Japan's Comic Sales Totaled 271.71 Billion Yen in 2011

The market research firm Oricon reported on Tuesday that Japan's comic (manga) sales totaled 271.71 billion yen (about US$3.533 billion) during the 2011 fiscal year. About 503.61 million copies of comics sold in Japan last year, and that was 99.0 percent of the total from 2010.

Despite selling fewer copies, the total revenue from comic sales did increase from the year before. In 2010, the total revenue from comic sales was 270.67 billion (about US$3.519 billion) yen, also a small increase from 270.31 billion yen (about US$3.515 billion) in 2009.

Oricon reported that the total revenue from all book sales, including the comic/manga, bunko, and general book categories, was 1.112 trillion yen (about US$14.46 billion) in Japan in 2011. That number was 99.3 percent of the total from 2010. About 1.287 billion copies of all books sold in Japan last year, which was a one percent drop from 2010.

The research firm cited the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake disaster (Higashi Nihon Daishinsai) and the resulting production interruptions and material shortages as possible causes for the slight decrease in total book sales. Oricon expects sales totals to increase as Japan continues to recover from the March 11 earthquakes and tsunami.

In 2011, the top-selling manga by series in Japan were One Piece (37,996,373 copies), Naruto (6,874,840 copies), and Blue Exorcist (5,223,712 copies). Oricon reported that top-selling manga by volume were One Piece #61 (3,382,588 copies), One Piece #62 (3,207,568 copies), and One Piece #63 (3,073,175 copies).