The Rise and Fall of Weekly Shonen Jump: A Look at the Circulation of Weekly Jump

topJapanese manga anthologies are one of the foundations of Japan's manga culture. Most popular series are first serialized in manga anthologies before being released in the tankoubon format. Despite the success manga is enjoying around the world, recent reports indicate that Japan's domestic manga market have gone into a decline. As a result, manga publishers are finding it difficult to make a profit from manga anthologies. Last month, Weekly Shonen Magazine's circulation dropped under 2,000,000. The suspension of Shueisha's Monthly Shonen Jump could also in part be attributed to declining sales.

Despite the difficulties many magazines are facing nowadays, Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump experienced a slight boost in sales in recent months. Last December, for the first time in 11 years, Shonen Jump's circulation increased from 2.75 million to 2.78 million. However, when compared with sales from 10 years ago, this number is hardly encouraging. To understand Shonen Jump's current situation, one needs to look at the magazine's historic circulation.

Below is a look at Shonen Jump's historic circulation, as well as an updated list of the Shonen Jump manga circulation numbers (updated from the 2006 version).

The Circulation of Weekly Shonen Jump

Launched in 1968 by Shueisha, Weekly Shonen Jump competed with the already successful Weekly Shonen Magazine (Kodansha) and Weekly Shonen Sunday (Shogakukan). By keeping a close eye on what its readers wanted through surveys and polls, Shonen Jump soon became one of the top-selling shonen magazines in the market. At the height of its popularity, thanks in part to popular series like Dragon Ball and Slam Dunk, the New Year's issue of Shonen Jump (issue 3-4) in 1995 sold over 6.53 million copies.

Since then, with the conclusion of popular serializations such as Dragon Ball (ended in 1995) and Slam Dunk (ended in 1996), circulation of Weekly Jump decreased rapidly. In 1998, the New Year's issue of Jump sold only 4.15 millions copies, dropping below the circulation of its competitor Weekly Shonen Magazine, which had an estimated circulation of 4.45 million. It was the first time in 24 years Weekly Jump yielded their position as the top selling Weekly Shonen Magazine.

Below is a graph of Shonen Jump's sales throughout the years from

chart 1

Some notes from the creator of the graph:

  • The source of the figure came from an article on Weekly Jump from Wikipedia (Japanese edition).

    The original data is inaccurate; some contains the circulation of New Year's issue, some contains the circulation of the best-selling issue of the year, so the statistics in the figure has several issues. However, there are no other sources on this topic, and the figure does provide a general overview of the situation. As a result, the figure offers three different kinds of circulation information: New Year's issue, the best-selling issue of the year, and the average circulation of the year.

  • Circulation of Weekly Jump experience a rapidly decline between 1995 and 1996, falling from 6.53 million to 5.88 million copies (-10%). The circulation decreased again between 1996 and 1997, falling from 5.88 million to 4.05 million (-31%). However, the data taken before 1996 is the circulation of New Year's issue, while the data taken after 1997 is the average circulation of the year, so it may not represent a genuine decrease.

    Generally, circulation of New Year's issue is very close to the circulation of the best-selling issue of that year, meaning the circulation of New Year's issue is greater than the average circulation of the year. As a result, the actual decline between 1996 and 1997 would be smoother than what the figure shows.

  • The data taken between 1982 and 1984, and later after 1997, were all of the average circulation of the year, while figures from other years show the circulation of the New Year's issue. There was no significant change between 1982 and 1984 in the figure, so one can see the decline between 1996 and 1997 was very big.

Below is a graph comparing Weekly Shonen Jump's sales with a few other popular shonen magazines (data taken from WJ Log):

chart 2

As the graph indicates, the circulation of Shonen Jump is significantly higher than most other magazines through out the years. However, between 1995 and 2005, while other magazine's sales stayed fairly constant, Shonen Jump's circulation decreased dramatically. If this trend continues, Shonen Jump may find itself struggling alongside other magazines.

Shounen Jump Manga Circulation Numbers

It's been almost a year since the "Shounen Jump Manga Circulation Numbers" was posted, below is the newest sales numbers of manga serialized in Shonen Jump, compiled by 2ch Jump Log Warehouse.

