Asia Pacific (APAC), Global Politics, Japan

Japanese Comics May Finally Go Completely Digital

Major Japanese comic book publisher Kodansha has just announced that it will be digitizing all of its monthly comic publications and magazines. This is in accordance to the company’s plan and policy to further modernize its business, and to cater to Japan’s ever growing number of mobile device users.

The first magazines that are slated for a shared digital release along with its printed editions are Young Magazine (starting January 5), Monthly Shounen Magazine (starting January 6), and Weekly Shounen Magazine (starting January 7). Kodansha also plans to release digital backnumber issues of previous magazine publications of the same titles in the near future, allowing those who missed purchasing the issue to obtain it again via digital means. The company has already opened a special website for the new digital service, and has uploaded several magazine issues to be downloaded by interested individuals for free.

The Japanese comic book industry has been one of the most influential mediums of the country’s modern pop literature. Manga, as it is called, is popularly known to be often released in black and white rather than in colored pages. Kodansha in particular has been publishing issues with young teens as the audience, providing various genres that typically delve into the realm of action and fantasy. Moreover, most of its comic book magazines have been known to release internationally popular titles such as the recently concluded Naruto and the still ongoing One Piece.

The digital versions of the company’s monthly comic publications will be available locally in the country through Amazon Japan, Rakuten Books, eBook Japan, Yahoo Japan’s Bookstore, BookLive and Line Manga. In the near future, the company also plans to further digitize more of its published books and magazines, with some of the titles already slated for an early digital release, which includes Magazine Special, Dessert, Kiss, Nemesis, and others.