Hey all you book lovers I have some great news: Viz Media is reprinting the entire “Case Closed” series! All fifty books! That means odd volumes that were difficult to find (like book 12 and 36) will now be available to buy at any major retailer…except for Amazon.com, because of the dispute they are having with Viz’s distributor Warner Bros. A massive reprinting of a long series like this is extremely rare and unusual. Most book publishers avoid long series for a variety of reasons. The first is that book stores normally can only stock so many books of each series. Not only that, but they usually have to at least always have a few copies of the first few books available for new readers, and those volumes are always going to come at the expense of middle volumes.
Maintaining a fan base for a long series is difficult as most people move on. Ask Viz what book sales for the last several “InuYasha” books were and they will clue you in on the harsh reality of a fickle fan base. One of the major positives for long running series is also one of the biggest problems: TV. Most long manga series have long anime series that become massively popular and help drive books sales. When the TV show wanes a bit the book sales usually follow. Then you have multiple copies of odd books that sit in warehouses unsold, certain odd volumes never sell through their first print, and when that happens future volume sales are affected because new readers can’t find the next book they need. Above all else though, most long series do not warrant the sales to keep the entire thing in print.
The fact that “Case Closed” is getting this treatment and its news speaks volumes about the franchise in America. Some of you took issue with my last (I admit mostly speculative) article and the claim that Funimation would dare to renew the license of the series just to keep it out of competitions hands. They said there was no proof that this was the reasoning behind the renewal, and if there was a potential for more sales why would they renew the show and not continue it? I can’t vouch for the second reason. When it comes to the first reason though I can safely answer that Funimation can see that “Case Closed” is a series that has been gaining in popularity and wants to keep it from other companies.
This manga reprint news is solid proof that the series is not only still popular, but it’s growing in popularity and demand. If it wasn’t Viz wouldn’t have bothered to announce that the entire series was going to be reprinted…heck, they wouldn’t have reprinted in the first place. Over the last year and a half though the series is arguably more popular than it was when they first started releasing the books ten years ago. Every time a new book comes out it makes a killing on the New York Times Best Sellers list in a day and age where manga becoming best sellers are getting rare (the other series to accomplish this feat in the last year was Sailor Moon). The storylines in the past few books have been well received for making information in previous books all the more interesting when viewed on a grander scale.
In short, “Case Closed” is becoming MORE popular in America and NOT less!! Funimation claims that the lack of new fans coupled with low sales of DVD’s during the first run around is what’s keeping them from producing more episodes, but we can now see that this is not only untrue, it’s an outright lie. “Case Closed” fans DO want more of the series! There ARE more fans than there were the first time around! What’s more, this shows that they would be willing to PAY for more of the series! Look, it’s not like you can’t download “Case Closed” for free. It’s as easy to get as subtitled episodes of the TV series (which – I want to remind you – fans are downloading in droves because they can’t buy them here).
This is a fan base that is so hungry for more of the series though they have been putting their money where their mouth is. Some of you have questioned why I encourage people to buy the manga to show support for the TV series when Funimation would not be receiving any of the money from those books. This is the reason why folks. As the only legally available “Case Closed” thing that’s still in production this is the only way to financially show that there is a market for new “Case Closed.” Now we’ve got proof. Now we can say to Funimation “see guys, it WILL sell! We WILL buy new episodes if they were only available! Now make another season!”
And while Funimation may have renewed the license now, if they fail to renew it next time there’s always the possibility that Viz will look at the book sales and want to expand on the franchise. So keep buying the books folks. So you can not only continue the story legally, but you can show Funimation that there is money to be made here. They just have to supply the product and meet the demand. Oh, and when you do buy the books, but them from a local bookstore to show Amazon that they don't control the reading market. Thank you!