The Japanese DVD market was flat in the first half of 2007, according to figures released Wednesday by the Japan Video Software Assn. Total sales declined 2% compared with the same period the previous year to ¥147.848 billion ($1.263 billion).

DVDs of Japanese pics recorded a gain of 8.9%, to $87 million, while DVDs of foreign pics plunged 24.3% to $124.2 million. Sales of foreign TV drama DVDs rose 22.7% to $59 million, however.

The biggest category was Japanese toon DVDs for general auds, which scored a 15% sales gain, to $243.6 million. Many DVDs in this category are snapped up by anime maniacs in their teens and early 20s.

Total sales of toon DVDs in all categories, including both foreign and domestic, rental and sales, topped 6%to $408.5 million.

DVD sales have been on a decline since 2005, when they hit an all-time peak of $3 billion. Sales for 2007 also look likely to underperform the previous year.