While pouring over Square Enix’s Comic-Con website earlier today, Spencer and I couldn’t help but notice the presence of several manga series — several published by Square Enix in Japan — on their “Products” page. After debating the matter over for a few minutes, we dismissed the subject, figuring Square simply wanted the fans at SDCC to know of their home market publishing involvement with these franchises, or that — like in the case of Bleach — they’re producing toys for them.
I guess we should’ve trusted our gut a little more, especially after their tease on Twitter. Square just put out a press release announcing the launch of a new digital manga store in North America and France this fall. Fullmetal Alchemist and Soul Eater will be among the first series released on the store. The press release also makes mention of Black Butler, Pandora Hearts, Record of a Fallen Vampire and O-Parts Hunter.
And while there’s no mention of it in the press release, the Durarara!! manga, too, is published by Square Enix in Japan, and the franchise is listed front and centre on their Comic-Con page.
In addition, the first chapters of Fullmetal Alchemist, Soul Eater, Black Butler and O-Parts Hunter are available for free previewing on the Square Enix website in advance of the paid service’s launch, with other series planned to follow. (French website here)
You’ll need a Square Enix Members account (free) to gain access to the manga store when it officially launches. No concrete details regarding pricing have been announced so far, but we’ll keep you posted as more news is made available.