JManga portal offers digital manga subscriptions

jmangalogoGalleycat reports that a group of 39 Japanese manga publishers has launched a portal site called JManga, offering digital English translations of manga readable in a Flash-based on-line reader. The manga is for sale via point-based subscription, but also offers free one-issue previews. It has a number of popular titles now, such as Naruto and One Piece, and plans to have 10,000 titles available by 2013.

It used to be that Japanese content producers didn’t care what happened to their work outside of Japan. (Case in point: in the early 1980s, Japanese studio Tatsunoko licensed the external-to-Japan rights to its most popular title, Macross, to Harmony Gold, supposedly in perpetuity. They apparently didn’t think the rights would ever be worth anything. Subsequently, lawsuits have raged in Japan over whether the studio had the right to make that sale.)

But ever since the anime explosion of the late ‘90s, that has been changing, and manga publishers have grown upset over the proliferation of “scanlations” of their titles in America and elsewhere. It’s good to see that some of them are dealing with the problem through trying to compete with the pirates rather than just legal action. The subscriptions seem reasonably priced—$10 gets 1,000 points, which are then used to buy various issues. In some of the titles I browsed, I saw a 29-page chapter available for 190 points (equivalent to $1.90), which seems like a decent deal for the medium.

About Chris Meadows (4158 Articles)
TeleRead Editor Chris Meadows has been writing for us--except for a brief interruption--since 2006. Son of two librarians, he has worked on a third-party help line for Best Buy and holds degrees in computer science and communications. He clearly personifies TeleRead's motto: "For geeks who love books--and book-lovers who love gadgets." Chris lives in Indianapolis and is active in the gamer community.

2 Comments on JManga portal offers digital manga subscriptions

  1. Frode Aleksandersen // August 22, 2011 at 5:59 am //

    Ironically I’m in Japan right now and can’t browse the jmanga web site because of my IP. As long as they’re blocking regions from access, they’re not going to have much of an effect on illegal scanlations.

  2. Frode, I agree. When I saw this article, I immediately alerted my anime-manga-aficionada daughter, who rushed to the site, only to be told, “U.S. and Canada only”. We’re in Australia. So much for reaching out to the world.

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