The Asahi Shinbun Globe reported that manga publishers in France and the US have a pessimistic view of the market. According to Asahi and ICv2's report, the manga industry in 2010 suffered 3.6% and more than 20% year-on-year decreases in France and the US, respectively.
Yves Schleef, the chief editor of French major manga publisher Kana, admitted that the sales of manga in France have reached a plateau and they cannot find big hit titles other than Naruto. Both in France and the US, only a small number of titles makes up a large proportion of the whole market. In France, the top five titles; Naruto (15%), One Piece (7%), Dragon Ball (6%), Death Note (5%) and Bleach (3%) hold 36% of the whole manga sales.
Kondo Hiroshi, the chief rights manager of Shueisha, said, "The sophistication of manga culture in Japan is the fruit of decades of research on the readers, but people in Europe and the US encountered the big hit titles from the beginning. It created a large number of readers who have a biased taste toward known-to-be-delicious titles." Schleef said it's hard to judge which titles to sell. Nodame Cantabile
is undoubtedly a nationwide hit title in Japan. Its French edition was released in 2009 by Pika, but the sales were "too small to make public", said the President of Pika, Alain Kahn. Glenat, another French manga publisher, released the French edition of Detroit Metal City
, but only 5,000 copies were sold.
The CEO of Tokyopop, Stuart J. Levy, said, "The popularity of manga in the US has passed a peak. We have already published all the top-selling titles in Japan. It's no use bringing minor titles to the US." Translator Frederik L.Schodt criticized that Levy's "authentic manga" (printed right-to-left) policy has isolated manga from the general public, but does appeal to core manga fans.
Sources: Asahi Shinbun Globe