Do you read books often? You’re already what we call “book-worm”, how about reading comic books? This habit would count also as you’re an avid person, right?
For those who love reading comics, some of you may have already know that the Japanese people love reading comics as well and there are so many kinds of comic books in Japan. If you stop by the book stores in Japan, you can find many kinds of comic books for children both boys and girls and also for adults as well.
Even many people tend to read articles, blogs, breaking news, and even digital books through the internet these days, still reading books and comics in their original paper form are a worthwhile habit to have. If you look around the comics corner at the book stores in Japan, many of you may be amazed at the number of comics they have. Many of you may also think in your mind that “Why there are so many comics here in Japan?” Well, as you may know, Japan is a comic kingdom country. Let’s see what kind of comics are especially popular in Japan!
Have you ever wondered what the manga sales ranking in Japan is?
We say comic book as “manga” in Japanese. We write this word in kanji as “漫画”.
Have you ever wondered what kind of manga is very popular in Japan? What kind of manga would affect Japanese people? Even there are so many kinds of manga in Japan, there are some special manga that Japanese people find interesting. Regardless of men or women, here are the top 5 manga sales ranking what Japanese people are addicted to reading in general.
The Best Manga Sales Ranking: No. 1
The title of manga: One Piece (“ワンピース” in Japanese)
Author: Eiichiro Oda ( man, 44 years old )
The total amount of sales: 320 million copies
Story: This manga is about the story of the main character the boy called “Monkey.D.Ruphy” who became a pirate and went out on adventures to find the treasures in the ocean. This is manga is a brother to the Naruto series.
The Best Manga Sales Ranking: No. 2
The title of manga: GOLGO13 (“ゴルゴ13” in Japanese)
Author: Takao Saito ( man, 83 years old )
The total amount of sales: 200 million copies
Story: This is manga is about a guy called “Duke Togo” who is an expert sniper and an assassin.
The Best Manga Sales Ranking: No. 3
The title of manga: Dragonball (“ドラゴンボール” in Japanese)
Author: Akira Toriyama ( man, 64 years old )
The total amount of sales: 157million copies
Story: This is a manga about a character called “Songoku” go out for adventure to find the magical balls. If people find all 7 magical balls which called “Dragonball”, any wish can be made and come true.
The Best Manga Sales Ranking: No. 4
The title of manga: Here is the police box in front of Kameari Park, Katsushika-ward (“こちら葛飾区亀有公園前派出所” in Japanese)
Author: Osamu Akimoto ( man, 67 years old )
The total amount of sales: 156million copies
Story: This manga is about a character called “Kankichi Ryotsu” who is the policeman who works at the police box in front of Kameari Park, Katsushika-ward in Japan. The story shows his funny daily life in his office with this colleagues and neighbors who live around that area.
The Best Manga Sales Ranking: No .5
The title of manga: Great detective Konnan (“名探偵コナン” in Japanese)
Author: Gousho Aoyama ( man, 56 years old )
The total amount of sales: 140million copies
Story: This manga is about the main character, an elementary school kid, called “Konnan Edogawa” who got suddenly put into a small body by some mysterious organization and he chases that mysterious organization while solving the difficult incidents simultaneously.
Have you ever heard of some of the manga mentioned above? Anything familiar to you? If you are learning Japanese or interested in learning, these mangas could help you out to read Japanese easier with many funny pictures in the stories to keep you entertained.
Why is Manga so Popular in Japan?
From the number of manga sales amount mentioned above, you can see how so many Japanese people are addicted to reading manga and keep buying them. But, why manga is so important for Japanese people?
Here are some of the major reasons :
1. From the effect of haiku culture in Japan, Japanese people love to imagine the variety of scenes. When Japanese people read a manga, they can imagine “what if I was there or If I was in that situation” and they often love to enjoy having these imaginations on their mind.
2. Since most Japanese people are sensitive minded, they like to sympathize with something or people, and also they like to be sympathized by someone. Manga can make people sympathize by using full of pictures showing their sensitive emotions.
3. Mostly Japanese people love to read books and there were lots of books from the Edo period in Japan. Since people are used to reading books or read letters, reading manga is also natural things for them in their daily lives.
4. There are many ways to express feelings in Japanese so Japanese people can enjoy reading manga due to the many kinds of casual expression they pickup whether they actually use that expression in their daily lives or not. For instance, when you say “I like this!” in English, there are some funny and interesting ways to express the same meanings in Japanese such as follows:
・わたし、これがすき！(watashi, korega suki!) =mostly women express this way.
