Popular soccer manga Blue Lock surpasses in sales two titans, One Piece and Jujutsu Kaisen, to claim the number one spot as the best-selling manga of the first half of 2023, according to Oricon. Shonen manga have seen record sales in the first part of 2023. Of course, huge titles like One Piece and Jujutsu Kaisen are all top-selling series for the first part of the year, but Blue Lock confirmed its status as the rising star in the genre.
Oricon (a Japanese company that supplies information and statistics on the entertainment industry) has released the manga sales chart by series for the first half of 2023 and the sales alone show just what a successful year manga has seen. The Shonen Jump News Twitter account (an unofficial account that shares news from the world of manga) shared the half-year Oricon sales rankings for 2023, and the numbers themselves are staggering. Chainsaw Man, One Piece, Jujutsu Kaisen, and SLAM DUNK are all in the top five spots, but Blue Lock absolutely crushed the competition this year, selling over 8 million physical copies and beating out some of the most iconic names in anime today.
Blue Lock has sold over twice as many copies as One Piece so far and is expected to sell even more with the return of the anime.
The Blue Lock manga has been steadily gaining fans ever since the beginning of its run in 2018, and for good reason. The genre of sports shonen has always been popular, as shown by the classic basketball manga SLAM DUNK sharing a spot in the top five best-selling manga. However, Blue Lock takes sports to the next level by making soccer a thrilling, high-stakes gamble. Instead of focusing on team dynamics or taking place in high school, the series places soccer players from all around Japan into a battle arena with real-world consequences for losing. This unique premise that fits into many different genres is what drew so many fans to the series, and if viewers weren’t convinced at first, the anime adaptation sealed the deal.
The first season of the Blue Lock anime streamed in 2022, and was such a success that a Blue Lock season 2 and spin-off movie were both announced directly after the end of the first season. While the manga was already popular before, with over a million copies sold, the anime catapulted the series into stardom, which led to Blue Lock selling more copies this year than Jujutsu Kaisen and One Piece combined. While Blue Lock’s popularity is no secret, fans were still surprised and impressed to see just how much the series sold in the first half of 2023 alone.
With another season and a movie to come, Blue Lock is sure to only become more popular by the day. The sales for the first part of the year prove that Blue Lock should not be underestimated, and it might be coming for Chainsaw Man and One Piece‘s shonen crowns when the anime returns.