ICv2 notes that Bleach appears to be benefiting from the “Cartoon Network effect,” with volume 1 of the series (first released in June 2004) hitting number 7 on last week’s Bookscan chart and volume 2 rising to number 20. (The Bookscan charts, for those of you who don’t follow these things obsessively, measure sales of graphic novels sold in bookstores.) Altogether, seven of the 14 volumes are somewhere in the Bookscan top 50.
This is happening, of course, because the Bleach anime debuted on Cartoon Network on September 9, so the speed of the effect is impressive.
Does this mean Bleach is the next Naruto? Probably not, according to ICv2, because Bleach has twice as many volumes out as Naruto did when it made its TV debut, 14 versus 7, and because Naruto was, let’s face it, a phenomenon: Volume 1 alone has sold over 70,000 copies, and all 11 volumes are currently in the Bookscan top 18. At Love Manga, David Taylor is guardedly optimistic:
Personally I think it probably can do well maybe not on the same scale but just one look at Naruto shows that no matter what happens when each volume comes out it just keeps selling better every time.
David also gives the Bookscan top ten in order, which ICv2 seems honor bound not to do. A glance at the chart tells the story: five of the ten spots are volumes of Naruto, with volume 1 at number 3.