Manga Consumption of Hardcore Fans and Casual Fans

imgFrom the blog Daily Life as a Shojo Manga Fan comes an article titled "Manga Consumption between Hardcore Fans and Casual Fans." The article looks at how the hardcore fans tend to look down on the casual fans for not being "hardcore" enough, and how the casual manga fans are actually contributing to the manga industry.

Manga Consumption of Hardcore Fans and Casual Fans

A reader responded to my previous article "Ordinary Girls Don't Read Yumiko Oshima*" saying that "Ordinary girls would even read Nana to kill time; for us, Nodame Cantabile is just something used to pass time." Sometimes I wonder if the hardcore manga fans tend to distinguish the way they read manga from casual fans, who read manga simply for pleasure, but isn't manga created for one's pleasure?

When I was still in the middle of my teenage days, I enjoyed manga simply for pleasure. The thought of being a manga maniac did not cross my mind once, and I was not conscious of my mania. Nowadays the readers of Nana must be the same, so what's wrong? Such attitude is why manga appeals to the mass-market, rather, such attitude is the basic attitude needed for reading manga. So what if someone didn't get some important theme in Nana? Who could look down on them?

Japan has a developed manga market for mature readers, which makes it possible for many different types of attitude to be held toward manga. The mass-market supports the small market of manga maniacs, which in turn produces popular titles for the manga market in general, like how Nana helped increase the circulation of the magazine Cookie.

According to an analysis report from 1992:

Since 1990, manga markets have been catering toward the hardcore fans, while the casual readers have leaving manga behind.

Moreover, small children don't often read manga; these reasons should have lead to a decrease in manga sales.

Sometimes I question the attitude of a hardcore manga fan. They tend to distinguish themselves from and look down on casual readers and their manga preference. It's weird when Yumiko Oshima is thought of as a characteristic mangaka for the hardcore fans to worship.

*Yumiko Oshima is known for her manga Wata no Kunihoshi (A Star over the Cotton Country), which was awarded the Kodansha Manga Award in 1979. Oshima made her debut in 1968 with Pora no Namida. Other works by Yumiko Oshima include Shigatsu Kaidan, Mainichi Ga Natsu Yashumi and Akihiko Kaku Katariki.

Original article by nogamin
Translated by T. Ohara