The Apothecary Diaries manga/novels sell 3 million copies in the month since anime released

Anime series makes The Apothecary Diaries manga and light novels an even bigger success

The news out today via Japanese publisher Imagica Infos that The Apothecary Diaries manga series and light novels have sold a combined total of 27 million copies worldwide since the first volume of the light novel was published in mid-2014 is pretty darned amazing.

27 million copies of The Apothecary Diaries story sold in just over nine years.


That is an average of 3 million copies a year.

But, when you look closely at the news Imagica Infos shared, what is even more stunning is The Apothecary Diaries manga and light novel series sold over 3 million copies in just the first month after the anime series based on them premiered on October 22nd this year.

That is an average of more than 3/4 of a million copies a week!

Why are The Apothecary Diaries books so successful?

Then again, as someone who bought and binge-read both the manga and the light novels currently available in English right after the anime kicked off, I can tell you why they are selling so well.

The Apothecary Diaries‘ characters are uniquely wonderful from protagonists Maomao and Jinshi right down to the most inconsequential palace guard.


The plot is fascinating and set in a world most of us knew little about, the writing by novelist Natsu Hyūga just grabs you and pulls you in and, when you move onto the manga, the art by Nekokurage is stunning.

Much of the plot, while dealing with serious issues like poisonings and attempted murder, is still often quirky and funny. As are the characters involved in it.

Add in that the TOHO Animation-produced anime based on the books is one of the most beautiful, most interesting, funniest and most touching anime series out this year and, frankly, I would have been more surprised if The Apothecary Diaries books had not sold this many.

Cover art for The Apothecary Diaries, Volume 1 manga

The number of volumes in The Apothecary Diaries manga and light novel series

The original light novel series, written by Natsu Hyūga and illustrated by Touko Shino, are the books on which everything else is based.

That series currently has 14 volumes out in Japanese, and 9 volumes out in English in digital editions.

The print edition of the light novel will also begin publishing in English via Square Enix, although we will have to wait a while as Volume 1 is not even due out until May, 2024.

As for the main The Apothecary Diaries manga, that series comprises 12 volumes in Japanese, and nine in English with Volume 10 due to be published by Square Enix on November 28th and Volume 11 on March 5th, 2024.

An alternate manga series was also released in Japan, called Mao Mao no Kōkyū Nazotoki Techō.

That manga series currently has 17 volumes out, but is only available in Japanese. 

The wonderful anime series based on the light novels premiered on October 22nd, with seven episodes of the planned 24 episode season already released and Episode 8 due to release on Saturday.

So far, the anime is covering the light novels beautifully.

Check out The Apothecary Diaries trailer below if you have not yet started watching this superb anime and then, after binge-watching the first seven episodes, do what half the fandom seems to be doing — rush out and buy every volume available of both the manga and the light novels.

They each offer something wonderfully satisfying, while their differences also compliment all the others.

RELATED: The Apothecary Diaries ending theme song just got a GORGEOUS music video


Michelle Topham