Japan’s domestic comic market, which includes both print and digital publishing, reached 675.9 billion yen or around $5.9 billion last year, according to the Publishing Science Institute and National Publishing Association’s monthly periodical Shuppan Gepp. This represents a 10.3 percent gain over the past year.
Manga’s share of the total publishing market increased to 40.4 percent, marking the first time this figure has surpassed 40%. Overall digital sales climbed by 20.3 percent year over year to 411.4 billion yen or about US$3.6 billion, marking the first time this quantity has surpassed 400 billion. This figure coincides with a general increase of 18.6% in the whole digital publishing market from 2020 to 2021. The print manga market shrank by 2.3 percent year over year.
The All Japan Magazine and Book Publishers and Editors Association (AJPEA) said in January that perhaps the publishing business in Japan as a whole rose 3.6 percent in 2021, to 1.6742 trillion yen or around about US$14.70 billion. That is due to rising digital income, while the print sector decreased by 1.3 percent. The market as a whole grew for the third year in a row, as reported by the Anime News Network.
Sales market from 2020
Manga magazine sales in 2021 were 55.8 billion yen or about US$481 million, down 11% from the previous year. Between 2020 and 2021, digital magazine sales fell from 11 billion yen, around US$96.64 million to 9.9 billion yen or around US$86.98 million.
Digital comics have grown in popularity thanks to cinematic adaptations and popular vertical-scrolling comics like Webtoon and Smartoon. The figures for digital manga do not include money from advertising or digital libraries.
In comparison to 2020, the monthly print periodicals market, which includes comics and magazine books/”mooks” declined 4.5 percent, while weekly print periodicals fell 9.7 percent. Regularly published magazines declined by around 7%, while mooks fell by nearly 14% in the monthly print periodicals market, as per Mobile Newspepar.
Manga sales increased by 0.4 percent year over year, totaling 208.7 billion yen. In 2021, new hits including Gege Akutami’s Jujutsu Kaisen and Ken Wakui’s Tokyo Revengers were made available on manga app services, continuing the great surge that began with Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba in 2020.
Even though the Japanese manga market had a record-high number of sales in 2021, illicit usage via pirated content cost the industry 1.19 trillion yen, roughly US$8.76 billion last year, as cited by Animehunch.