How to Tell If a Manga Is Going Out of Print

How to Tell If a Manga Is Going Out of Print

| July 28, 2021

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Manga titles going out of print without sudden warning is something I’ve not just had to get used to, but prepare for. Even the publishers themselves, in most cases, aren’t aware until its to late, so there’s no wonder we too are often left in the dark.

With resale prices sometimes going into the hundreds, I do my best to complete all the series and find all the volumes I’m in search of at retail, but more often than not, things slip by me. And no wonder, with so many new series and volumes being announced and released weekly, my want list gets out of hand fast.

We can’t be expected to predict the future, but there are some tell-tale signs we can look for that will help us determine whether or not a series is going out of print. I also included an out of print manga list at the end of this post if you’d like to check that out as well!

Out of Stock Manga vs Out of Print Manga

First I want to clarify that there is a difference between out of stock manga and out of print manga. Out of print manga are books that are no longer going to be published by a publisher; However, that doesn’t mean that new formats of that series will never release. For example, Dark Horse put the individual volumes of Hellsing out of print, but they recently released Deluxe Editions of the series.

I really want to mention this because scalping has become an issue more so than ever with supply chain issues, such as shipping delays, paper shortages, etc, which is the reason as to why a lot of manga is out of stock.

More recently serialized series like Jujutsu Kaisen and Chainsaw Man are not of concern and are temporarily out of stock, so please don’t pay ridiculous prices on eBay for them as they will go back in stock as soon as supply catches up to demand and supply chain issues are fixed. I’ve actually seen more and more volumes of Jujutsu Kaisen and Chainsaw Man popping up in Barnes and Noble and what not recently, so hopefully this is going to be fixed sooner than later.

Usually when an item says it’s out of stock, expecting more on a site there is no need for concern unless it’s an older series. I recently placed an order for some Übel Blatt volumes and Right Stuf cancelled one of the volumes I had purchased even though their listing said out of stock, expecting more.

So in some cases, they will cancel your order when they find out they can’t get any more stock. But, this is something that has only happened to me with series that have been in circulation for quite some time. To give you an idea, the volume in question that Right Stuf cancelled from Übel Blatt first released back in 2015.

If you are concerned about a certain series going out of print, a lot of publishers are good at responding to Tweets on their official Twitter pages as well as their contact forms on their website, so you can always reach out directly to the source to verify.

Signs That a Manga Is Going Out of Print

Listed as No Longer Available on Major Sites

Perhaps the biggest way you can tell if a manga is going out of print is if it’s an older series that goes on backorder or pages are suddenly unlisted on sites like Right Stuf, Amazon, Barnes and Noble. If it’s also listed as no longer available on sites, there is a possibility that item is going out of print.

Some volumes sometimes have a lower run than others too, so that’s why you may see something like Volume 1, which most likely has the highest number of volumes printed, everywhere you look while other random volumes, like Volume 4 of Triage X, may have less and therefore are being sold for high aftermarket prices. So some volumes may start going out of print before others due to the number of volumes they printed.

Keep in mind though that this has become harder to predict with the current state of things since publishers and sites are experiencing delays. With that said, this usually would be a sign that something may be going OOP, but with supply chain issues and demand increasing and the current climate and state of things, this has become harder to predict. With that said though, do not pay more than cover price for newer series like Chainsaw Man and Jujutsu Kaisen.

Those will come back in stock eventually, but if it’s an older series like Übel Blatt or the I Am A Hero omnibuses, where some volumes are now listed as no longer available, that’s when I personally start getting concerned that something is out of of print or going out of print and purchase all of the volumes that I can.

However, in some cases it does happen where something going out of stock can be a sign of a series going OOP. For instance, I just found out the other day that Psycho Pass: Inspector Shinya Kogami was beginning to go out of stock everywhere and that it was now OOP. I had a string of luck and picked up the first three volumes at Half Price Books, but was missing the fourth. While I still had the chance, I definitely wanted to pick this one up at retail price.

Major Sales and Format Changes

Another sign that a series is going out of print is if you see places start to put it up on massive sale or if they start releasing it in different formats, such as omnibuses, like Hellsing and Gantz are currently doing. Their individual volumes released by Dark Horse are out of print, but the Hellsing Deluxe Editions and the Gantz omnibuses are not.

If you don’t want to pay high aftermarket prices, definitely research if the out of print series you are looking for has been released in a new format.

Older Series and Time Lags

Time is also something you need to look out for. With large gaps in between volume releases, there’s the possibility that something is about to go out of print. If it’s an older release and it starts selling out places or being listed as no longer available, that’s also something to look out for.

How do I prevent my favorite manga titles from going out of print?

