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Analysis: New York Times Bestsellers: Graphic Books: Manga 2012

When the New York Times first started their “graphic books” bestseller lists, they included one for manga.  Why manga?  Why not one for superheroes, or comic strips, or any other segment of graphic novels?

Most likely, it was due to the sales amounts.  Some manga titles do chart on the USA Today Top 150 bestseller list, which indexes all books into one master list.  (The Walking Dead and Batman are the few American GNs to make the list.)

Although the New York Times does do combined bestseller lists, there is not one yet for graphic novels.  (ICV2 does post the monthly Top 300 GN list from Diamond, but that is only for comics shops, which tend to sell less manga than bookstores and websites.)NYT BS GN Manga quantity

NYT BS GN Manga weighted
Here are the #1 titles, in chronological order (I’ll color-code them to make it easy to spot franchises):

  • NYT BS GN Manga #1Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys, Volume 18
  • Fullmetal Alchemist, Volume 27
  • Naruto, Volume 53
  • Naruto, Volume 54
  • Neon Genesis: Evangelion, Volume 10
  • Sailor Moon, Volume 3 (2 weeks)
  • Fairy Tail, Volume 17
  • Bleach, Volume 38 (2 weeks)
  • Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys, Volume 19
  • Xxxholic, Volume 19
  • Naruto, Volume 55
  • Sailor Moon, Volume 4 (2 weeks)
  • Spice and Wolf, Volume 6
  • Rosario+Vampire, Season II, Volume 8
  • Bleach, Volume 39
  • Tenjo Tenge: Full Contact Edition 2-in-1, Volume 6
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Volume 34
  • Pokemon Black and White, Volume 7
  • Naruto, Volume 56 (two weeks)
  • Sailor Moon, Volume 5
  • Soul Eater, Volume 9
  • Bleach, Volume 41
  • Neon Genesis: Evangelion, Volume 11
  • Fairy Tail, Volume 19
  • Bakuman, Volume 11
  • Bleach, Volume 42
  • Sailor Moon, Volume 6 (two weeks)
  • Black Butler, Volume 10
  • Naruto, Volume 57
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Volume 9 (three weeks)
  • Soul Eater, Volume 10
  • Bleach, Volume 46
  • Naruto, Volume 58 (three weeks)
  • Sailor Moon, Volume 7
  • Dance in the Vampire Bund, Volume 13
  • Bleach, Volume 48
  • Tenjo Tenge, Volume 9
  • Sailor Moon, Volume 8
  • Naruto, Volume 59 (two weeks)
  • Soulless, Volume 2
  • Alice in the Country of Clover, Cheshire Cat Waltz, Volume 3
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal, Volume 2
  • Maximum Ride, Volume 6

There are a lot of what I call “instant bestsellers”.  This is a title which has a strong fan following which will rush to purchase the book as soon as it is released, so that it charts for a few weeks then disappears.  That could probably be said of most series on this list… some are just more popular than others.

23 % of the bestselling titles  are distributed by Random House (Del Rey, Kodansha, Vertical). Viz dominates the weekly Manga lists, monopolizing at least one week, if not grabbing the plurality most weeks.

NYT BS GN Manga titles<br /> by appearanceThere are a few franchises which place more than one volume on a weekly list:

  • Naruto
  • Sailor Moon
  • Bleach
  • Durarara
  • Alice in the Country of Clover

Here are the bestselling titles, sorted by publisher.  (I omitted the various volumes, to save space):

Dark Horse Comics

  • Magic Knight Rayearth
  • Neon Genesis: Evangelion

Digital Manga Publishing

  • Finder
  • Tyrant Falls in Love

Hachette/Yen Press

  • Alice in the Country of Hearts
  • Bamboo Blade
  • The Betrayal Knows My Name
  • Black God
  • A Bride’s Story
  • Bunny Drop
  • Durarara!!
  • High School of the Dead
  • Higurashi When They Cry
  • The Infernal Devices, Clockwork Angel
  • Is This a Zombie
  • Jack Frost
  • K-On!
  • Maximum Ride
  • Melancholy of Suumiya Haruhi-Chan
  • Omamori Himari
  • Pandora Hearts
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica
  • Soul Eater
  • Soulless
  • Spice and Wolf
  • Yotsuba&!


  • Air Gear
  • Animal Land
  • Arisa
  • Attack on Titan
  • Black Butler
  • Bloody Monday
  • Cage of Eden
  • Fairy Tail
  • Genshiken
  • Ghost in the Shell, Stand Alone Complex
  • Kitchen Princess
  • Love Hina
  • Mardock Scramble
  • Miles Edgeworth, Ace Attorney Investigations
  • Monster Hunter Orange
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi
  • Ninja Girls
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
  • Sailor Moon
  • Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei
  • Tokyo Mew Mew
  • Wallflower

Random House Publishing

  • Xxxholic

Seven Seas

  • Alice in the Country of Clover
  • Amazing Agent Luna, Omnibus
  • Blood Alone
  • A Certain Scientific Railgun
  • Dance in the Vampire Bund
  • Girl Friends
  • Gunslinger Girl
  • Hagana
  • Toradora
  • Vampire Cheerleaders
  • Vampire Cheerleaders/Paranormal Mystery Squad Monster Mash Collection
  • Witch Hunter
  • Young Miss Holmes


  • Chi’s Sweet Home
  • The Drops of God
  • Flowers of Evil
  • GTO: The Early Years
  • The Limit
  • Message to Adolf
  • Princess Knight
  • Twin Spica

Viz Media

  • Ai Ore: Love Me
  • Arata: The Legend
  • Bakuman
  • Battle Angel Alita
  • Black Bird
  • Bleach
  • Blue Exorcist
  • Case Closed
  • Claymore
  • D. Gray-Man
  • Dawn of the Arcana
  • Dengeki Daisy
  • Dorohedoro
  • Earl and the Fairy
  • Excel Saga
  • Fluffy Fluffy Cinnamoroll
  • Full Metal Alchemist
  • Honey Darling
  • House of Five Leaves
  • Jormungand
  • Kamisama Kiss
  • Library Wars: Love & War
  • Loveless
  • March Story
  • Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys
  • Naruto
  • Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan
  • One Piece
  • Oresama Teacher
  • Otomen
  • Ouran High School Host Club
  • Pokemon Adventures: Diamond and Pearl/Platinum
  • Pokemon Black and White
  • Psyren
  • Rosario+Vampire Season II
  • Sakura Hime: The Legend of Princess Sakura
  • Skip Beat!
  • The Story of Saiunkoko
  • Tegami Bachi
  • Tenjo Tenge: Full Contact Edition 2-in-1
  • Three Wolves Mountain
  • Vampire Knight
  • X 3-in-1
  • Yu-Gi-Oh 5D’s
  • Yu-Gi-Oh GX
  • Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal

The post Analysis: New York Times Bestsellers: Graphic Books: Manga 2012 appeared first on The Beat.

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