Currently Serialized in Jump

Title (Volumes) Circulation Latest 1st Edition vol. Sales
Kochikame (1-151) 135,000,000 vol. 153 - 360,000
One Piece (1-45) 130,000,000 vol. 45 - 2,250,000
Naruto (1-36) 71,000,000 vol. 36 - 1,480,000
Bleach (1-27) 39,000,000 vol. 26 - 1,310,000
The Prince of Tennis (1-35) 37,000,000 vol. 37 - 500,000
Hunter X Hunter (1-20) 36,958,000 vol. 22 - 1,560,000
Gintama (1-17) 16,000,000 vol. 17 - 550,000
Eyeshield 21 (1-19) 12,30,000 vol. 23 - 510,000
D.Gray-man (1-10) 8,000,000 vol. 10 - 700,000
Katekyo Hitman Reborn! (1-14) 7,000,000 vol. 2 - 120,000
Pyu to Fuku! Jaguar (1-11) 5,500,000 vol. 8 - 390,000
Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo (1-15) 4,875,000 vol. 15 - 190,000
Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro (1-6) 1,000,000 -

*All numbers are from sales in Japan only (counting sales in other countries, Dragon Ball would be 300,000,000+, Fist of the North Star would be 100,000,000+, and so on)

All-Time Best Selling Jump Series

Title vol. & Status Circulation
Dragon Ball 42 complete 150,000,000 - 160,000,000
Kochikame 151 ongoing + related books 135,000,000 - 150,000,000
One Piece 45 ongoing 130,000,000
Slam Dunk 31 complete 108,000,000 - 120,000,000
Naruto 36 ongoing 67,000,000
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Series ongoing 47,000,000 - 70,000,000
Fist of the North Star 27 complete 47,000,000 - 60,000,000
Captain Tsubasa 37 complete + 18 ongoing 52,000,000 (series: 70,000,000)
Kinnikuman 36 complete 50,000,000 (series: 60,000,000)
Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibouken 30 complete 30,000,000 - 50,000,000
Rurouni Kenshin 28 complete 47,000,000
Yu Yu Hakusho 19 complete 44,000,000
Rokudenashi Blues 42 complete 43,700,000
Bleach 27 ongoing 39,000,000
The Prince of Tennis 35 ongoing 37,000,000
Hunter X Hunter 20 ongoing 36,958,000
Dr. Slump 18 complete 35,000,000
City Hunter 35 complete 35,000,000
Bastard!! 23 ongoing 30,000,000
Saint Seiya 28 complete 25,000,000
Hikaru no Go 23 complete 22,000,000
Shaman King 32 complete 22,000,000
Sakigake!! Otokojuku 32 complete 22,000,000
Cobra entire series 20,000,000
Cat's Eye 18 complete 18,000,000
Kimagure Orange Road 18 complete 18,000,000
Toilet Hakase 30 complete 15,000,000
Hana no Keiji 18 complete 14,000,000
Houshin Engi 15 complete 13,300,000
Ring ni Kakero 25 complete 13,000,000
Magical Taruruuto-kun 21 complete 12,600,000
Eyeshield 21 19 ongoing 12,300,000
Black Cat 20 complete 12,000,000
Circuit no Ookami 13 ongoing 11,000,000
Barefoot Gen 10 complete 10,000,000
I''s 15 complete 10,000,000
Ginga Nagareboshi Gin 18 complete 10,000,000
High School! Kimengumi 20 complete 10,000,000

*Includes Bunkoban (smaller than normal tankobon and higher quality) and Kanzenban (Perfect or Complete Edition) and other compilation volumes.
*Includes sequals that are published in other magazines.

Note that many of the top-selling manga, such as One Piece and Naruto, currently serializes in Shonen Jump. Will these series do what Dragon Ball, Yu Yu Hakusho and others have done in the past, and bring Shonen Jump's back to its former glory, or will Shonen Jump have to rely on its popularity from overseas to stay "in the game"?

- 2ch Jump Log Warehouse
- Japan Magazine Publishers Association (JMPA)
- Weekly Shonen Jump Wikipedia Entry

Selected texts translated by Michiko

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According to that shounen

According to that shounen magazines circulation graph, weekly shounen champion lost all its readers between the years 2001-2003 O.o

Actually, data from those

Actually, data from those years weren't available, there should be a break instead of the "0" sales you see.

The circulation graph for

The circulation graph for the magazines is one decimal place too far to the right. The total population of Japan is only 128 million.

Oops you're right, the graph

Oops you're right, the graph has been fixed.

Eh heh, now you've moved it

Eh heh, now you've moved it too far to the left. ;) (The range should be between 0 to 70 million, if you were directly importing the data from WJ Log.)