Support Your Favorite Titles

In some cases, there is a chance for reprint, but I always follow the motto, “better safe than sorry”, when it comes to the titles I want to collect. Sometimes things just run for so long they go out of print, but other times they get dropped because they weren’t selling well.

Best way to keep a title going? Keep supporting it and buy the volumes; It’s as simple as that. But, even then, sometimes what you like isn’t liked by the masses. Black Torch from Viz happens to be that title for me, but it is bound to happen to us all eventually. Being cancelled though is different than out of print, but that is something to look out for too and something that supporting your favorite manga titles can help prevent. Showing your love for a series also can increase the chance that a publisher will re-release the series in a new format, like a collector’s edition, omnibus, etc.

What if a manga title is already out of print and sold out?

Patience Is a Virtue

If you missed out on picking something up, patience is truly a virtue. Especially when resale prices can go up to the hundreds and even above. I missed out on picking up Gantz before it started hiking up in price.

One day I checked out Half Price Books and saw most of the volumes sitting on the shelf. I checked the price and to my surprise, they were only $3 a piece. They were on clearance… These chances of luck truly have happened to me many times at Half Price Books because (1) they don’t know what they have or (2) they didn’t know something went out of print and went drastically up in price.

Other than that, as I mentioned before, you can get lucky with a reprint. But, I’m personally one of those people who’s not willing to wait if I know something’s at risk. But, it does happen.

For instance, I was able to pick up the Akira 35th Anniversary Manga Box Set on its 2nd release. It’s crazy, because it’s already out of stock again with sites expecting more, but I was excited to finally pick that one up! With that said, always be on the look out for new releases.

Out of Print Manga List

Here are the manga titles that I am aware of that are currently out of print. I’ve separated them by publisher so you can find the series you are looking for easier and I’ve also included whether or not those out of print series have been published in other formats.

I’ll also call out some of my favorite out of print series or most wanted out of print series by adding links to eBay, so you can check out recent listings. But a good way to really make sure you are getting a good price on sites like eBay is to check recently sold listings and see what prices on average the series you are looking to buy are actually selling for versus what people are asking.

It’s hard to find out which series are out of print, so this is not a complete list as of yet. I’m currently compiling this list for each publisher but I will constantly update this post as I discover more.

Note: Some of the series listed below are fully out of print while others only have certain volumes that are out of print, but most of this list is fully out of print.

Out of Print Dark Horse Manga

Here are all of the out of print Dark Horse manga that we are currently aware of.

Out of Print Tokyopop Manga

Here are all of the out of print Tokyopop manga that we are currently aware of.

Out of Print Viz Manga

Here are all of the out of print Viz manga that we are currently aware of.

  • 20th Century Boys Individual Volumes (Viz later released 20th Century Boys Perfect Editions)
  • Ad Police
  • Bastard!!
  • Beauty Pop
  • Beyblade
  • The Big O
  • Battle Angel Alita Last Order (Later released as omnibuses by Kodansha)
  • Black Cat
  • Blue Spring
  • Boys Over Flowers
  • Crimson Hero
  • The Drifting Classroom Individual Volumes (Viz later released The Drifting Classroom Perfect Edition Hardcovers)
  • Excel Saga
  • Kekkaishi 3-in-1 Editions
  • Please Save My Earth
  • Maison Ikkoku Individual Volumes (Viz later released Maison Ikkoku Collector’s Editions)
  • Maoh: Juvenile Remix
  • Mermaid Saga Individual Volumes (Viz later released Mermaid Saga Collector’s Editions)
  • Metal Guardian Faust
  • Mobile Police Patlabor
  • Monster Individual Volumes (Viz later released Monster Perfect Editions)
  • Nana
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion Individual Volumes (Viz later released 3-in-1 Editions of Neon Genesis Evangelion)
  • Nightmare Inspector
  • Project Arms
  • Ral Ω Grad
  • Reborn!
  • Red River
  • Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire
  • Shaman King Individual Volumes (Currently releasing by Kodansha as 3-in-1 omnibuses)
  • SOS
  • Striker
  • Toriko
  • Ultimate Muscle
  • Uzumaki Individual Volumes (Viz later released an Uzumaki 3-in-1 Deluxe Edition)
  • Vagabond Individual Volumes (Later released by Viz as Vagabond VIZBIG Editions)
  • Vampire Knight
  • Wedding Peach
  • What A Wonderful World!
  • Yurara
  • Zatch Bell!
  • Zoids Chaotic Century
  • Zoids New Century

I hope that was helpful for those of you who, like me, are always trying to complete my favorite series. There’s no real method to knowing when something is going to go out of print, but hopefully you’ll be better prepared with these suggestions!

In other manga news, check out all of the new manga that will be releasing from Viz in 2021!

How to Tell If a Manga Is Going Out of Print
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