・あたし、これがすき！(atashi, korega suki!) =mostly women express this way.
・オレ、これがすき！ (ore, korega suki!) =mostly men express this way.
・わし、これがすき！ (washi, korega suki!) =mostly men express this way.
・うち、これがすき！ (uchi, korega suki!) =mostly men and women express this way.
・ぼく、これがすき！ (boku, korega suki!) =mostly men express this way.
Even if you just say “I”, there are 6 or more ways to express the word “I” in Japanese.
People say that Japanese people have first started to read manga was during the 12th century in the Heian period in Japan. The oldest manga called “Chojugiga” and this manga shows that the animals represent the human and shows the lifestyle of Japanese people at that time. This manga is made by several authors and Sojo Toba was one of them.
For those who love manga, don’t you want to know how manga gained its popularity all around the world? It all started the manga called “ ASTRO BOY” which we say in Japanese “ 鉄腕アトム” during 1963 in the United States. This triggered many American people to see Japanese manga and step by step people started to like reading this manga.
All-time Favorite Manga in Japan
Now you know why many Japanese people are addicted to reading manga in general; you might be wondering what lessons these mangas teach that make them so attractive to Japanese people? With the top 5 manga sales ranking, here are the list of what lessons these mangas teach:
1. The title of manga: One Piece (“ワンピース” in Japanese) This is the manga which tells the readers that how important to be nice to the people or teams to have strong bonded team to solve the difficult problems.
2. The title of manga: GOLGO13 (“ゴルゴ13” in Japanese) This is the manga which tells the readers of important tips to be the best businessmen.
3. The title of manga: Dragonball (“ドラゴンボール” in Japanese) This is the manga which tells the readers how important to maintain their efforts to be the best conditions all the time, not giving effort temporally.
4. The title of manga: Here is the police box in front of Kameari Park, Katsushika-ward (“こちら葛飾区亀有公園前派出所” in Japanese) This is the manga which tells the readers how to create or come up with ideas for business.
5. The title of manga: Great detective Konnan (“名探偵コナン” in Japanese) This is the manga which tells the readers how important that people have “logical thinking” to solve even the most difficult problems.
You can see what you can learn from each manga and this is the same things you get quite often from reading books. Manga is not just fun but they’re quite deep.
Manga sales in 2018
For your record, here are information of 3 best-selling ranking of manga in 2018 in Japan.
N0. 1 in 2018: One Piece (“ワンピース” in Japanese)
The author: Eiichiro Oda
Estimated sales in period: 8,113,317 copies
No. 2 in 2018: My Hero Academia (“僕のヒーローアカデミア” in Japanese)
The author: Kohei Horikoshi
Estimated sales in period: 6,718,185 copies
Selling point: People can learn all the people even with no talent can be special and can improve more than people think. Everyone has the opportunity to be the best.
No. 3 in 2018: Attack on Titan (“進撃の巨人” in Japanese)
The author: Hajime Isayama
Estimated sales in period: 5,235,963 copies
Selling Point: People can learn of the innovator’s dilemma from this comic. Very talented executives would fail due to they can’t deal with technological innovation.
What are Manga sales ranking Outside Japan Like?
Manga is very popular, not only in Japan but also in foreign countries. Here are 3 popular manga that many foreigners love reading in the United States.
1. One Piece (“ワンピース” in Japanese)
Author: Eiichiro Oda ( man, 44 years old )
2. NARUTO (“ナルト” in Japanese)
Author: Masashi Kishimoto ( man, 45 years old )
3. Fullmetal Alchemist? (“鋼の錬金術師?” in Japanese)
Author: Hiromu Arakawa ( man, 46 years old )
For those who are in the middle of learning Japanese, the manga called “One Piece” would be nice to start with. People often say it makes them laugh so hard and also teaches them some good lessons.
Is Reading Manga Really Like Reading Books in Japan?
There is a famous phrase in Japan that many Japanese mothers scold their kids by saying the following things:
“ Enough is enough! Stop reading manga all the time but go study!”
Manga is very funny and interesting for most of the Japanese people but there is still an image that manga is not so serious and not a good way to learn especially for kids. However, even for adults, people can learn many lessons by reading manga and it’s worth the read. (of course, not all the time but sometimes.)
Find your own favorite manga in Japan!