I do have a question about the figures you present from WJ Log... are the sales numbers given for each year the averages of the number of copies sold per month during that year, or are they the averages of any single issue sold during the year? I ask because the weeklies are obviously released 4 times a month, compared to the one for the monthlies, so perhaps including both monthlies and weeklies in the same chart creates an unfair disadvantage for the monthlies.

> The range should be

> The range should be between 0 to 70 million

Looking at the data from wj_log, the graph should be right (0 to 7 million = 0-700???).

Wait, strike that question.

Wait, strike that question. I just got confused by the graph. ^o^;


maybe the readers are not very interesed od what a the moment Shonen Jump offers. I guess the magazine will need to make a market investigation of the why, maybe their money is limited and dont think shonen jump as a priority, maybe the attention has gone to other styles of shonen, anything could be.

It's the internet people!!!

It's the internet people!!! Believe me, the reason why the magazine sales are drop is becuse of the internet that exists in our time!! Though there are hit mangas such as One Piece, Naruto, Fairy Tail etc... the sales drop because of the internet.

Ever sice technology has become better and better, we used the internet to find and get stuff for free. This is exactly what happens to the magazines at the moment. People have been buying the magazines, scan them and distribute it throughout the internet for no cost at all. So even though we have hit series like One Piece or whatever, it won't matter aor change a thing. People are just going to get scans off the internet for free anwyay rather than buying the magazines itself. Because of this sales have been dropped because more people read the scans for free. This is exactly what is happening to manga readers throughout the world, people get the scans off for free rather than buying the mangas/magazines itself.

You might be asking, then how come from 1987 - 1994 the sales of shonene jump magazine is up. Well duh the internet and technology weren't that devloped back then, people buys them to read mangas, that's how the slaes are up. And not to mention that during those times there are hit series like dragon ball and yu yu hakusho, well of course the sales were good. Even if dragon ball and yu yu hakusho was in the times where internet and scanners exist, same thing is going to happen anyway. People are just going to find the scans off he internet for free.

So it's not the series itself that made the sales drop, it's the technology for beig so hi-tech that people use it to find a way to get it for free.

well, that's a factor but it

well, that's a factor but it is in no way a determining one as most manga fans still buy the volumes even if they first read it in scans, and those who don't wouldn't have bought them otherwise for the majority... For countries outside Japan, most people wouldn't even KNOW about manga without scanlations, so considering all the money manga and anime companies are making overseas I doubt one can reasonably blame scanlations at all :)

I agree with you about

I agree with you about internet. Nowday, you need to know English and Chinese or one or two popular language and you can find the latest scanlation online right away and with high quality too. Moreover, translation online is much better than translation in published manga volumn. People also pay online to download these manga chapter and they can keep them even longer on CD and it doesn't take much space or heavy when you need to move.
In 1995, I didn't know what internet was and I remember a lot of ppl bought manga in books. But now, I would rather pay online to download these chapters than to buy books. That's why I donate my money for manga sites.

That is a question I've kept

That is a question I've kept asking myself lately: "So why don't Shounen Jump" take advantage of Internet technology, selling their mangas all over the world?!?
Take Naruto, for instance. This manga/anime has fans all over the world eagerly waiting for Friday to come so they'll come to know what happened to Konohagakure (I'm one of them).
SJ could hire people who are already "scanlating" and boost their sales. This would be beneficial for all involved parties (and we would enable the Mangakas to continue doing their good job by paying for it!!).

I second Pat. The thing is,

I second Pat. The thing is, if they released Jump at the same time/speed in america, it would be worth it to get it. I'd rather read manga on paper than computer anyway, and I could get all the other series in it. The only people who actually get jump now are kids who don't realize the series is further along than they realize.

Sales figures?

Hey, where's Death Note? I'm sure that it's sold more than 10 mil. It should definitely be on that list.

the first chart

in the first chart it says that its the LATEST first edition volume sales but katekyo hitman reborn has the sales of volume 2 instead of the sales of volume 14 and on a side note is circulation the amount of money made or the amount of copies sold

Circulation is the # of

Circulation is the # of books sold.

As for the latest edition thing, it's probably the vol. w/ highest sales, though looking at the JP site, ???????????? does translate to newest 1st edition, which is kind of strange.


what is the newest item in the newest shonen jump magazine?

Houshin Engi

Houshin Engi has 23 volumes not 15



Naruto "Manicac" which makes

Naruto "Manicac" which makes no sense...omg you sad little kid, dragonball is the GOAT, Naruto wouldn't even be around if it wasn't for Dragonball...darn kids these days who don't have any respect for the older generation which paved the way!!!!

