A recent blog by Shueisha editor Yūta Momiyama, who is also the manager for Shonen Jump magazine and MANGA Plus online services, explains that it is quite common for publishers to sell the overseas publishing rights through foreign licensing departments, and that this continues to give positive results.
Momiyama described how it’s becoming normal for overseas publishing licensing departments to take care of overseas publishing rights with companies in other countries. That being said, with MANGA Plus, Shueisha itself is involved with the overseas licensing. Momiyama stated that an editorial approach is required, and a key aspect of any manga magazine is to “deliver new and interesting manga to the world.”
These decisions are greatly influenced by reader feedback and polls. Getting reader feedback from not only the Japanese community, but also the the international community, is essential for Weekly Shonen Jump. The data collected from these polls, helps them to figure out which of their manga series they want turned into anime adaptations. As such, foreign fans may have more influence than they realize.
Momiyama mentions a report from Kodansha which stated that about one-in-five, or about 20% of overall manga sales, now occur outside of Japan. There has been a pronounced increase in the export of manga from Japan, to America, Europe and countries in Asia.
One example of a manga selling well outside of Japan is Naoya Matsumoto’s Kaiju No. 8, which was nominated for the 14th Manga Taisho awards in 2021. The very first volume of this manga has already sold close to a quarter million copies in France alone.
Momiyama writes in his blog how sales outside of Japan are steadily increasing, and that he believes this trend could lead to a 50/50 spilt of sales in Japan and globally over the next decade.