Allure of the Japanese: Manga Revives a Golden Age



The year 2022 lowered the curtain after a bubble of new manga titles and sales in Spain (along with those also discovered in Japan, the United States or France), which respond to The growing interest of new generations for everything related to it Asian culture. term otakuwhich is calling all manga fans, goes even further now and already multiply coronathe new generations of believers who, during the pandemic, turned to reading Japanese comics after becoming fond of them Anime from pads flow.

This fever attracted new publishers, which led to the emergence of others The record number of updates published, up 30% from 2021. Thus, this year will conclude with more than 1,300 new manga, a third more than in 2021, according to the Association of Comics Critics and Publishers (ACDCómic).

The numbers underscore how publishers launched to meet the growing demand from readers, who touted titles like Haikyuu!!by Haruichi Furudate My hero academyby Kohei Horikoshi or Tokyo Avengersby Ken Wakey to bestseller lists; Despite the fact that they assure from Fnac that “the list is very heterogeneous, with many titles attached, in turn, to several sub-families of the genre that can be enjoyed within manga. Gone are the days when only a few Japanese comics were translated and sold Famous in Spain “Now even the smallest titles are the center of attention,” says Sara Vega, Marketing and Communications Director of Fnac Spain.

For Vega, manga is “a phenomenon that has been increasing in recent years.” The representative figure in this regard is the remarkable growth in sales of manga for children in 2022, which grew by 227% compared to 2021. This is an indication that there are already many Mothers and fathers who know these currents and enjoy them with their children. indoors, as previous generations did with American painting or the European graphic novel, he points out. Something, on the other hand, “keeps happening is that other than the obvious good moment for manga, we’re talking about integrating the Asian genre into culture.” the current& rdquo;.

Fathers and Sons

According to sales data among Fnac’s partners in Spain, “the 20-35 age group makes up 38% of manga sales,” though it also focuses on the “35-50-year-old segment, which makes up 40% of sales, which is thing that might suggest it Young parents also buy manga, either for themselves or their children& rdquo;. A theory that will give continuity to the continued growth of this species in the coming years.

also, Women already account for nearly half of buyers. Specifically, the percentage of women who buy manga in Fnac centers has increased by nine points compared to 2019, going from 34% of the total to 44% in 2021. In this sense, the good year that this genre has had is filled with important launches , makes us believe that all these indicators were also growing during 2022, says the person in charge of the franchise.

One of those manga fans is Lucia Lozao, who discovered the genre at the age of three: “I saw Anime (dragon ball) since I was little, although the first manga was given to me when I was 12 years old & rdquor ;. He remembers it perfectly: “It was Chi Sweet Home” And it was for children, about an abandoned cat & rdquo;. Since then it is considered authentic otaku And now, her favorite combinations are lullaby s shadow house. She loves to have books at home and usually buys them, both online and in second-hand stores, “those that no longer exist”, as well as in bookstores, where she buys the latest books.

In his case, he’s also a fan of the manga’s aesthetic, though he’s never dressed up, which is a highlight. Cosplayer. “Yeah, I buy T-shirts or statues or key chains, but… Expensive fashion” Confirms.

In addition to reading manga, Louzao also likes to watch Anime in flow. “I love the worlds they create and the characters and the stories,” he highlights.

before, “abs on & rdquor;

Although manga is in fashion now, when she was young it was picked up for her hobby. Before it was mocked up, manga and They even made you Authoritarianism Because” he admits. Before that, he had to “download comics in pdf format, poorly translate them, and read them on the computer.”

At this point, for Sara Vega, it was the first bubble From manga in Spain, in the 90s, and the present day are “two phenomena directly related & rdquor;.” The generations that enjoyed the leading titles of this genre in the country 30 years ago are today adults who have normalized these genres and who enjoy and know their keys and forms of expression. This, without a doubt, is in some way behind the current rise of manga in Spain & rdquo;.

This idea was also influenced by Roberto Martínez, an employee of the Banda Deseñada bookstore in Vigo. “We can say that we are in the second bubble Of the manga and today the ones that come out with more power are the ones for young adults and teens & rdquor; , Confirms. Martinez even stresses that “there are already kids who get straight into the world of reading through manga and don’t even think about reading anything else. It’s a real rage right now among the younger generation, and that’s not to say that a more adult audience doesn’t read manga, there are also ” highlights, while saying “there is an overwhelming amount of publishing right now”.

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He adds that the fuss is so great that in their schools and in reading clubs or libraries, the submissions that teachers give them are manga, and “often the teachers themselves come here so that we turn the tables on them.” The titles that children love the most & rdquo;.

Among Banda Deseñada’s clients, many have told them they discovered the manga “through a series Anime& rdquo;. Then they are told that it is based on a manga and from there they come to the store, or they even go to their libraries or study centers, and that is where they start reading the series, not even from the beginning, but rather from the point they left off at Anime” Confirms.

The manga covers a large variety of topics: action, sports, romance… There is no set reader profile.Martinez asserts, who, however, insists that more and more “young people are becoming fond of her.” In his case, he highlights four or five labels that have been gripping for a while: Night watchAnd Haikyuu!!And jujutsu kaisen s Hanako-kun: Aquarium Ghost. “To name a few, because I could have spent a morning saying the titles,” he jokes. “It’s very difficult to find individual titles, they go into series above all else, and they’re usually quite long,” he explains.

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For his part, David Matilda, one of the owners of Mazinger Library, also from Vigo, confirms that “manga is giving itself space little by little, gaining more space,” he points out. “One of the revolutions I saw was that it not only focused on a specific audience, but also expanded the range with topics aimed at girls and young men, some of whom were gay… There was more sex and that’s why I reached a larger audience,” he continued. Regional TV stations broadcasting series such as dragon ballThey helped her rise.”

Recently, the phenomenon of otaku, like manga geeks, started, but it has really moved to another level. “It’s not just about their love of comics, but manga is a way for them to get into Japanese culture,” he explains.

A world full of articles

Thus, this phenomenon is now accompanied world full of trade to complete it. “When I was young, manga and comics themselves were all the rage, but for a few years now, cosplay has been very popular, gastronomy, and a growing interest in culture and history… Otaku phenomenonfrom the unconditional love of all things Japan”.

80 percent of the comics sales in his shop are manga, among the most successful shounen mangaaimed more at a young male audience, with series such as, for example, Night watch. female equivalent Shoujo.

For Mathilde, the Internet has been a major factor in the expansion of this phenomenon today. There is a very large community on the Internet otaku. Before there were isolated groups, but networks allow them to interact, exchange experiences and tastes, and allow you to organize events such as Expotacowhich was recently held in A Coruña & rdquor ;.

Every time there is a manga event cosplayers They take the opportunity to meet and dress up. They already have a community among themselves, they get together and they form a gang,” says Roberto Martinez.

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