Dragon ball was the best and still is.

Its clear and obvious that Shonen Jump severe decline was right after dragon ball ended in 1995 and they never came back to those golden days even tho they have one piece,naruto,bleach,eyesheild,death note,dgray man and prince of tennis.

It simply means dragon ball is better than all of them combined, even tho its only 42 volume, dragon ball blow the competition out of the water even if they has more volumes which is AMAZING.

i agree 100% with you. and

i agree 100% with you.
and to add to what you said you can see in this graph that

THE best time of shonen jump history was between 1984-1995 and they never before 1984 or after 1995 equal its numbers or come close, any idiot will know thats when dragon ball started(1984) and thats when it ended(1995).

finally i think shonen jump owe it to akira toriyama sensei big time.

I agree with you, but there

I agree with you, but there were another success mangas at this time...
Yu Yu Hakusho 1990-1994
Slam Dunk 1990 - 1996
DBZ was great, but YYH is immensely better!
In my opnion..

yup. 100%

yup. 100%

help where to get a book

heya all just browsing n came across this a huge fan of the manga and anime of all stuff thats in the books.i watch them all (YUGIOH N GX NARUTO BLEACH DRAGONBALLZ D GRAYMAN )anyway i dont have a clue where i can get my hands on the v-jumps or weekly shonen jumps.ive looked high n low for them on the web.does anyone know or if anyone wanna help me out id be very greatful


My take is that Dragon Ball is the greatest anime/manga ever. But others will disagree. Case in point of how great is: Bleach, One Piece, and Naruto are all series where the creators have had some influence from Dragon Ball. In the Japanese One Piece, Luffy is voiced by the woman that did Krillin in Dragon Ball. The minor character on One Piece, Dr. Kurai (something like that), was voiced by Masako Nozawa (born Oct. 31, 1936), the woman who would go to voice Dragon Ball's star, Goku (and his sons).

well on accordance to what

well on accordance to what someone said, if it werents 4 scanlations many ppl wouldnt even know about manga, and sometimes ppl prefer the scans over the official releases in whatever their native language is cus the companies that licence the manga do such a craptastic job in translating/editing them. On the other hand, some ppl can read japanese, so i'd be pontless 4 them to buy the magazines, and thats also when scanlations come it. I think that if the licencing companies would release the manga faster and take into consideration that fans want it as authentic as possible, there might be even mo sales and scanlations might decrease.

Most popular manga

As a guy that started to watch manga in the 90s, I can tell you that slam dunk was the most popular manga in Japan during that time. If you calculate the circulation per volume, Slam duck beat both Dragon Ball and One Piece.

You should note that most popular shonen manga are either about fighting or sport. So the shonen magazine need both type of series to stay alive. For the current running series, both One piece and Naruto may be able to replace Dragon ball on the fighting genre, but Prince of Tennis and Eyeshield popularity are not even close to slam dunk. So I suggest Shonen Jump to focus on finding a good sport series. Although I don't think they can find another slam dunk, if the new one can come close to Captain Tsubasa in terms of popularity, Shonen Jump may be able to rise again.


The figures in this article don't make any sense to me. They have Bastard!! listed as the 19th most popular of all time, yet it doesn't even appear under the currently serialized titles when it (supposedly) ranks higher than Gintama... Bastard!! isn't even Shounen anyway so it shouldn't be there. O.o

You got it confused

You got it confused mister/miss, the first list are the top selling manga currently serialized on SJ. The second list is the top selling manga in japan. The second list has manga from other magazines.

We need something on the lines of DBZ

Well, we really do need a manga like DBZ. Well first of all those are only the sales for Japan. If you count worldwide DBZ exceeds like almost 300 million. And people are still buying those volumes. So far I have not seen any manga with such powerful influence. Naruto doesn't have that caliber. Possibly no action/fighting manga is catching up to DBZ because all those manga were somehow influenced by DBZ. We need to have a manga with an innovative idea. Plus we also need a powerful sports manga similar to Captain Tsubasa and Slam Dunk. Thats my 2 cents.

Thanks for the article

Thanks for the article

Bleach, One Piece, and

Bleach, One Piece, and Naruto are all series where the creators have had some influence from Dragon Ball


Well, we really do need a manga like DBZ. Well first of all those are only the sales for Japan. If you count worldwide DBZ exceeds like almost 300 million. And people are still buying those volumes. So far I have not seen any manga with such powerful influence. Naruto doesn't have that caliber. Possibly no action/fighting

hi,one piece is the most

hi,one piece is the most popular manga in japan,and it is the one who keep the sales of weekly shonen jump high,i love this manga.

