably go with very conservative orders on this.
High School Girls: Fan-service customers. Did you have to ask?
Rahxephon Novel: I don't think we've managed to sell a single manga-novel, and it hasn't been for lack of trying. I'm guessing we'll probably skip this alltogether.
Iron Wok Jan: A very strong seller for us, a title we keep upping orders on and still sell out of, and a title that has gotten a lot of non-manga readers to pick it up.
King of Fighters: If I shelve this with the manga titles, it won't move. If I shelve it next to the Transformers trade-paperbacks, it'll fly out of here.
Sex Warrior Isane XXX: It's one of our lesser-selling Mangerotica titles, but it still sells.
Oh, and a new issue of Sticky is solicited.
Two titles of naughty pin-up style art books. The expensive covers probably won't move, but the regular ones probably will. This makes me vaguely annoyed, that I even have to consider trying to figure out how many copies of these books to order. On stuff like this, that I have absolutely no interest in at all, it's really hard for me to accurately predict how our customers will like it.
To be honest, I don't recall ever having the first fourteen volumes of this come in. Which is surprsing, as the solicitation promises bondage and, well, bondage porn sells well for us.
A new issue of Dangerous, with a new number one as well. Our yaoi customers seem to be unaware of this title, and I don't feel like I really should pitch it to them. "Hey, I can't help but notice you like reading soft-core porn about androgynous, under-age Japanese boys? Would you be interested in some hard-core porn about androgynous men?"
.hack//Ai Buster: Manga novels don't sell for us.
Princess Ai: We did sell the first volume, to goth types, long after it was released. So, we'll probably order about the same as this volume and plan on it "eventually" selling as well.
MBQ: I know we're all supposed to be excited about "urban", "hip-hop" manga, but it's a genre that does nothing for me, nor does it seem to do anything for our customers. So, Very conservative orders on this.
Saiyuki: After a strong initial sales pattern, slaes have slumped a bit. It still does okay, but we no longer need to keep re-ordering new volumes when they ship. I tried the first volume and wasn't impressed.
Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad: Music themed manga hasn't done very well for us. I think only Sensual Phrase has built an audience at our store. So very conservative orders I'm going to guess.
Chrono Code: Wow, this sounds like about a dozen other titles that also only have marginal sales.
Heat Guy J: Wasn't the anime version of this series a big deal several years ago? This may be too little too late, so we'll probably err on the slightly conservative side and watch sales closely.
Sakura Taisen: Girls in traditional Japanese dress piloting giant robots. I know it's supposed to be a popular series in Japan, but I'm not sure how aware of it most American manga and anime fans are. So, I'm going to go with slightly conservative orders now.
Battle Royale: With volume twelve, we finally seem to have gotten our order numbers right, only to see sales on early volumes pick up again, so we probably should bump orders on this up by a copy or two.
Blade of Heaven: So far it's been a slow seller.
Boys Be...: This series has yet to make an impact on me. Too much fan-service for my taste, but it's been a decent seller for us, and has more customers than just the fan-service crowd.
Crazy Love Story: Has had slow sales.
DearS: Another series that has had no impact on me either as a retailer or reader, which is probably not a good indication for its sales.
Doll: Sales on this series have dramatically increased just lately, so we may up orders slightly on this volume.
Fruits Basket: I really enjoy this series and we still routinely sell out the day new volumes are released, despite increasing orders all the time and reordering prior volumes all the time.
GetBackers: Up to ten volumes? Really? It's made no impact here at all.
Gravitation: Has not been a strong sales performer. It has a couple of dedicated fans, but that's about it.
Gundam Seed Astray: I honestly can't keep track of all the various Gundam titles, much less which publisher is releasing which series. I think we just order one copy of each Gundam title and reorder it if it sells.
