Japan news site SoraNews24 recently published an interview with online marketplace ZenPlus in which they revealed an uptick in sales of manga from customers outside of Japan. But not just any type of manga. No, the kind of manga that is seeing a rise in sales is specifically in Japanese text.
ZenPlus hosts more than 3,000 Japanese retail stores with over 5 million product listings for people outside of Japan looking for authentic Japanese products ranging from stationery, games, beauty, fashion, kawaii-culture, toys, tools, food, housewares, and anime/manga related merchandise. ZenPlus is run by its’ parent Japanese company ZenGroup Inc., which is located in Osaka. ZenGroup Inc. also runs ZenMarket and ZenPop. They work with people from over 30 countries to help bring Japanese products to customers’ homes.
When asked what are the latest big sellers happening lately on their website, ZenPlus responded with saying that they’ve seen “a lot of orders for the original, untranslated still-in-Japanese editions of manga. Every year we’ve been seeing increases of more than 400% in our Japanese-language manga sales. Content restrictions are less strict in the Japanese editions, and our shoppers are finding Japanese-language manga increasingly appealing as a result of overly loose or unfaithful English translations that distort the narrative.”
ZenPlus continues to explain that many of their customers are “studying Japanese and deepening their understanding of the language by comparing an English-translated edition of the manga with the original Japanese-language publication.” This helps them to be able to learn to read Japanese text while also enjoying the most faithful story version of the manga.
According to ZenPlus, the top 10 best selling manga series on their website are usually, in order, Dragon Ball, One Piece, Slam Dunk, Vagabond, Berserk, Tokyo Revengers, Yotsuba&!, Hunter x Hunter, Naruto, and Dandadan. To date, ZenPlus has over 2200 pages of manga book listing pages to look through, with a wide variety of genres. On the website, the manga are listed under “comics”.
What do you think? If you’re currently unable to read fluent Japanese, would you learn to so you could buy manga straight from Japan that wasn’t in English? Let us know what you think!
If you would like to read the full interview with ZenPlus, click here: SoraNews24 Interview
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