Barnes & Noble expands manga and graphic novel section
On the heels of news that comics sales are up, the brick and mortar bookstore announced that due to customer demand, it would be doubling its space dedicated to manga and graphic novels. The increase would allow stores to keep backlist titles on the shelves longer as well as diversify its selection of newer manga. Included among the series driving the strong sales are familiar suspects Naruto and Attack on Titan as well as newer titles Tokyo Ghoul and Assassination Classroom. Guess this is a sign that the manga industry is on the rebound from its crash in the late 2000s!
Volume 78 of One Piece, released on July 3, received a jaw-dropping 3.8 million copies for its first print run. These numbers aren’t unusual for Eichiro Oda’s pirate manga, though. Volume 64 became the first manga to receive a 4 million copy print run and volume 67 hit the pinnacle with 4.05 million copies. Think those numbers are absurdly high? Think again! In its first week of sales, volume 78 sold 1.68 million copies, setting a record for most number moved in one week. Earlier this year, One Piece set a Guinness World Record for publishing the most copies of a comic book written by a single author. Almost 321 million copies have been printed worldwide as of 2014.
Seven Seas Entertainment licenses Angel Beats!: Heaven’s Door
Sevens Seas may not have been at Anime Expo over the July 4th weekend, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t get in on the new license action! The company announced that it will be publishing the manga, which expands on the universe introduced in the popular anime.
This week’s serving of Attack on Titan news
The manga’s man-eating giants will be launching an assault on Kyushu, Japan this August. The prefecture will be hosting an art exhibition — WALL OITA — at the Oita Prefectural Art Museum, which will feature the titans juxtaposed against real life Kyushu landmarks. The exhibit will be running alongside another one about the techniques and development of manga storytelling.
Last weekend saw Vertical announcing that they’d licensed the Attack on Titan: Lost Girls light novel. Looks like it’ll also be getting a manga adaptation next month in Bessatsu Shonen Magazine. Since the magazine is a Kodansha publication, does this mean we’ll be getting a North American license at some point in the future? Given the manga’s popularity, odds look good.
Shounen Jump dives into a new sports manga
Sad that there are no more new episodes of Kuroko’s Basketball? Wishing that we’d get another swimming series like Free!? Well, it’s probably not going to be anything like Free! considering that it’s Shounen Jump, but we are getting a new swimming series. The new title, Best Blue, joins volleyball series Haikyuu! and sumo manga Hinomaru Zumo next week as part of the Japanese weekly magazine’s sports roster. English-speaking readers will be able to read the first three chapters through VIZ’s Jump Start program.
Two favorite series return
The long-awaited 13th volume of designer/artist Mamoru Nagano’s Five Star Stories will finally come out in Japan next month. This is over nine years after the previous volume was released. Five Star Stories is a sprawling space opera told in non-chronological order and ultimately revolves around the relationship between a gender-shifting god-emperor and a techno-organic computer in the shape of a human girl.
Another manga slated to return is Berserk, Kentaro Miura’s grimdark medieval fantasy series. After being on hiatus since last September, it’s set to resume monthly serialization in Young Animal on July 24.