One might have looked at the state of Weekly Shonen Magazine earlier this year and felt a little uneasy. Long-running, high-profile series such as The Seven Deadly Sins and The Quintessential Quintuplets were coming to an end, and the magazine’s line-up was increasingly full of young blood. But if the success of The Cuckoo’s Fiancee and Shangri-La Frontier has taught us anything, it’s to never underestimate the power of Magazine – something which is playing out again with the incredible sales success of Rent-A-Girlfriend.
According to an article by Mantan Web, sales for Reiji Miyajima’s love comedy series (known as Kanojo, Okurishimasu in Japanese) have increased by at least 1 million since the anime by TMS Entertainment started airing in May, bringing the series’ lifetime sales up to 5 million. This is stark contrast to the total of 2.5 million in November of last year, and 4 million in June.
In fact, sales for the first volume of Rent-A-Girlfriend (left) alone have increased ten times since the anime started airing, which accounts for at least some of the extraordinary figures. The reprints needed to keep up with the demand for the series’ collected volumes also made it the most popular series for Kodansha last month, causing one of the series’ editors to call it “our most-read love comedy series right now.”
Considering that there are a lot of love comedy series published in Weekly Shonen Magazine, that’s no small feat. Furthermore, Kodansha expects the series’ success to grow even further, recently smashing through their own initial print run record with volume 16 (right).
Certainly, it seems as if Rent-A-Girlfriend is perfectly poised to recapture the sort of sales success enjoyed by Negi Haruba’s The Quintessential Quintuplets back when it was still running. Yet, only time will tell if this is due to the anime or the inherent appeal of Reiji Miyajima’s series.