We'll ignore the fact that the stats listed were 2001's sales (100,000 units - of what they didn't say. Manga in particular, anime in particular, or grouped together? Does that include models? Trading cards? Video games?) compared to 2005's sales - 600,000 (which equally was as unspecified as above).
The thing is, it seems a lot of Americans seem to forget just how small the UK actually is.
We're smaller than most of the US states. I think there are like... what? two? that're smaller than us. No one ever picks on how much anime, manga etc. is sold in an equivalent-sized US state.
So why pick on how the anime / manga sales in the UK is burgeoning?
Because from 2001 to 2005, we've seen the introduction of Newtype USA to some stores, the drop in prices of manga and some anime, the emergence of more publishers of both anime and manga, sites like Play.com with their lower prices and vast genre selection, certain inner-city stores increasing their selection at least ten-fold, more series being imported to the UK...
A LOT has happened in that very short time. It's almost mind boggling for me, considering I can still remember when a single Neon Genesis Evangelion manga - badly localised by Viz and very badly flipped instead of the way manga is sold now - costing £12.99 and thus buying a lot was pretty much prohibitively expensive.
For people like me who have loved the genre since we were little kids, we are kind of in the middle of an anime and manga utopia.
In 2001, I couldn't have found a model from a decent current anime for love nor money. Hell, in 2001 I had a vast choice between Gundam Wing self-assemble models and expensive Trigun and Ghost In The Shell pre-assembled models.
Now, I can wander into any store, find models, manga, comics, anime... all for fairly decent prices.
Do you guys reckon I'd buy as much manga as I do if it cost £12.99 a pop?