Collecting some of the stuff I’ve been mulling over this season, sales-wise. No specific theme, and a lot of it I’ve said before, but it’s been scattered across comments here and on twitter and

Still the biggest story of the season, sales-wise, given a lack of dark horse smash hits. Spring’s Mahouka held steady around 50-60% underestimation on BD for v2 and Kuroshitsuji Book of Circus led off with a 120% underestimation on BD, though as a title aimed at women a large underestimation was expected. But Persona 4 Golden goes on sale this week. If it puts up roughly Mahouka-level numbers, and then Aldnoah does the same in late September, things will get really interesting as we wait for the likely leader of the season, Sword Art Online II, in late October.

Expect this to play a major role in Winter as well, where it could affect a number of potential 5k+ titles: Aldnoah Zero s2, Durarara!! x2, Dog Days”, and Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls. The latter three of those being just about guaranteed imports for me, so I’m not very happy about this whole situation. And I was doing so well buying nothing from Aniplex for about a year, too! Sad to see that streak end, as they’re my least favorite JP distributor. Currently making human sacrifices to Madokami in the hopes that we’ll see Koufuku Graffiti handled by someone else since that’s my fourth likely Winter import!

Free! Eternal Summer
Free! lagged considerably behind the first season on Amazon for most of the preorder period, but it’s picked up lately. We’re just two weeks from release and some pretty major episodes have aired recently (including episode 10, probably the best episode of Free yet). It should end up with roughly a 12k estimate, up solidly from the barely 10k of about a month ago, and more comparable to s1’s 15k v1 estimate. (This includes 1k in the Amazon-only versions that I imagine almost no one is actually buying, granted.)

We know Free! will be very heavily underestimated due to Animate sales, but it’s impossible to know to what degree. It’s inevitable that this season will drop from season one’s sales but how much? “Not as much as I thought a few weeks ago” is my guess, but I’m still not sure about its chance at a 20k average (s1 was 29k).

The wild card is what effect the event tickets being smack in the middle of the release schedule will have. Volumes 3 and 4? That’s unusual. They got a rather anemic boost on Amazon when revealed (barely a day in the top 100) but does that mean anything? They’re 3-4 months away. I don’t know!

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
Nozaki-kun is as close as we’re getting to a dark horse hit this season. The top two will be SAO and Free, both sequels to wildly successful series, and after that will probably come a hugely diminished (as in likely dropping average by two thirds) Persona 4. But Nozaki-kun has a very solid chance of coming in fourth, with its competition for the spot being Aldnoah and Kuroshitsuji, or maaaybe Sailor Moon but I still seriously doubt that, personally.

The first volume is a very likely 10k by week two at this point, especially if it has some B&M legs. But there’s the question of how much the event ticket is playing into this. Still, nothing else this season that isn’t a sequel is hinting at terribly good sales (besides Aldnoah, which will only do well if it is very heavily underestimated) so Nozaki-kun has at least a 50/50 shot at “best-selling non-sequel”. And it’s been on a surge these past few days, with v1 nearly breaking top 10.

Barakamon will win the “better than expected average offset by low MSRP” category for the season. Vol. 1 is up to a 5.6k estimate and it’s shown some life at Animate. On top of that it’s only four volumes, and the first two will have event ticket boosts. But at ¥5800 * 4, a 5k average pulls in ¥116m, toughly equivalent to a ¥6800 * 6 selling slightly under 3k, for some perspective.

Nonetheless, probably more than was expected, and should just be gravy really, assuming the manga has done well. Overall looks like it’ll be solid.

Where are the remaining solicitations?
We still have no solicitations for Nobunaga Concerto, Momokyun Sword, and, if I remember correctly, some shorts. The shorts I’m not overly surprised by but where in the world are Nobunaga and Momokyun? It seems guaranteed at this point that they must be getting straight-to-box releases. Unsurprising for Nobunaga, but very odd for Momokyun. In either case, both will be deader than dead sales-wise.

This season hates me
Not in terms of content! There are four absolutely exceptional import-tier shows (Locodol, Free, Hanayamata, YamaSusu) and one really solid show (Barakamon). But of my four imports only Free! is going to do well at all.

Locodol will reach maybe 2k v1 BDs and might not even hit 1k for the remaining volumes. Without a storefront boost, Hanayamata is on track to be the worst-selling Houbunsha Manga Time adaptation since Kill Me Baby. Even at best it might struggle to beat Sakura Trick or Acchi Kocchi. This bothers me because as much as I love Gochiusa or Kinmosa, I like to see different kinds of shows using the cute girls formula, and ST/HNYMT provided some of that diversity. If they keep failing, well… I’ll still enjoy the Gochiusas and Kinmosas and A Channels, but that’s not /all/ I want. And Yama no Susume might need to stretch pretty hard to secure even a 3k average, so that’s depressing, as it’s one of the shows I thought had a real chance of beating its predecessor on account of getting so much more runtime. All of them have been ranking okaaaaaayishhhhhhh in the extended non-Amazon rankings (especially Locodol at HMV) but I’m incredibly skeptical of those after being burned in the past. It’s Animate or GTFO as far as other stores go…

Not a great time to be me. But I’ll continue to import the stuff I want to see succeed, even if I know it won’t.

