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Jun. 24th, 2006

The Americans seem to struggle with the vast growth of anime and manga sales in the UK.

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?



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 25th, 2006 11:21 am (UTC)
It's an article on a website about how between those dates the sales of anime(-related stuff) has gone up. And all the posters are like 'OMG WHAT A LEAP AWWW POOR UK THEY GET NO ANIME'. O.o Which is funny cause... my friends have made jokes about my shopping habits supporting the local anime and manga stores. I came home yesterday with an embarrassing amount of manga. =_=;; And from talking to other anime fans in various parts of the US, some states seem to not be all that well stocked on 'generic' anime and manga like DBZ, let alone more obscure titled or yaoi / yuri... The UK has it pretty good compared to them! XD

Yeah, anime and manga is starting to spread out a lot more here... A while back, you'd be hard pushed to find it anywhere, but now mainstream stores like Virgin Megastores and HMV carry a vast selection of anime, and big bookshops are teeming with manga. It's pretty awesome. ^_^

But I have to go to specialty stores too for the real fun stuff... I'm lucky though, the Fobidden Planet store I spent insane amounts of money in is pretty big. ^_^
Jun. 26th, 2006 09:49 am (UTC)
We may be small, but aside from California, no US state has a larger population than the UK... We've got a populus that's over 50 million people strong, while the US as a whole is just over 320M...

600,000 uits still makes Anime and manga a niche market, and it could well be argued that the costs tend to justify that... sadly this will also keep it a niche market a lot of the time... Hell... a friend has just published a book that's aimed at a niche market, and while being the same formatting, size and shape as a regular novel that'd retail hardback for 15 quid, this is selling for nigh on sixty...

Round here, I was interested in picking up the 2nd disk of the orginal Ah! My Goddess series, but I'm reluctant to pay £20 for it, which is the going rate in all the shops here... well... both of them...*

The thing that really stops me is the price of it all... Apart from a few select series, most is still more expensive for four episodes than Firefly or Family Guy are for the entire series, and that's the problem - I could buy the entirity of Friends for £200, or a series of Final Famtasy Unlimited for £240... sorry... but no...

*as an aside, yes, I know that they're cheaper online, but with the local postal service being prone to delivering "you were out" cards+ as opposed to dropping off the packages (so you have to high-tail it to the depot to et your parcel) it's too much of a faff to save the couple of quid to buy online...

+even when you're in and standing by the front door when they turn up...
Jun. 26th, 2006 10:43 pm (UTC)
I know it still make us a niche market, but even considering our population, we still sell more than many US states, even bigger than us. This is possibly due to the fact we don't freak out over the yaoi series. ;)

The costs right now though... £6.50-7.50... It STILL beats the hell I used to have to pay back when I was 16. I LOVE the market right now. It's actually afforable!

As to Aa! Megami-sama... Good luck finding it anything less than £20 in a shop. ^_^; Every anime DVD sells at £20 these days, no matter the shop. Virgin, HMV, Forbidden Planet...

As to 'being out' when they deliver... I was vastly impressed at Parcel Force for ignoring me being in when I was sat beside the front window/. They didn't even ring the doorbell or knock. I surprised one of 'em once by opening the door as they were walking away. :D

If you order from Amazon though, I find they're getting lazy. Whether I order Super Saver or not, they all tend to come through my letterbox. Well... in some ways, I've had more trouble with the Super Saver option not being delivered than I have had with the first class option. It's only big stuff they don't send through the letterbox any more. ^_^

Tried ordering from the US? Even from Amazon's marketplace. It's a LOT cheaper than the normal market price, and everything's come through the letterbox. I ordered three Scrapped Princess DVDs and two Loveless DVDSs from Caiman and they came to around two anime DVDs from HMV. Guess who I'm gonna order the rest of my Scrapped Princess DVDs from. ^_____^

I don't do anything that involves dealing with depots any more. After they failed to deliver my (plain black) XBox THREE TIMES, we had to drive to this shitty little depot... and it seems they'd pulled the same stunt with everyone else as they had with us. Useless bastards. NEVER use Citilink. They suck serious goats.
Jun. 26th, 2006 10:43 pm (UTC)
It's affordable too.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )