Based on my experience as a doujin consumer I’ve noticed that manga tends to be overlooked as a doujin parody source prior to the release of a corresponding anime series. I find this puzzling for a couple of reasons: first, manga is far more ubiquitous in Japanese society than anime. It’s easier to access, more […]

Based on my experience as a doujin consumer I’ve noticed that manga tends to be overlooked as a doujin parody source prior to the release of a corresponding anime series. I find this puzzling for a couple of reasons: first, manga is far more ubiquitous in Japanese society than anime. It’s easier to access, more widely distributed, and generally accepted by a broader array of consumers. Statistically speaking I would expect this broader appeal translate into a greater proportion of doujin sales.

Second, this lackluster attitude doesn’t seem to apply to games – popular games of any genre (fighting, RPG, visual novel, eroge, etc.) become doujin fodder at launch, and if they are animefied the volume of doujin related to them doesn’t appear to increase in a significant way.

One plausible reason for this discrepancy could be that when games are launched they’re launched whole, so you get the full dose of plot/characters/setting/everything in one go, ready to use as doujin fodder right away. The (usually) monthly release of otaku-oriented manga doesn’t lend itself as well to this as the story develops over the course of months or years.

This slow development of manga relative to one shot games and anime could be part of the answer, but I don’t think it’s the whole story. Take the case of Tenjou Tenge: it saw essentially zero doujin presence at events through the first ten volumes/five years of the manga’s release, certainly enough time for the characters to become well known. Launch a mediocre anime for it though and that presence swells – not to something huge, but to more than could be accounted for by random creator whim. I’d say this is more the rule than the exception, and it still stumps me.

This is where you come in. What, in your experience, is the rationale behind the dearth of exclusively manga-based doujinshi – or is my intial premise flawed? The vibrant and active (read: static and dormant) Heisei Democracy forum community eagerly (apathetically) welcomes your input.