The new government scheme, which offers € 300 to 18-year-olds for the purchase of cultural goods, has boosted sales of manga, already popular with this generation. Of the 700,000 books reserved, 71% are Japanese comics, according to figures from the Culture Pass.
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A week after its launch on May 21, publisher Ki-Oon already recorded a 14% increase in sales. “This is the third largest weekly increase in the history of the house, while there are no new features”, notes Fabien Hyzard, marketing and sales manager. The same goes for the Parisian bookstore Le Renard Doré, where sellers confirm an increase in sales and the arrival of a new audience. Young people who do not all leave with complete sets of 20 volumes, as some photos show on social networks, but who are visibly happy to be able to ” to let go “.
Health crisis and containment
If the manga sector has posted double-digit growth for the past five years, the phenomenon has intensified in recent months. “Since the start of the year, the market has recorded an increase of 160%”, Fabien Hyzard notes.
The reasons for this runaway? The health crisis and confinements, analyzes Julien Bouvard, lecturer in Japanese studies at the University of Lyon 3. “Many young people have found themselves in front of video platforms that broadcast Japanese cartoons, which may have made them want to discover or rediscover paper manga, he interprets. And since the libraries were closed, more of them bought them. “
The passion of French teenagers for manga does not date from yesterday. “The first Japanese cartoons were shown here in the 1970s”, reminds the teacher. France has even become the second largest consumer of manga – neck and neck with the United States – after Japan. What appeals to young people? Of “Stories that describe with great sensitivity and accuracy the human relationships between teenagers or between young adults, observes Julien Bouvard. Content that they cannot find in Franco-Belgian comics. “
In our opinion
The craze for manga sometimes confuses parents who consider these comics inconsistent. Yet reading a manga requires concentration and imagination to read in reverse and follow a split narrative. In addition, the manga is often a gateway for further reading.