Hyper Rune: Despite the CLAMP connection I haven't been interested in this series. It sounds too similar to books I already buy. Sales-wise it's done okay for us. Nothing exciting, just okay.
iD_eNTITY: The "cuteness" of the name has already made me annoyed with this book, and I don't even think I've seen a volume one yet. It doesn't sound like anything remarkable.
Immortal Rain: Has had respecable sales, but not much else.
In Dream World: Wow...another title that sounds like about another dozen titles that also don't sell very well.
Kare Kano: Has had good sales, slumped a bit, but seems to have recovered as interest in early volumes has picked up. We'll probably keep orders steady, though, as I suspect it's losing readers at the same rate it's picking up new ones.
Kindaichi Case Files: I think this is a resolicited volume. I enjoy the series a great deal, but in our area I'm the only one who is. There appears to be no demand at all for manga-style mysteries, which is odd, because Case Closed actually sells okay. Maybe if the Kindaichi anime series was brought to the US sales would go up.
King of Hell: It always surprises me, because I utterly fail to see the appeal of this book, but it's a strong seller for us. Teen boys seem to like it a lot.
One: I think sales have been just okay on this.
Peach Girl: I'm noticing increased interest in early volumes of this title, so reissues are probably a good thing at about this point.
PhD: Phantasy Degree: Hasn't made much of a sales impression yet.
Plant Blood: Also has yet to make any kind of sales impression yet.
Qwan: It didn't grab me, but it's too early to say how sales have been.
Remote: I'm kind of surprised I missed the early volumes of this, as it sounds like it might be something I'd enjoy. Sales have been decent, and I think we've had to reorder early volumes.
RG Veda: I bought the first volume but haven't read it yet. CLAMP sales at our store tend to go in waves. One or two series will do really well while the others languish, then when everyone gets caught up a new series will do well. Right now X and Chobits are the strong sellers.
Samurai Deeper Kyo: Has managed to build a small, dedicated audience.
Sgt. Frog: The first volume didn't do much for me, and despite strong early sales, it's slowed down a lot for us.
Sorcerer Hunters: The original release didn't do so well for us, so I think we've been very conservative on the re-release.
Soul to Seoul: The first two volumes haven't sold, to be honest. This may be skipped.
Visitor: I think volume one just shipped to us. It sounds like it might have potential, but I havne't looked at it more than to make sure that, yep, it was indeed sent to us.
Shonen Jump: Still does fine for us, but sales are down a lot from the early release. I don't know if it's the cheapness of the subscription or it's easy availibilty at other locations, but people don't make a point of buying it from us.
Shojo Beat: In light of that, I'm guessing we may go slightly conservative on this series. I'll buy the first couple of volumes, but only in order to determine which titles I'll want to buy in book format. Absolute Boyfriend is by Yu Watase, so I'm so there, and Godchild is by Kaori Yuki and it's occult mysteries in Victorian London, so I'm there again. I have no interes in samurai dramas or sports stories, so both Kaze Hikaru and Crimson Hero will have to be exceptional to hold my interest. Nana has potential, but I very quickly lost interest in Paradise Kiss, the creators prior work. Baby and Me could be good as well, but I want to read a couple volumes before I commit to it. I'll get to the various Shojo Beat titles as they come up, but I do sort of wonder what happened to Cain Saga. It's listed in the ad for June shipping books, but doesn't appear to be in the solicitations at all.
Dr. Slump: Without knowing how the first volume will do, it's hard to guess. My gut is that Dragonball fans are Dragonball fans, not Akira Toriyama fans, so I'm sceptical of the sales potential.
Knights of the Zodiac: Has not been a good seller. At all. We may drop the title.
One Piece: It's got a strong cult following, but that's about it.
Prince of Tennis: We can't give sports manga away. At eight volumes, it may be time to stop trying.
Rurouni Kenshin: Sales have dropped a bit, after very strong early sales. Older volumes aren't moving and newer volumes are sitting on the shelf. We need to cut a copy or two from our order.
Whistle: Again, sports manga aren't feeling the love from our customers.
