The National Publishing Association and the Institute of Publishing Science announced on Friday, Feb 25, 2022, that the Japanese manga market sales in 2021 have increased 10.3% year-on-year to 675.9 billion yen, backed by a solid spurt in digital manga sales.
The manga market has seen a skyrocketing growth for the second consecutive year following 2020. With this increase, the share of manga in the entire domestic publishing market went up to 40.4%. It exceeded the 40% mark for the first time.
Digital manga sales were up 20.3% year-on-year leading to a market of 411.4 billion yen making up 60.9% in the overall domestic manga market in 2021.
Note that the digital market estimate recorded is an “estimate of the amount paid by the reader,” including unlimited reading, and does not include advertising revenue or digital libraries.
However, manga magazine sales only totalled to 55.8 billion yen, recording a loss of 11.0 percent year on year. The sector experienced a double-digit fall for the third year in a row. As a result, the whole paper manga market shrank by 264.5 billion yen (down 2.3 percent year-on-year).
On the other hand, manga volumes saw a 0.4% year-on-year increase totaling sales to 208.7 billion yen. The big boom which started with Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba in 2020 continued to hold the momentum with the rise of new hits like Gege Akutami‘s Jujutsu Kaisen and Ken Wakui‘s Tokyo Revengers made available on manga app services in 2021.
The popularity of Japanese manga has been on a rise in the west too as manga sales made up over 76% of sales by volume of the overall comics and graphic novel category in the United States in 2021.
Although the Japanese manga industry saw a record high number last year, it also grossed a loss of 1.19 trillion yen (approximately US$8.76 billion) in 2021 as a result of illegal consumption via piracy sites.
ABJ reported in December 2021, that the monthly visits of the top 3 pirate manga sites increased 26 times during the pandemic compared to 2020.
After the collapse of the manga piracy site Mangamura in April 2018, Manga Bank emerged as the biggest manga pirate website in Japan.
In June 2021, Romi Hoshino a.k.a. Zakay Romi, the alleged administrator of now-closed manga piracy site Mangamura, was arrested on copyright charges in 2019 after a global manhunt.