Did the success of the series “Alice in Borderland” on Netflix have an impact on the sales of the manga in France? We went to meet Iker Bilbao, director of the manga department at the publisher Delcourt / Tonkam!
AlloCiné: Was there a “Netflix effect” on the sales of the manga Alice in Borderland in France?
Iker Bilbao, director of the manga department for the publisher Delcourt / Tonkam: It was immediate. At the end of 2020, and in particular during the last three weeks of December, we went from a weekly flow of 5 to 6 volumes sold to first of all fifty volumes per week. Then in January, just for the first volume, we are now 140 copies sold each week.
In general, does the presence of adaptations (animated or live-action) on Netflix have a positive effect on sales figures?
It is very variable. We saw this on another series, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. But it really depends on the success of the series; Alice in Borderland did very well on Netflix, so the carry over to the manga was immediate. We have also noted a very strong increase in digital sales in recent times, especially since the manga has been a bit of a victim of its success, because the sales of the series are not exceptional, we had a quantity of stock. quite low and despite a reprint request, we are currently out of stock! (laughs) So the series is being reprinted, and we hope that it will be available as soon as possible.
Has the series’ success on Netflix also impacted the sales of its spin-off, Alice in Border Road?
To be completely honest, yes, but to a lesser extent; we had stock since the series is still out.
What about the second spin-off, Alice in Borderland Retry?
It is under negotiation, but it is not signed. The series has just ended, volume 2 has just been released in Japan, we have made an offer and of course we hope to be able to offer it in our catalog.
Did Alice in Borderland’s success on Netflix surprise you?
It should still be remembered that the manga Alice in Borderland is a huge success in Japan, it is even the flagship title of its publisher, Shōgakukan. So I wasn’t too surprised that Netflix made the adaptation into a live-action series. On the other hand, it is rather rare that a series already completed is adapted, because in general one relies on the publication of the manga for promotion and marketing. This is therefore a somewhat surprising case. We also know that there is a real pull on Netflix for Japanese and Korean series, so it was not surprising that they made the choice to bet on this series. But the scale it took was really unexpected for me, as well as the quality of the series which I think is very successful.
We imagine that you already have great expectations on the sales of the manga Thus Spoke Kishibe Roha (two-volume spin-off of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure), which the OAV will land on Netflix on February 18?
Yes of course, but anyway, Jojo’s sales have exploded considerably for two years already, last year despite the Covid we experienced a very strong increase in sales. And no risk of out of stock, as we regularly reprint the entire series.
Alice in Borderland on Netflix: what do the heroes of the series look like in the manga?