Digital Manga Publishing Detail New Venture to Launch Over 1,000 Manga Online

By Ishaan . June 19, 2010 . 11:48am


Hikaru Sasahara, president of Digital Manga Publishing (Berserk), revealed, this week, to Anime News Network, a new venture his company is planning, by which fans will be able to provide their scanlations online, and these would then be distributed legally with the permission of the original copyright holders.


If that sounds ambitious, it’s because it is. DMP plan to launch over 1,000 series digitally through this initiative. Initial titles will fall squarely into the “boys love” genre, in order to help build up an audience and an appetite for further content. The venture could even expand to include digital novels, according to Sasahara. Profits from digital sales will then be divided up amongst translators (it isn’t made clear if it’s just translators or the entire scanlation “team”), the original copyright holders and DMP. Additionally, titles that perform well digitally will be considered for print-publishing.


Sasahara claims that this new venture has been in planning for over a year, and that “a few” anonymous (of of now) content providers have agreed to participate. He also suggested the possibility of inviting scanlators to DMP’s office — at the company’s expense — to view a presentation of the program.


While the success of DMP’s new program remains to be seen, it certainly has the potential to be a single solution to the several problems the manga industry is presently faced with, including piracy, the cost of printing and the cost of maintaining a fulltime staff. The largest hurdle will probably involve negotiating with the respective original copyright holders in Japan.

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  • WonderSteve

    It would be nice if the platform also offers viewing on multiple devices such as Kindle, iPad, iPhone, Android…etc..using the epub standard, at a cost that’s significantly cheaper than the printed version.

  • PersonaBull

    Cool, so they’re finally implementing what’s been suggested for years? I’m curious to see the results of this little experiment! Good luck, DMP! :P

  • karasuKumo

    YES! Finally I’ve said it again and again, “the fans are fast with translations so use the fans for a manga cruchyroll style thing where you pay per manga not subscription. I’d gladly pay for it then”.

    Just got to see how this turns out.

  • As long as I can do this on something portable, I might be in. I’d be good for stuff that’s currently out of print, for example, Blame! since I can’t get it lower than like 60$ ):

  • SeventhEvening

    This is a pretty brilliant idea on paper. I’m interested to see how it pans out.

  • Slashlen

    Very interesting. Really hope this kind of model works.

  • “The largest hurdle will probably involve negotiating with the respective original copyright holders in Japan.”
    That was the case with DMP when they had Robot. I remember when it was first announced back in …’06, they initially planned the manga artbook/magazine to be a quarterly issue, but then when biannual, and finally stopped at issue three months later. They dropped it due to “licensing hell”.
    Thankfully, Udon Entertainment picked it up, but alas, they only made it to about two or three volumes in as well, due to the same reason.
    It would be great to see Robot return in this format, but that probably won’t happen, either. Ah, well.

    Hope it turns out well. It sounds like a nice balance for fans and the business.

  • Electrium

    Hm, very interesting. If there’s a legal solution that works at the pace current scanlators do, I’m all for it!

  • Hey, when it says “boys love” does that mean gay stuff?

    I’m curious, because if that’s what they mean wouldn’t that alienate a lot of people?

    • Roses4Aria

      I would think so. Of course, there’s a decent sized yaoi fan base out there that would love this, but I’m not one of them. Let’s hope they branch out to other stuff soon.

  • Cloud_ST

    That made me remember that I haven’t read a new chapter of Berserk in such a longtime D:….

  • the problem with the publishing are … the bad quality that been offered in book, bad translation, limited pages (only 30 pages every edition???!!!), censorship that break the art, and some title that can’t be published because of it contained ilegal thinks like loli and bad behaviour or spiritual dogma

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