Shueisha is a major publisher in Japan and the largest manga publisher in the world with a market share in Japan of 30%. It belongs to the Hitotsubashi Group, a holding structure that owns the Shogakukan, Shueisha and Hakusensha publishing groups headquartered in Tokyo.
The company was founded in 1926 as the entertainment-related publishing division of Japanese publisher Shogakukan. The following year Shueisha became a separate, independent company.
Shueisha's Jump Comics division is a large Manga publisher. Shueisha later founded Hakusensha, which went on to become another successful Japanese publisher. Shueisha operates many imprints, including Homesha.
Many titles published in its Weekly Shonen Jump have enjoyed circulation of over 1 million copies in graphic novel form. Dragon Ball sold over 150 million copies and One Piece sold over 140 million, according to company information from VIZ Media. Shueisha, together with Shogakukan, owns Viz Media, one of the major publishers of manga in the United States. VIZ Media is based in San Francisco and is a comprehensive manga animation and entertainment licensing company.
Translations have played an important role in Shueisha’s publishing portfolio in recent years. The Japanese group translated various Western authors such as Marcel Proust, Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, Samuel Huntington, Sandra Brown, and Camilla Läckberg.
Since 1967, Shogakukan together with Shueisha and Hakusensha, also operate ShoPro to distribute, license and merchandise many of the most popular magazines and comic books in Japan. Licensing partners include VIZ Media.
Analysis & Key Developments
Revenues at Shueisha has been declining modestly, yet continually over the past 5 years, while profits stabilized in 2013 after a sharp decline in 2011 and experienced a turnaround in 2014, when profits accounted for 3.76 billion JPY, up from 3.18 billion JPY in 2013. Revenues are down the third year in a row and totaled 123.28 billion JPY in 2014, against 125.35 billion JPY.
Shueisha made a strong push in 2013 to increase its international presence. A promotional campaign in the US claimed to have 345 million international readers for its manga series, with Eiichiro Oda’s “One Piece” as the most popular manga series worldwide.
Yaoi, a romance Manga especially popular among women, was started under VIZ Media’s SuBlime label in the US, in a joint effort with Animate Ltd. and Libre Publishing Co.
In fall 2013, Shueisha launched the new “Jump Next Generation Manga Grand Prix”, based on digital submissions to encourage new talent. The top prize is worth 1 million JPY (or $10,000).
Shueisha launched a dedicated e-book store at ebooks.shueisha.co.jp.
S-Manga.net is a portal site covering content on Shueisha's comics, on-sale dates for remixes and magazines, media adaptation information, introductions on new releases and content samples. Shueisha also operates several pay (subscription) sites, notably VYJ, and Shupure.net.
Shueisha is known for the Dragon Ball and One Piece manga titles, which are licensed in over 35 countries and further spread through animated, live-action and game versions. Shueisha also launched bestselling novels including Jiro Asada's Poppoya (The Stationmaster), which was adapted into a film, Keigo Higashino's Byakuyako, and Hebi ni Piasu (Snakes and Earrings), the debut novel of the 20-year-old Hitomi Kanehara. The books are widely read in Asia.