One Piece rules...........

All-Time Best Selling Jump Series???????????

I supose that now One Piece should have much more sales, here says Vol.45 ongoing While it has already reached Vol 53.

Hope I find something to be nearer Vol 53, Vol 50 or something.........

one piece!!!

i agree..
if combined with sales from 46-53, i'll have no doubt that OP currently is contesting kochikame for the 2nd position.. mybe a tight decision.. though mybe it's all over in the next two or three volumes ahead *kochi kame's selling isn't as good as OP, as u all know*

and who knows,, mybe OP will even overtake DB. If it gets to at least volume 60.

anyway, the story is getting more focus right now.. go catch it if u're behind!

Why the big spike

The big rise and spike happened in the mid / late 80's and 90's because the supporting cast of manga in the magainze was so good. A lot of the "second tier" manga back in the 80's / 90's is better than a lot of the 1st tier manga out right now. That and so many quality manga just happened to be out at the time / in succession back then.

(going off memory from reading them, so orders might be a bit mixed)

It started in the 80's with stuff like:
Dr Slump
Cats Eye
Fist of the North Star
City Hunter
Seint Seiya
Jo Jo
Captain Tsubasa (the original one, not the subsequent ones)

And kept going with hits like:
Dragonball (when it was actually still interesting)
Dragon Quest
Rokudenashi Blues

When those were still going / slowly petering out, stuff like:
Slam Dunk (huge in Japan both to male and female, it almost single-handedly made basketball big in Japan)
Yu Yu Hakusho
Came out and carried the torch...

Followed by stuff like:
Rurouni Kenshin
Houshin Engi
And when they were out and were going full swing and / or ending, there were still successors:
One Piece
Hunter x Hunter

Now all throughout this, the supporting manga that came along with the "hits", say Moeru Oniisan in the 80's or stuff like BOY, Denei Shoujoin, Jigoku Sensei Nuube in the 90's were very good and helped flesh out the magazine and they all had a good following.

Now, you've still got hits like:
One Piece
Hunter x Hunter
But the supporting cast of manga is very weak. Bobobobo? Black Cat? ToLoveRu? Neuro?

And the sucessors that should be carrying on the torch are nowhere near as good as some of the older series.
Eyeshield 21? Doesn't compare to Slam Dunk (even though Eyeshield is still a good series).
Hitman Reborn?

So essentially Weekly Jump right now is running on hit old series that are still going (One Piece, Bleach, Naruto), and the "next generation" is no where to be found because the "new gen" seem to be rehashing all the old stereo-types in the manga without refining them, which is what the magazine was always about. And because the old series are getting old without anything new to attract them, the readership is dropping.

(BTW, there is no such thing as "DBZ" manga, there was, and always will be only "DB" (Dragon Ball). The Z was added in for the anime only.)

We forgot to add something on our conversation.....


First of all I would like to tell that MrBounce opinion is very nice and clear and i mostly agree with him and that's only because I don't know all the manga's for they are not available in my country.....

What I wanted to say is that after 95 there is a huge drop on the sales of manga series, that is also because of the computers and the games that started to have a full bloom at the time..... If someone wants to read manga now he can in less than a day later have his favorite manga on his computer, even tough manga on paper is totally different, we can't consider that fact on the drop of the sales.......

Sorry for my poor English.


Interesting stats. I had no idea Dr. Slump had been more popular than Saint Seiya, wow.

hmm i duno the dubs played a key role among other things

If u think about it naruto became popular through the nice transition from japan to north america same with DB/DBZ thats y DB/DBZ was such a juggernaut of anime/manga influence of today while compared to OP who did not make a very good transition aka the dark ages... 4kids. Well to put my point of view in if OP would have had a proper transition i could only guess that OP would do numbers on the sales world wide like DB/DBZ's 300 mil volume sales.

P.S. I do believe there is a more varied selection of manga today compared to back then when there were only a hand full so i also guessed that if the people are only given the hand full that is shown in shounen jump today, the numbers naruto and OP, could score manga sales that could bring DB down. Also people back then in north America were not given a lot of anime/manga also so there selection was more limited then japs so that could have led to the spike for DB/DBZ sales.

As a final note with our current population today which is a lot more then 1995 and considering all these other factors OP and naruto would have the potential to topple DB/DBZ.

Naruto is not a good anime.

