Weekly Manga In Japan Have Seen Better Days 

[Image: axess_1112]

Across the board, the print circulation numbers for Japan's most popular weekly aren't getting better. They're getting worse.

According to IT Media Business, the average number of printed copies in circulation for Weekly Shonen Magazine (週刊少年マガジン), Weekly Shonen Jump (週刊少年ジャンプ), and Weekly Shonen Sunday (週刊少年サンデー) continue to see a steady decline.

Print has long been king for weekly manga, perhaps because traditionally the majority of customers are children and not all kids in Japan have smartphones or tablets. They purchase the weekly manga with pocket money -- something that might be trickier with a smartphone or tablet.

This chart tracks January 2014 to March 2017 (年 means "year," while 月 means "month," and thus, 1月 means "January," because it's the first month).

[Image: IT Media Business]

As you can see, Weekly Shonen Jump seems to be taking the biggest hit. At its peak during in 1994, it had a circulation of 6.53 million. Now, its circulation is a third of that. Yikes.

The rise of the internet and the decline of print are still the easiest way to explain this decline, but 2ch commenters also blame things like uninteresting manga, poor art, and a lack of individual styles. Others say there simply aren't serialized manga they want to read. Well, besides One Piece.


Comments

    As the article said what does jump even have thats still going any more other than one piece?

    Shounen manga needs a good shake-up. Now that Naruto and Bleach are over and One Piece is very much its own thing, almost every other shounen manga out there is tiresomely tropey and derivative. The biggest thing out there other than One Piece is Fairy Tail which from the beginning has blatantly followed OP's formula (even the logo is shamelessly similar!) Most other genres of manga and anime have had their paradigm-shift point already except shounen, which needs it desperately. Unfortunately, that is precisely the genre where publishers want to play safe as the decades-long serialisations have been the workhorse that allowed the mangazine industry to remain almost unchanged since its inception. However, as the numbers shown, it is not eternally sustainable. Sooner or later a break point will be reached (probably when OP ends.)

    As others have said, it's not just that kids aren't buying it. it's that they're not running stuff people are excited to read.

    1994 was the peak, and look at the stuff that was running in Shounen Jump the mid-90s: Slam Dunk, Captain Tsubasa, Rurouni Kenshin, Yu Yu Hakusho, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, Dragonball... One Piece started in 1995 and Naruto in 1999.

    Aside from Hajime no Ippo which is basically evergreen, Weekly Shounen Magazine hasn't run anything that really pulled a lot of people in in several years. Seven Deadly Sins and Fairy Tail are the only things in their current lineup that I can see being a large pull and both are fun but very derivative. Suspect that Negima ending in 2012 hurt them a lot.

    I wonder how many of their buyers have simply transitioned to getting the manga digitally?

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