Power mad

October 18, 2006

ICv2 has released its new manga power list, putting global mangaka/Borders graphic novel buyer Kurt Hassler at the top. In July, they offered a list of the 10 most powerful people in anime, and David Taylor wondered who would make a manga-centric list. The answer is, pretty much who you’d expect:

“1. Kurt Hassler, Graphic Novel Buyer, Borders Group
2. Hidemi Fukuhara, Chief Executive Officer, Viz Media
3. Stuart Levy, Founder, CEO, Chief Creative Officer Tokyopop
4. Dallas Middaugh, Associate Publisher of Manga, Del Rey
5. Jim Killen, Graphic Novel Buyer, Barnes & Noble
6. Mike Richardson, CEO & Publisher, Dark Horse
7. Mike Kiley, Publisher, Tokyopop
8. Yumi Hoashi, EIC & VP of Magazine Division, Viz Media
9. Hikaru Sasahara, CEO, Digital Manga Publishing
10. Masashi Kishimoto, Creator of Naruto”

Kishimoto is the only full-time creator to get a nod, but it makes sense, given Naruto’s top spot in the Top Ten Manga Properties and fair enough ranking on the anime list. The presence of big-two bookstore reps makes sense, as does the higher placement for Borders than Barnes and Noble. I can understand why other retailers get irritated with those Borders exclusives that some publishers pursue, but they certainly seem to help shift books.

I was initially surprised to see Digital Manga make the cut, but their Juné books are a powerful presence in comic shops, hovering high on the graphic novel bestseller lists every time they’re released. And in my entirely anecdotal experience, they’re reliably easy to find in chain bookstores, even more than offerings from Dark Horse. (If the DMP rep had ranked higher than Dark Horse’s on this LCS-focused list, MangaCast might well have fomented another manga revolution. I can already hear the cries of “Caaaaaaaaaaaarl!”)

I’m going to have to track down a copy of this, if only for the “Shojo Rising” article about the growing anime-for-girls market. This came up in yesterday’s PWCW piece on the Cartoon Network Effect, particularly in Thomas J. McLean’s discussion with Viz’s Liza Coppola:

“Graphic novel publishers may only be beginning to benefit from TV. Consider that there is not yet any animated version of shojo manga—the wildly popular subgenre that targets teenage girls. ‘We’d love to have a shojo network out there,’ Coppola says. ‘I think that’s the dream of a lot of publishers.’”

Understandably so. In the shôjo category, Absolute Boyfriend joined Fruits Basket on the Top Ten Manga list, and Loveless represented shônen-ai all by its cat-eared self. But as far as the anime properties go, plenty of the properties are equally appealing to male and female viewers, but nothing there falls conventionally into the shôjo category.

I find it hard to believe that Cartoon Network isn’t at least considering the possibility of introducing shôjo properties into its programming. I find it irritating as hell, but Totally Spies could probably anchor at least one other girl-centric program with the right cross-promotion, and as Brigid notes at MangaBlog:

“True, but what are the girls doing? Playing with their Barbies? My daughters watched CN too, when they were that age, and I’d love to see some shoujo anime on TV.”

Maybe I’m just hoping for something to break Naruto’s monotonous dominance of the sales charts. But seriously, didn’t shôjo-rific Sailor Moon start all of this anime-manga frenzy in the first place?

Updated to note: Brigid and Simon Jones have offered reaction to the list.

And again to note: So has Ed Chavez at MangaCast.