The French daily, Les Echos presented a report by GfK Market Intelligence in partnership with the Angoulême International Comics Festival, which stated that the French comic book market reached a record high sale of 900 million euros in 2021.
The market was mostly boosted due to the sales of manga, which made up 40% and 55% of total sales by volume of the market last year.
Around 47 million copies were sold in France, resulting in a turnover of 353 million euros, double the figures in 2020.
GFK reported, one in four books sold in 2021 was a comic book, and one in two sold comics was a manga. The ranking of the Top 10 comics featured 7 mangas.
Xavier Guilbert, a market expert shared his views that the “French Cultural Pass” is also responsible for the sudden boom of the genre, affecting the overall comic sales.
He said, “It has been dubbed the ‘Manga Pass’ but its effect has been exaggerated. Last year, 47 million manga were sold compared to 22.5 million in 2020 and the Culture Pass only explains 6% of these 24.5 million more sales”
Guilbert also pointed out that due to the shift in the average age of the French demography, and introduction to anime on OTT platforms, manga sales will continue to increase significantly.
Titles such as Hunter x Hunter, One Piece, Naruto, and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure are popular among the french on the streaming services.
“Many manga fans are approaching their thirties and now have significant purchasing power. And it’s also a genre that’s still gaining popularity. We see it with mainstream platforms like Netflix, which are offering more and more adaptations.”
In September 2021, GfK reported, between January and August 2021, more than 28 million volumes of the manga were sold as compared to 2020, resulting in a 124% increase in overall turnover.
Of these, 47.5% were Japanese manga, 30.9% were genre-specific manga, 20.7% were children’s manga, and 5.8% were American comics.
BFMTV, an online French news platform, reported in December 2021, that this explosive increase in sales will also increase the prices of the manga, effective Jan 1, 2022.
Panini Manga, publisher of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba and Banana Fish in particular has decided to increase the price ranging from 30 cents for a standard edition to 1 euro for a double perfect edition.
They claimed rising printing costs and the raw materials necessary for the manufacture of books (paper, cardboard, ink), the threat of shortages, and problems linked to transport were the main reason for such a hike.
“It was impossible for us to continue with the current price list in 2022”, specified Panini.