I'm not gonna lie. Once you think about it naruto is kind of childish? I mean think about it. A ninja wearing orange? Come on. And they always talk about friendship in naruto and all that stuff. Anyone who knows japanese history can tell you ninja's used to be farmers. And Most ninja's could care less about friendship. My point is that Naruto is a childish cartoon that makes no sense and also they don't stick to the story line. They have tons and tons of episodes that are boring and are about nothing. They prolong the series by talking about stupid stuff. In my opinion Naruto is one of the worst anime in history.

we're talking about manga,

we're talking about manga, not anime. To tell you the truth, being an animation major, DragonBall anime was crap- the style, the storyline, the limited animation.
Naruto, One Piece...any anime series that goes over 50 episodes continuously will be a terrible anime unless they run by seasons like Gundam 00 or Birdy the Mighty decode did, where it's 25 to 12 episodes at a time, then this huge break in between.
Manga is a completely different story.
To be honest. Naruto is a better manga than DragonBall.

Believe it or not people, DragonBall wasn't the best series in Japan. As someone before me said, Slam Dunk was way more popular.

Think about it. Inuyasha wasn't all that popular in Japan, but it was super popular in America. One Piece hits the top in Japan, but in America it's Naruto.

For America, DragonBall might have been the most popular (of its time), but Japan has a different culture and a different view on things.

People who in major in things like this (Media Arts and animation- that would be me) hate it when the novice or average consumer talks about it as if they're experts. You're not.

Well you obviously don't

Well you obviously don't know what you are talking about. In Japan alone, DB/DBZ sold more than 200 million copies and continuously to this day due to its re-release in 2003 so its clearly still more popular than in its native nation than slam dunk. And also, Japan's National Media Arts Festival/ Agency of Cultural Affairs (the highest ranking pop-culture critique in that country) ranked the Dragonball/DBZ anime series #11 in the top 50 best anime, and the manga got #3 in best manga so obviously they appreciate both the anime and the manga as some of the best japan has ever made. I can even give you the link- If you were a so-could animation major(yeah right) you would have already know that. Just admit it, you wanted to come and trash talk about certain anime and pretend to be wise like a typical stuck-up angry nerd.

Well you obviously don't

Well you obviously don't know what you are talking about. In Japan alone, DB/DBZ sold more than 200 million copies and continuously to this day due to its re-release in 2003 so its clearly still the most popular in its native nation and more than slam dunk. And also, Japan's National Media Arts Festival/ Agency of Cultural Affairs (the highest ranking pop-culture critique in that country) ranked the Dragonball/DBZ anime series #11 in the top 50 best anime, and the manga got #3 in best manga so obviously they appreciate both the anime and the manga as some of the best japan has ever made. I can even give you the link- If you were a so-could animation major(yeah right) you would have already know that. Just admit it, you wanted to come and trash talk about certain anime and pretend to be wise like a typical stuck-up angry nerd.

And here is another link for

And here is another link for the best manga of all time in Japan.

If you had looked at the

If you had looked at the link before you posted your bullshit reply you would have noticed that Slam Dunk is ranked #1 which is exactly what the previous poster said.

I for one who don't have a major in anything think Slam dunk was by far better then Dragon ball. Sure, DB was a good manga but nothing compared to SD.

Despite the popularity of

Despite the popularity of the Slam Dunk comics, Dragonball far supercedes it with its anime adaptations to a much broader audience.

In the early 2000's, Dragon Ball / Z was the largest cartoon creation around in the United States, ranking #4, at best, on all cable television programs, with little over million viewers less than the World Wrestling programs, and Sports telecasts, with a 2.7 million household rating.

In this day and age, the only cartoon on basic cable that attracts that many viewers is SpongeBob Squareparents, which is of a lower demographic than Dragonball Z.

Being a foreign creation, and after heavy editing, the series still became a cultural phenom in the United States. The editing was done uniquely, unlike 4Kids attempts at marketting One Piece, and Viz's, with Naruto.

Even now, reruns of Dragonball ("Kai") are ranking up there with new episodes of One Piece in Japan. Notably, the "reruns" deputed above One Piece and all other animated programs aside Shin-chan.

Dragonball is practically a God among Action Cartoons. The series is still a #1 anime/action cartoon seller in all countries, even now. If you deduct X-Men's popularity via the live films, Dragonball would be a culturally superior hit than it, and all other series/franchises in that genre.

Have you seen anime sales in the U.S. recently? Dragon Ball Z is still the #1 anime property in the U.S., far and above all other anime properties, including Pokemon: