Both the anime and manga of Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan have been absurdly popular and widely praised. Last year, five of the books in the series were in the Top 20 graphic novels in the U.S., beating even The Walking Dead; 8.3 million copies sold in just the first half of 2014 to boost its total sales close to 22 million copies in just under five years.
To give you an idea of the audience being reached, anime (and related merchandise) was a $4 billion dollar business around the world in 2006. In 2009, anime accounted for 90% of Japan’s television exports. By the time Attack on Titan finally knocked Eiichiro Oda’s “One Piece” out of its top spot, “One Piece” had already sold 345 million copies around the world. That’s the kind of numbers that J.K Rowling, Dean Koontz, and Stephen King move. Anime and manga have been in a slump the last few years (at least in the U.S.), but that is likely a reflection of digital piracy rather than lack of interest. [Read more…]