23 Responses to “Prediction Talk: Miscellaneous Summer Ramblings”

  1. Anon says:

    I’m quite surprised with Nozaki-kun, it’s been on a roll since last week and today was really close to break the top 10. Sure it has a ticket but the other volumes are doing pretty well too.

    I’m glad my favorite show of the season is doing this good.

  2. Masterman says:

    Hanayamata deserves to sell poorly, so much bad drama and cute girls being more whiny than Shinji Ikari in it. My pick for series that looked like it would be good but ends up flopping hard.

    • something says:

      I’m pretty sure nobody died and made you arbiter of what “deserves” to sell. Saying a show “deserves” to flop is about the worst way to approach sales discussion. I’m quite glad the show is devoted to adding depth to the iyashikei style with great character drama, not caving to complaints I’ve heard like “all the seriousness and draaaaaaama, there should be no tension in my cute girls shows”. As much as I love the Kirara adaptations, it sucks to think that we’re allowed only limited variety in the ones that do well. I’m almost certain Gakkou Gurashi is going to crash and burn as well. Doing anything too different gets punished pretty harshly.

      • rederoin says:

        Cute girls with mental disorders will never sell good ;_; I wish I could be proven wrong on that.

      • Masterman says:

        There are plenty of comedy that have drama in them, like Love Live/Idolmaster/Chuunibyou. Sometimes the drama is good, frequently it’s bad. But none of them is anywhere near as drama filled as Hanayamata.

        • Progeusz says:

          I would say Love Live has similar amount of drama to Hanayamata and drama in LL is much worse. In Hanayamata, both drama of Yaya were handled well so was Tami’s. Naru’s was okay. Really, only Machi sucks.

          • something says:

            Machi hate is totally not okay, 2cruel.

            • Progeusz says:

              Can’t help it, she’s wrong for blaming Sally. Thankfully we should only get happy scenes from now on. I think?

              • something says:

                She was a kid and her beloved big sister literally walked out on her with no explanation. That’s gonna breed resentment. And then there was very little contact until the events of the show picked up. She started to come around pretty quickly once the story started diving into those two though, so I really can’t see anything to criticize.

                (And we still have Hana’s backstory to go through, definitely not all happy scenes I’m sure! But obviously the show will end happily.)

          • mk03 says:

            I guess you haven’t watched season 2. Love Live’s drama won’t win any awards, but season 2 is much, much, better than season 1.

      • mk03 says:

        I thought Kirara manga almost never chart on Oricon anyway, at least pre-anime? Which means many of the manga already have an uphill battle to face, though many do end up succeeding.

        • something says:

          I don’t follow manga sales close enough to say, but I believe they are generally in that sub-ranking black hole that could mean 100k a volume or 10k a volume. Manga cutoffs are so high, and Oricon undercounting so significant for books, that there is a huge, huge, huge range to how they could be selling in reality.

          Edit: torisunanohokori just put up a post about this:

        • Worth mentioning in regard to Kirara series is that they’re often 4-koma series, which have lower printing costs (I know many authors are paid per page of manga drawn, though the exact fees vary) and often are priced higher. Kinmoza v4 costs 885 yen and is 120 pages long. Assassination Classroom v10 costs 432 yen and is 196 pages long. Them not charting is less of a big deal than it would be for something running in Jump, or even Sunday.

          • lolivampires says:

            Not that this necessarily affects your logic, but I think part of the reason they are higher is because they get released more infrequently, so they charge a slightly higher cost to make up for fact they’re releasing a 1/3-1/4 the volumes of other series (I could be wrong though)

  3. rederoin says:

    All shorts have been solicited(I think?), only 1 half-length show, Francesca(the one that is not getting any subs) is left(ontop of those other 2 you mentioned).

    I agree that its a pretty bad season for sales, not for the industry but for fans of the some of those shows. Out of of my top 6, only Barakamon has a small chance at a 5k average, and that show is cheaper than normal. So that kinda sucks. I’m glad atleast Nozaki-kun is doing good. Kinda reminds me of winter 2014, but atleast that one had mikakunin.

  4. AnimePhoenix says:

    I hope Free! ES can do a 20k average. This week we’re probably getting an angsty MakoHaru episode. Hope that makings the rankings go up.

  5. mk03 says:

    Weird you don’t have any long comments for Sailor Moon Crystal or Tokyo Ghoul, as their recent performance has been… interesting to say the least, except not in a good way.

    • something says:

      There’s nothing special to say about Tokyo Ghoul. It’s just a typical middling to low performance show, that might put up okayish v1 numbers with event ticket (maybe 5k total?) then drop to mehness for v2+. Same as a bunch of others this season.

      Sailor Moon I meant to mention but didn’t. It had just fallen, fallen, fallen without ceasing, then in the past week it’s shot back up, and v1 even got back into the top 100 for a little while. Still pretty convinced the 13 disc insanity is going to murder its average though, even if v1 manages to pull off a good number.

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