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Manga growth slows in 2007. Is a crash coming?

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We've all heard about the trials and tribulations the anime industry in general is undergoing, but we've also heard that while the market for anime DVDs is ailing, manga sales are active and healthy. Things might be changing fairly soon, However - a recent report from industry analysts at ICv2 indicates that the manga market only grew about 5% last year. While any industry growth is still a good thing, it's a far cry from the sort of explosive numbers we've seen manga hit in previous years. ICv2 cites some factors in the slowdown: comic specialty stores re-focusing their buying habits on other categories (Comic stores generally can't return unsold books, unlike big chain bookstores, so overbuying manga is a risky proposition for them), as well as a huge number of new releases (1,513 in 2007) vying for reader attention and shelf space. 

Is this a sign of manga reaching saturation point,  as ICv2 seems to indicate, or is it a case of the sort of slowdown in extraneous spending that looms over the US economy in general? I'd wager it's a little bit of both - other entertainment industries, such as gaming, have also seen their growth slow down recently. What do you think, readers? Has the manga industry been growing too large, too quickly? Will we see a Geneon-like crash of any major publishers in the future? Post all of your doom and gloom speculation and industry conspiracy theories in the comments!

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Filed under... #Industy affairs #manga

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