Yu Gi Oh Duelist: This title has a weird sales pattern. It'll sit on the shelf, and then someone will buy several volumes at once. So we concentrate on keeping reorders coming in and don't sweat the new volumes too much.
Hunter X Hunter: Is this shipping monthly? I don't recall ever getting any copies in.
Ultimate Muscle: Will not sell. Probably time to drop it.
All New Tenchi Muyo: Used to be a very strong seller, but now it just sort of sits on the shelf. This seems to be the fate of most manga titles that hit it big in the last decade. Even Ranma 1/2 has had a big sales drop.
Bastard: It's developed a small cult following as well, and we seem to order exactly as many as we need and never get asked for the volumes we sell out of.
Case Closed: It's been doing okay sales wise, and may actually be picking up.
Cheeky Angel: It hasn't made much of an impact on me, though it gets good reviews. Sales are decent.
Fullmetal Alchemist: We're probably going to be quite bold on ordering this. Demand is high and it's got a high profile, and I think it has strong cross-over sales potential.
Inu-Yasha: Probably our best-selling manga title. We always sell out, despite upping orders, and we constantly need to get older volumes back in stock.
Mar: I don't think the first volume has shipped yet. It sounds very generic, so we can brave conservative orders.
Project Arms: I think we have a customer for this.
Video Girl Ai: I'm always vaguely surprised that this is still coming out. The fan-service crowed seems to like it.
Saikano: It's gotten good reviews, but it hasn't impressed me at all. Sales have been just okay.
Sexy Voice and Robo: At $20, this is going to be a hard sell. We'll probably do very conservative orders.
Tough: Hasn't really had much of a sales impact yet, and I'm not sure why, as action/fightig manga tends to do okay for us.
Art of Howl's Moving Castle: We haven't had much luck with manga art-books in the past, and at $35 I don't expect that trend to reverse with this volume.
Full Moon O Sagashite: This just sounds like a terrible collection of shojo cliches. It doesn't appeal to me at all, but it's hard to predict what our customers will think about books like this. Given the music angle, and given that those tend to be hard sells for us, we'll probably go with very conservative orders.
Tokyo Boys and Girls: It doesn't really sound like my thing, but similar books have sold well for us, so we'll probably be pretty confident with orders on this as well.
Descendants of Darkness: I like this series a lot, but we've only had okay sales on it.
Doubt: Hasn't made any impact on me as either a reader or retailer, which is never a good sign.
From Far Away: This could be good, and its sales have been okay, but it sounds too much like Fushigi Yugi, and I already get that series. I don't need two books about girls whisked away to a fantasy world where it turns out they're the prophesied one and hot guys compete to protect her.
Fushigi Yugi: It's Yu Watase, I really like it, and sales on it are good.
Fushigi Yugi: Genbu Kaiden: It sounds more like a remake than a sequel to Fushigi Yugi, but I will be getting it, and we'll probably match orders to FY.
Here is Greenwood: Sales have been really slow and we can probably afford to drop a copy from our regular order.
Hot Gimmick: It hasn't done anything for me, but sales have actually been okay, and it gets good word of mouth.
I's: Hard to say, especially without knowing what the first volume will do. We'll probably go with a conservative order.
Ouran High School Host Club: Another title that just sounds awful to me. Hard to say how it'll do, we'll probably err on the side of a conservative order and watch sales closely.
Please Save My Earth: Has had very slow sales, but has a dedicated audience.
Red River: Hasn't been a very good seller, but it does sell. I think we may have a customer for it, so we can probably get away with just one copy.
Ultra Maniac: The description doesn't do anything for me, but it sounds like the sort of thing that may do well for us, so we may go with an optimistic order.
W Juliet: The premise held no interest for me, but it's done okay sales, so we'll probably maintain our current sales level.
(My apologies for any stupid or careless spelling mistakes or typo...blogger seems to be acting up this morning and I'm sick of dealing with it)