Date: 2005 September 19 20:25
Posted by Jeremy
Anime-related novels turn out to be big sellers in American bookstore market.
Most retailers never expected translated anime/manga-related novles to be big sellers on the American market. This was mainly due to the idea that the books aren't graphic novels per se, but actual prose novels with but a few illustrations scattered throughout the pages. But according to IVc2, that opinion has changed due to the success of two particular series, .hack//AI Buster from Tokyopop and Vampire Hunter D from Dark Horse and Digital Manga.
Based on the popular multi-media property .hack// (pronounced "Dot Hack"), AI Buster was released last July and spent its first three weeks on Bookscan's Top Ten list of graphic novels sold in bookstores. Selling even better is Vampire Hunter D, the series of horror novels written by Hideyuki Kikuchi and illustrated by Yoshitaka Amano which inspired two hit anime features, Vampire Hunter D (based on the first novel) and the more recent Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust. Released last May, the first volume of the series has sold enough to rank in the Top Ten in year-to-date manga sales.
And it doesn't look like the popularity of these novels will be winding down anytime soon. The second book in the 13-volume Vampire Hunter D series, Vampire Hunter D Vol. 2: Raiser of Gales, was released earlier this month, with the third volume slated for a January, 2006 release. A sequel for AI Buster, titled AI Buster Vol. 2, and another novel, .hack//Zero, are available in Japan, though there is no word on when or if either of these books will be released to American readers. And Viz Media plans on getting into the act with its own Fiction Imprint line, due out in October with the release of Full Metal Alchemist: The Land of Sand and Socrates in Love. With all these books on the way and more still available in Japan, there will be plenty for retailers to provide for both otaku and regular readers alike.