Viz Dominates Graphic Novel Sales

I just received the following from a Viz representative:

Bookscan’s sales numbers are out for the week of December 4, 2005, and I am very pleased to announce that VIZ Media manga titles swept ALL Top 10 placements in the Adult Fiction Graphic Novel category (actually VIZ titles dominated the Top 13).

A list of the top selling titles follows below for your review:
1. NARUTO Vol. 8
2. RUROUNI KENSHIN Vol. 21
3. BLEACH: VOLUME 10
4. FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST: VOLUME 4
5. HANA-KIMI: VOL 9
6. HOT GIMMICK Vol. 10
7. NARUTO Vol. 2
8. NARUTO Vol. 7
9. NARUTO: VOL. 3
10. RUROUNI KENSHIN Vol. 20
11. NARUTO: VOL. 4
12. NARUTO: VOL. 1
13. DRAGON BALL Z: Vol. 23

This is a notable milestone as it’s extremely rare that so many titles from a single publisher will dominate the top spaces on Bookscan’s Graphic Novel sales list. The titles that placed constitute a diverse range of subject matter, including action, science fiction and fantasy, and shojo, which further proves the validity of comics among girls. In addition to regular best-sellers like FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST and RUROUNI KENSHIN, the high placement of so many volumes from the NARUTO series, which is also watched by millions of viewers on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, is quickly making the property one of the most popular titles in North America.

I’m a little bummed that I still haven’t gotten Hot Gimmick yet through my comic shop, because I love love love that series. I think I’m going to have to try Naruto at some point, just to understand the new hot thing.

More interesting to note is that these are all in the Adult category, instead of being classed as for kids. Is there more violence in Naruto than I’m aware of?

Update: My source has since told me

as far Bookscan only has a catagory called Adult Fiction Graphic Novels – they don’t break it down by kids versus adults. Naruto is rated “T” for teens and is recommended for readers aged 12+. There is some mild violence in the series, but nothing especially blatant or out of the norm from what normal kid’s programming features.

So that clears that up!

3 Comments

  1. As I recall from Shonen Jump, Naruto has characters dying, a fair amount of blood, and the occasional loss of limb. Is it enough violence to make it an adult title? I don’t know. I thought everything in Shonen Jump was squarely aimed at kids.

  2. Ed Sizemore

    I wouldn’t be suprised that the Naruto in Shonen Jump was edited for content. The graphic novels would be the unedited, original version. I think Viz has done this with other series in Shonen Jump. The anime that is playing on Cartoon Network is edited for violence and blood. I think, but you would have to check, that the summaries given at the beginning of some episodes is used as a time filler to make up for the deleted scenes.

  3. There are some very minor edits in Naruto in Shonen Jump — taking out Naruto giving the finger is the main one I remember hearing about — and they all carry over to the graphic novels. Viz tends to be fairly liberal about violence, I find, though oddly harsh on some other things.

    Everything in the US Shonen Jump magazine is either rated “Teen” or “All Ages”, though several of the books that aren’t in the magazine are rated “Advanced Teen” (16+).

    Naruto’s a good example of its type (I’m enjoying it), but the type in question *is* boy’s fighting manga.

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