Here are the 9 Most Successful Otaku Markets of 2017

Every January, the Yano Research Institute releases a report on otaku markets. The reports highlight the financial health of various sub-sections that intersect with anime and gaming.

Let’s take a look at the figures!

1Idols – 210 billion yen ($1.8 billion), up 12.3%

The idol industry continues to grow on a yearly basis. Both male and female idols saw growth, with AKB48 and various Johnny & Associates (Hey! Say! Jump!) pulling in the most money. Newer groups like Faky also saw support, showing that not only established acts are the reasons for growth.


2Doujinshi – 81.7 billion yen ($720 million), up 2.8%

Despite the shrinking Comiket attendance numbers, fans are still buying up self-published manga. Online sales have seen an uptick, which has helped offset Comiket’s attendance struggles.

Keep in mind, despite the misnomer within the international community, not all doujinshi is hentai.


3Pornography – 49.5 billion yen ($436.1 million), up 0.6%

The porn industry saw a minor uptick, but Yano predicts that sales will fall as seniors learn about free-to-watch sites.


4Cosplay – 35 billion yen ($308.4 million), down 7.9%

The cosplay industry suffered the sharpest decline, despite the growing popularity of cosplay events and Halloween (Yano included Halloween costumes as cosplay sales). They believe the field has become more competitive, which has forced storefronts to lower their prices for pre-made costumes, items, and handicraft materials.


5Figures – 32.5 billion yen ($286.3 million), up 1.6%

PVC collectibles haven’t seen much growth despite being carried in more mainstream stories. Without concrete data, but there is a belief that mass-produced, lower-priced figures have turned off hardcore otaku accustomed to high-priced, high-quality goods.


6Boys’ Love – 21.9 billion yen ($193 million), down 0.5%

Men-on-men love saw a slight decrease due to a lack of hyper-popular series, like Yuri!!! on Ice and Osomatsu-san that aired in 2015. However, Yano believes an increase in published series and lower online prices are responsible for the slight tumble.


7Eroge – 16 billion yen ($140.1 million), down 4.8%

Eroge saw a bit of a contradiction. Online sales are up, but they weren’t enough to offset the falling physical sales. In fact, the eroge industry has been falling on an average of 9.1% for the past two years.


8Dating Simulators – 15.5 billion yen ($136.6 million), up 3.3%

Dating sims saw growth for the time in two years. Yano reports that the genre may have topped out in 2014, but the acceptance of otome games have brought in an increasing amount of female gamers.


9Vocaloids – 10 billion yen ($88.1 million), up 4.2%

Virtual idols saw an uptick in sales thanks to concert events and merchandising.

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