Introducing the Manga Database, a listing of thousands of manga volumes in hundreds of manga series, all lined up and ready to be sorted in at least 4 ways!
• So, What is it?
It’s a spreadsheet. Basically a big honking list of manga by title, with publishing info (publisher & month/year of release) and separate columns for each field.
Just so you know: 1890+ series listed (which includes a whole lot of one-volume “series”) and a total of 8,738 individual manga volumes. In one list. (Actually, in a sortable spreadsheet.)
• And, uh… well, what’s it for?
It began as one of the core parts of my manga rankings spreadsheet, something I’ve been adding onto week by week since July of 2007. With appropriate data collection methods, one could use it to track and post aggregate online comparative sales across 9 or 10 book selling sites and then post charts with overall bestsellers, best-selling new releases, top pre-ordered titles, things like that. In fact, that’s exactly what it’s good for.
I’m making the data available to everyone because, well, there may be some other good use for it.
• Ah, the sales pitch; how much you charging for it?
Be free, little data, go frolic and prosper. I’m releasing all files as posted below (skip to the end) under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license — so go ahead, have it. Post it to your own site [with proper attribution], augment your own wiki or index with the data, remix it, find new uses for it (if there are any).
• Is it authoritative, comprehensive, & complete?
Hell, no. Some books (Yen Press’s Twilight, Del Rey’s Odd Thomas series, Oni Press’s Scott Pilgrim) have been excluded even though quite a few of my sources lump them in with manga. Other English-language original manga is included though, including almost all of the Harpercollins/Tokyopop collaborative titles and quite a bit of Del Rey’s non-manga graphic novels that are meant to look like manga and pitched at the same market.
I could have done a complete graphic novel list, but chose not to. The boundary lines that delineate manga from the rest are blurry (and missing) and everyone has their own criteria for what is or is not manga. I used my own judgement.
Also, a number of titles are out of print and/or so obscure they never made it into my sources, so I never saw them (and didn’t go out of my way to add them).
• What are the criteria for inclusion?
Licensed manga, manhwa, and those few manhua that have been licensed and translated into English are obviously in. Most output from major manga publishers (Dark Horse, DMP, Del Rey, Tokyopop, Yen Press, Viz) is also included regardless of origin so long as it looks a bit like manga and didn’t merit exclusion. Many source books, art manuals, and other non-fiction works also are tracked, so long as they’re about manga and not anime, or fandom in general.
The list was built up by looking at online sales sites, so some out of print titles are included if even a handful of used copies are still being sold online — at the major sites: Amazon, B&N, Borders and the like; not e-bay — and a handful of out-of-print-and-really-unavailable books are included because people try to order them anyway and they show up on a list of manga bestsellers somewhere.
Not all books are listed; manga had to have been sold [by someone, to someone] before they make it into my source charts, and from there into the database.
• There’s a typo in line 5938. The way you list The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is just plain weird. Your dates for Vagabond are off. You list one series by my favourite manga-ka but you skipped the rest: Fix these, please.
Here’s the flipside to that over-generous CC license above: yes there are errors. Fix ‘em yourself. I don’t want to hear about.
But as partial apology/explanation… I list the Haruhi books that way because I am also tracking sales of series, not just individual volumes, so the backwards and occasionally repetitive line entries reflect that need (in fact, are structured to enable it). I know the dates on Vagabond are off, because some of the books were re-released as second editions while Viz also released new volumes simultaneously. Other series have the same problem, and no, I’m not going to fix it. Since I use the database to track online sales, I first came across many of the books in the 2nd edition (and so the error is 2-3 years old) and I’m primarily interested in whatever version is selling today. So, no double listing for first/second editions, no separate listings for hardcover & paperback editions of the same book, and no mention of re-prints or re-packaging of material if it is substantially the same book.
An exception is made for box sets, multi-volume collections, and “premium” editions (which are usually multi-volume sets anyway, or with substantial material added) – these get listed and tracked separately.
This is a free, shared file. Any errors are not My errors, they are now Our errors, and I hereby empower you, with your keen eyes and the blessing of OCD, to fix any and all errors and to henceforth be the proud keeper & curator of the One True Correct Manga Database. I don’t have the time.
• What next?
Well, past the title-adds and tweaks necessary for my rankings, I won’t be messing with this much. Compiling aggregate online sales rankings is quite enough to keep me busy. Since new books are released all the time, I’ll be adding most if not all of these (week-by-week) as they come up in the data collection for that process.
I won’t be slavishly following press releases and publishers web sites to find and add anything, though — just the books that come up as I track online sales.
In fact, this is likely a one-time exercise, a snapshot of where we are right now. My database will continue to grow in the ways I need it to, but this database as posted, your database, will fill in and grow in whatever ways you need it to. Someone could add author & artist to each entry, or ISBNs (with the multiple entries for 1st & 2nd ed., hardcover, etc) or a tag that flags some entries as manhwa, some as yaoi, some as OEL. That’s great, and more information makes the base more useful to more people.
But I’ve run my marathon; I’m handing off the baton.
The file is native to OpenOffice, so the .ods is the original. It is available served up multiple ways.
Files permanently archived at Archive.org
Also archived, in the Google spreadsheet format, at Google Docs