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Who's Got the Power!!

Ahhh the power of LoveManga! Back in July, as the western manga powers converged on SDCC, ICv2 released its Anime Power Rankings. The list contained the 10 Most Powerful figures in the North American Anime scene. With names like Miyaszaki Hayao and Viz Media's John Easum the list covered the big names of that market, but it also lead to the potential of something of a crossover effect. 4 of the 10 (you could say five since Miyazaki's manga and cinemanga do well in the US) names on the list had significant manga ties. And Viz could be considered more of a manga company than an anime company.

With that in mind LoveManga wanted more. They demanded their Manga Power 10! And today ICv2 answered. Thank goodness too

ICv2's Top Ten Most Powerful People in American Manga Publishing

1. Kurt Hassler, Graphic Novel Buyer, Borders Group
2. Hidemi Fukuhara, Chief Executive Officer, Viz Media
3. Stuart Levy, Founder, Chief Creative Officer Tokyopop
4. Dallas Middaugh, Associate Publisher of Manga, Del Rey
5. Jim Killen, Graphic Novel Buyer, Barnes & Noble
6. Mike Richardson, CEO & Publisher, Dark Horse
7. Mike Kiley, Publisher, Tokyopop
8. Yumi Hoashi, EIC & VP of Magazine Division, Viz Media
9. Hikaru Sasahara, CEO, Digital Manga Publishing
10. Masashi Kishimoto, Creator of Naruto

Okay for those of you who don't get that the bookstores have pull in this industry... CHECK IT! The top spot doesn't even go to a manga publisher. Manga writter maybe as Hassler worked on Sokora Refugees (TOKYOPOP) and is also behind Diva v. Poe (Seven Seas) So basically if you don't have a place to put your books in you are not going to be a success in this business. Hassler and Killen (#5 from B&N) are up there because their decision help influence an entire industry. Now if they could only help change floor space and cataloging issues maybe manga readers would get more satifaction.

The rest of the Top 10 has many of the publishers that we expected. But let me take you to the ManCas Time Machine to give you a look at the picks that were made by MangaSpherians...

David Welsh

Mike Kiley, Tokyopop
Dallas Middaugh, Del Rey
Liza Coppola, Viz
Kurt Hassler, Borders/Waldenbooks graphic novel buyer
James Killen, Barnes & Noble graphic novel buyer
The American Library Association’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens committee
John Easum, Viz
Sean Akins, Toonami
Pat Kearney, Amazon graphic novel editor/manager
Alvin Lu, Viz

Look at that! Despite being a little Viz heavy, the list from our Precocious Curmudgeon was not too far off as he batted .400. Take that Tony Gwynn!

David Taylor

Dallas Middaugh, Del Rey
Betsy Mitchell, Del Rey
Liza Coppola, Viz
Mike Kiley, Tokyopop
Sean Akins, Toonami
Kurt Hassler, Borders/Waldenbooks graphic novel buyer
James Killen, Barnes & Noble graphic novel buyer
Pat Kearney, Amazon graphic novel editor/manager

Four from manga lover... Err, LoveManga's David Taylor. And I am pretty surprised that both Killer D's had an anime-head on their lists. Come on boys we are talking manga here. You know the stuff neither of you want to see on screens.

Ed Chavez

Liza Copolla, Viz
Besty Mitchell, Del Rey
CLAMP, manga creators
Koike Kazuo, manga creator

And because I was only half-assed with my joke about making a Manga Most Powerful Rankings I only had four chances and whiffed with all of them! And how could CLAMP not be on this list? Without them Dallas doesn't get on this list (no offense to Dallas or Betsy I don't think QKo-chan and Nodame would be enough to rank them above Dark Horse).

Either way looks like many of us "pundits" were completely off mark with our choices. Instead of looking at the CEO's we were looking at the names and faces that we associate when think of the Western Manga scene. I have never seen a panel where Dallas is not accompanied by Besty Mitchell. And when I think of Del Rey I think of Besty and Dallas as her Associate Publisher. My manga association with DH is strictly Carl Horn. I know Mike Richardson works there. Michael Gombos does something with Japanese licensing right?? But the Horn and Phillip Simon are who I care about. And I don't think I even knew of Hidemi Fukuhara until I read this list.

At least Kishimoto is recognized as the only mangaka that means anything. 0_o

I think its about time to create our own darn Power Rankings because based on ICv2's two manga lists, whoever is making these lists are looking at the superficial instead of something more substantial...

ICv2 Top Ten Manga Properties

1. Naruto
2. Fruits Basket
3. Kingdom Hearts
4. Full Metal Alchemist
5. Loveless
6. Death Note
7. Bleach
8. Tsubasa
9. Absolute Boyfriend
10. Negima

Cannot go wrong with Naruto at number one. The series continues to defy the laws of manga physics.
According to data I researched over at LoveManga, Fruits Basket's sales are no longer quite as impressive as they used to be. I wonder if that is based on the lengthy wait between volumes or what but I don't this Furuba is a definative number 2 anymore.
While I don't think Kingdom Hearts deserves to be at the two-spot either. However with the appeal to readers of all-ages this title definitely sells (price isn't shabby either).
At least there has been a release of Loveless in the last few months. However since volume one was released this series has infrequently reached any significant number on a ranking list. Death Note, Bleach and Kenshin (a title that has ended but never seems to get respect) has done much better over the same amount of time.
And if there is any title that really confuses me its Absolute Boyfriend. Where did that come from? I think Suikoden outsold this one in at least one list.

Is any of this supposed to make sense. Reminds me a bit of the ComicsWeekly rankings which seem to skew to one particular list maybe...

David can we make our own Power Rankings? The LuvManCas top 15 or something.

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