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.
Signs to Look For
Out of Stock or Backordered on Major Sites
Perhaps the biggest way you can tell if a manga is going out of print is if it goes on backorder or pages are suddenly unlisted. If it’s also out of stock on multiple different sites, there is a possibility that item is going out of print.
Keep in mind though that this has become harder to predict with COVID-19 since publishers and sites are experiencing delays. With that said, this usually would be a sign that something may be going OOP, but with the current climate and state of things, this has become less reliable than usual.
However, in some cases it does happen. For instance, I just found out the other day that Psycho Pass: Inspector Shinya Kogami was beginning to go out of stock everywhere. 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
Other signs that a series is going out of print are 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 Berserk and Hellsing are currently doing.
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, 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.
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!
What manga titles are out of print?
Reddit has done it again with this amazing out of print manga guide that is constantly being updated by users, so I wanted to include it for those of you who are interested. Check it out here!
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 titles that will be releasing from Viz in 2021 here!