On April 9, the last chapter of The attack of the Titans, one of the most significant Japanese works of the last ten years. The manga was a huge success in France with over 3.5 million copies sold. Interview with Virginie Daudin-Clavaud, Managing Director of Pika Édition.
Forbes France: The manga is a phenomenon, Did the health crisis and the confinements fuel this immense success?
Virginie Daudin-Clavaud : Between the Covid-19 front and today the sale of copies of The attack of the Titans achieved a spectacular growth of 500%. It is certainly the strongest growth that we have ever seen for a manga in our catalog. Its success is linked to the quality of manga, to its capacity to hold the suspense and to propose multiple twists.
Today, it resonates much more strongly with the readership because we can draw a parallel between the current situation and the world of manga. The Titans are enemies that we don’t know much about except that they feed on humans. It is an invisible enemy on which we do not find a weak point. There is already a similarity with the Covid.
Humanity, to protect itself from these titans, has locked itself up, confined within a city. The young generation has always lived walled up and dreams of being able to go out and discover the outdoors. Again, this idea probably resonates more strongly than it has before.
Virginie Daudin-Clavaud : The progress of digital technology in France does not follow the growth curves that it may encounter in Japan or the United States. We stay a little bit apart with this attachment to paper that our readers have.
How much of your turnover do Attack on Titan sales represent?
V.D.-G. : The attack titans became the first manga in our catalog since the end of last year and the start of the last season on Wakanim. Before the rise of the phenomenon, The attack of the Titans accounted for 8% of our turnover and today it weighs for 35%. Manga represents more than a third of our activity, which is considerable. Such a score is extremely rare. Before that it was Fairy Tail, our number 1. It still represents a good part of our turnover. However, Fairy Tail is over, so the manga is no longer fueled by novelties.
The digital edition, available from the Japanese release, is it popular?
V.D.-G. : There is an attachment to paper in France. The book remains the supreme medium for all manga enthusiasts and beyond. Classic manga is well in the lead even if we are developing our digital offer and the possibility of simultaneous reading. Sure The attack of the Titans digital represents 5% of total sales. This is a little more than what we find on average over our entire catalog where it is 4%.The progress of digital technology in France does not follow the growth curves that it may encounter in Japan or the United States. We stay a little bit apart with this attachment to paper that our readers have.
Virginie Daudin-Clavaud : Unfortunately I haven’t been able to read the last chapter yet but given the quality of the author, Hajime Isayama, I expect something incredible!
However, digital publishing has its advantages. It allows our readers to follow the progress of the series in the French version simultaneously with its release in Japan. It is one of the means that we must develop as a publisher. The attack of the Titans was the first Pika Edition series offered simultaneously.(publication in digital chapter simultaneously with Japan). For this, we mobilize a team extremely well-trained in the exercise. It’s a tedious job, we have a little less than two weeks to translate, correct, proofread, letter the French text in the bubbles.
Will April 9 be a historic date for your publishing house? ?
V.D.-G. : The outcome of the series is eagerly awaited by all our readers. For the last volume we expect to break records. It will be gigantic!
Unfortunately I haven’t been able to read the last chapter yet but given the quality of the author, Hajime Isayama, I expect something incredible!