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Thursday, May 28, 2009 

Even in Japan, manga is experiencing declines

The Japan Times runs an article on the history of manga publications, and tells that even there, they've suffered from lesser readership for the following reasons:
Why is the industry experiencing a slump?

Fewer people are reading manga magazines, and therefore fewer are buying manga comic books because people usually purchase comic books after reading the series in magazines, according to Kubo.

The end of "Dragon Ball" in Shukan Shonen Jump in 1995 is also a big reason people stopped reading manga magazines, he adds.

Both Kubo and Nakano also blame the aging society and the falling birthrate for the drop in sales.

Because publishers focused too much on expanding the range of readership to adults in the 1980s and 1990s, there are less interesting comic series published in manga magazines, which have failed to attract younger readers, they say.

"If you have three or four interesting individual manga (out of the 10 or 20 that are typically carried), you buy that magazine, but if there is only one or two, you don't buy it. That's why children don't buy (comic) magazines," Nakano says.

Kubo and Nakano also say children nowadays have other forms of entertainment such as video games and mobile phones and are busy going to cram schools. Some people read comics on mobile phones, they say.
Japan may still have a bigger readership of manga than the US does of comic books. And yet, as this article tells, North America isn't alone in decline of readership because of how publishers sought to appeal to an older demographic at the expense of the younger one.

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