Japanese Publishers To Open North American Manga Portal

By Ishaan . November 13, 2010 . 1:28pm


Shueisha’s managing director, Kazuhiko Torishima, recently revealed plans for 37 different Japanese publishers to collaborate and launch an online North American manga portal where licenses from each of the publishers will be distributed digitally.


The initiative involves the usual suspects — Kodansha, Shueisha, Shogakukan, Kadokawa Shoten and others. The coalition of publishers hope to have a beta version of the site up and running by the end of the year, and the finalized site is slated for launch in March 2011.


You can view the full list of publishers at Anime News Network. Missing from the list are Square Enix, who are slated to launch their own digital manga initiative in the near future.


This is the third time publishers have collaborated in such a fashion. The first was during an active resistance against digital manga distribution in Japan, while the second was an anti-piracy initiative, which involved cooperation with North American publishers as well.

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  • Cloud_ST

    They Might Be Giants.

  • Now, how about the United Kingdom?

  • Aara_Malik_Davoodi

    “Update 3: The industry news site animeanime.biz reports that the portal site will distribute free manga periodically and release news and information regarding manga from the participating publishers.”

    That’s awesome

    • neogeno

      now that’s a damn good incentive

    • Joanna

      So by free manga I guess they mean like weekly samplings? I hope they don’t do what TyokoPop did/does and replace every chapter with the subsequent one each week. I hate not starting with the first chapter and I won’t try any samples unless they start at the beginning. I’d much rather have them give me 3 chapters only but have them available always, rather than give me all the chapters but replace them each week.

  • maxchain

    Hey, now they’ve got the right idea! RIAA, are you taking notes?

    • RupanIII

      They’re too busy suing 11 year olds for hundreds of k =

  • If they get their pricing scheme right, this could be a really big deal.

  • PrinceHeir

    hmm i wonder if they keep adding new services like open manga and manga gamer and now this.

    this will separate the catalogue of manga’s though i understand it’s for competition and such. i want an all round service like steam except it’s available to ALL countries of the world

  • TrevHead

    Great another US (and probably Canada) only service, which for us in the UK just pisses us off because were allways shackled down with been part of Europe and its different laws and languages

    • stealingisbad

      Use a proxy…?

    • Joanna

      If it makes you feel better, Canadians are screwed out of the Viz Anime samplings.

  • This would be a good move if publishers remembered that there is a world beyond the USA and Canada. They basically screw everybody from the rest of the world. I buy the books of 8 different series via importing… but I’ll continue reading scanlations, sorry.

  • Aoshi00

    Haven’t read Sket Dance yet (bought several books), looks like it would be a pretty good gag anime.

  • mikedo2007

    Read about this on ANN. This could be interesting.

  • superdry

    Nice. I see that Ascii Media Works is on the list considering their Dengeki imprint publishes a lot of series I like. Too bad I hate reading manga on a computer monitor. If the portal is good, might not be a bad idea to get a tablet of some sort.

    I wonder if this goes over well…light novels might be next. Sucks that light novels haven’t really caught on unless its big titles like Haruhi.

    • I really wanted to read more Kino’s Journey light novels… it doesn’t help that TokyoPop screwed up the translation and got in some sort of tiff with the licensor.

  • Roses4Aria

    Promising, as long as they remember that not all western manga readers are shounen fans. Give us more variety in selection as far as genre goes and at a reasonable price and I’m all for it. :)

  • It would be awesome if it was for weekly (near weekly) simultaneousness releases of manga (the Crunchyroll model seems to work, so they could just follow that…though hopefully lower cost)

  • *headdesks*

    There’s a cynically curious part of me that sees this as a sort of “Whoops, we tried to ban digital distribution which is about as impossible as stopping people from breathing, but we did manage to piss off a lot of fans….hm, here’s a maybe attempt to make up for it! If we do go through with it!”

    Of course, I’m hoping to death that it turns out alright…..

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