Monday, March 22, 2004

Inuyasha a good seller? 

Speaking of Previews Review, the latest entry has Christopher saying the following:

I don’t usually give away ‘store secrets’ here in the column, but Inu Yasha has rocketed to the top of our best-selling comics/books in the store, and this line of books has sold more dollars worth of product since January than other product line in the store. INU YASHA is huge, essentially, and every volume released is very-much a cause for celebration for us. As for the quality of the book itself, being by megastar Rumiko Takahashi (a female comics creator, responsible for the mega-popular RANMA ½ and LUM manga and anime) a certain measure of quality is met throughout the series, in terms of both the characterization and art. The plot isn’t much to speak of (rough-and-tumble-bad-boy and neurotic-outsider-girl must comb the land, looking for the mystical doo-dads of power while love blossoms) and it seems to just go on forever, but even then it’s fairly successful at keeping you hooked too. I’m kind of surprised that no American comic company has managed to pick up on this style of story yet…

I guess it makes sense that it'd be selling well, but it is nice to see some confirmation. Takahashi has pretty much built an empire on being able to stretch a formula way out while keeping people interested. There's a reason why she's the richest woman in Japan..heh. I generally enjoyed what I saw of the anime for Inuyasha (though the english voice acting and constant recaps kind of dulled it for me).

As Chris mentioned, I wonder about the lack of some of the formulas common to manga. A while back I wrote about how I felt that while many "mainstream" American comics seems to try to take different genres and put a similar covering on top (mystery with superheros, horror with superheros, etc.) a lot of manga seems to take the opposite tact. For instance a sportish theme where the protagonist starts weaker and through hard work and adversaries becomes better. On top of that can be anything from a regular sport, to becoming a ninja or a pirate, or a master chef.

A quest with unlikely partners story goes back thousands of years, for good reason as it is the kind of thing that appeals to many people. But there's a lot of stuff you can put on top of that, whether it mystical ancient Japan or anything else..

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