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NEWS: E-Book Pub Bitway Invests US$750,000 in Crunchyroll


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Olivine



Joined: 01 May 2010
Posts: 197
Location: Sol 3
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:00 pm Reply with quote
This is interesting. A whole lot more interesting than the OpenManga business. If any Crunchyroll staff see this, I have a question/request.

Will the manga/books be "soft subbed"? Some of us overseas fans prefer the Japanese language version and would not like "hard-subbed" manga. I will be a sad panda if its all hardsubbed! :[ At least upload the japanese language version, too!

Also:
Get visual novels streaming on CR and you will be well on your way to world domination! :] (with Japanese language version option available, of course! >:O)


Last edited by Olivine on Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:19 pm; edited 2 times in total
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TatsuGero23



Joined: 18 Nov 2008
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Location: Sniper Island, USA (It's in your heart!)
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:05 pm Reply with quote
That would be an interesting feature for online manga; soft subbing. And I can't imagine it being to different from how their subbing system works now.

Also, going through CR and having them expand into manga seems the better idea then going with the new proposed openmanga idea. All your manga and anime needs in one neat spot. Legitimately. Like this episode of Naruto and want more? Read the lastest manga chapters here! Wanna support or own a copy? click on our amazon links. A very good idea in my opinion. Hope it works out or a working method is at least born from this endeavor.
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RestLessone



Joined: 02 Aug 2009
Posts: 1425
Location: New York
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:15 pm Reply with quote
That's an interesting development.

It could even host latest chapters and remove them as the English books are released. People get to read the chapters, but it would still create a suitable environment for physical purchases. It's also better than OpenManga currently, because CR is established enough already and hasn't just been asked by Japanese and English companies to remove scans.

TatsuGero23 wrote:
Read the lastest manga chapters here! Wanna support or own a copy? click on our amazon links. A very good idea in my opinion. Hope it works out or a working method is at least born from this endeavor.

Adding Amazon, Right Stuf, and Barnes and Noble/Borders links would be a great idea. Each series category could contain a volume listing, and each available volume would be linked to an online store, while unreleased chapters have a "Click to Read" button. I hope CR goes through with this.
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rinmackie



Joined: 05 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:34 pm Reply with quote
This is great and a step in the right direction!
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edzieba



Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 704
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:44 pm Reply with quote
If this ends up anything like Crunchyroll's video service, expect low resolution scans filled with blocking artefacts and that can only be read in the US. With mostly good translations, except for a few which are inexplicably abysmal.
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omoikane



Joined: 03 Oct 2005
Posts: 432
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:49 pm Reply with quote
well the big questions are:

1. pay scheme? is it going to have a subscription method or a pay-to-read method? or both?
2. DTO versus some browser-lock-in DRM? If any?
3. what sort of titles? or better yet, what kind of rights will CR be able to get? related to #2 I guess.
4. Also related to #2: device integration? Kindle? iPad app? what?

I'm hoping the CR store operate with internet-distribution-only licenses for titles that hasn't been "licensed" yet, and other manga pubs that are doing things traditionally can get an express in so CR can carry their titles online. Freeing manga from its "mortal coil" is one of the biggest business potential here, and it would be tragic if they couldn't execute it.

edzieba wrote:
If this ends up anything like Crunchyroll's video service, expect low resolution scans filled with blocking artefacts and that can only be read in the US. With mostly good translations, except for a few which are inexplicably abysmal.

you either have a poor internet connectivity or just trolling. if anything CR is definitely the pioneer in cross-region broadcasting for anime. nobody else do it like they do it.
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Mr. sickVisionz



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:04 pm Reply with quote
This could be cool if it leads to an unlimited manga/novel service similar to their unlimited anime service.
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agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 3213
Location: NE Ohio
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:06 pm Reply with quote
edzieba wrote:
If this ends up anything like Crunchyroll's video service, expect low resolution scans filled with blocking artefacts and that can only be read in the US. With mostly good translations, except for a few which are inexplicably abysmal.


I have not seen any anime on Crunchyroll originally produced in the last twenty years that is not DVD quality or better.

As far as the translations, the rights holder pick the people to do the subtitling, so its not like CR has editorial control. And for back catalog titles that were already distributed overseas, the rights holder normally just uses the existing sub, since the overseas distributor pays for the sub, and then the sub rights revert to the rights holder. The sub for Erin the Beast Player, for example, may be riddled with mistakes, but they may not want to risk money on the gamble that a cleaned up sub will generate additional revenue.
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agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:10 pm Reply with quote
Olivine wrote:
This is interesting. A whole lot more interesting than the OpenManga business. If any Crunchyroll staff see this, I have a question/request.

Will the manga/books be "soft subbed"?


If it is anything like the anime streams, this will primarily be up to Bitway,

but it can't hurt to let CR know that there is a benefit to having distinct English overlays on top of the japanese original, with turning off the overlay an option for manga and premium subscribers.
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Annf



Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 578
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:10 pm Reply with quote
Olivine wrote:
Will the manga/books be "soft subbed"? Some of us overseas fans prefer the Japanese language version and would not like "hard-subbed" manga. I will be a sad panda if its all hardsubbed! :[ At least upload the japanese language version, too!

As far as DTO items from Bitway's current catalog goes, there's no need to wait for Crunchyroll if you want the Japanese version. Bitway doesn't block foreign IP addresses or credit cards. (At least last time I tried.)

http://www.bitway.ne.jp/ (main portal)
http://www.bitway.ne.jp/Common/Loggetter/top-books.html (ebooks top)
http://books.bitway.ne.jp/meng/cp.php?req=124_01_01&site=book&order=0&start=1&format=&platform=&catid=1301 (comics section)

Their comics section is tiny, though, compared to places like ebookjapan or Papyless, and just all in one big list with no categories. (On the other hand, it appears to be 100% DRM-free, unlike ebookjapan or much of Papyless.)
I wonder if that's the total selection they'll be working from for Crunchyroll or if they have something else going on.
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agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 3213
Location: NE Ohio
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:19 pm Reply with quote
Olivine wrote:
This is interesting. A whole lot more interesting than the OpenManga business. If any Crunchyroll staff see this, I have a question/request.

Will the manga/books be "soft subbed"?


If it is anything like the anime streams, this will primarily be up to Bitway,

but it can't hurt to let CR know that there is a benefit to having distinct English overlays on top of the japanese original, with turning off the overlay an option for manga and premium subscribers.

TatsuGero23 wrote:
That would be an interesting feature for online manga; soft subbing. And I can't imagine it being to different from how their subbing system works now.


Imagine graphic overlay files in black and white and clear, with the player merging the two. Whether the art images are lettered in Japanese or unlettered likely involves how old the series is and how worried the Japanese rights owners are about back-importation of rips. If they are worried about back-importation of rips, they'll use unlettered art with an overlay.

TatsuGero23 wrote:
Also, going through CR and having them expand into manga seems the better idea then going with the new proposed openmanga idea. All your manga and anime needs in one neat spot. Legitimately.


Its not clear how this is "either/or". OpenManga as a crowdsourced publisher would of course be focusing on exactly the kinds of niche markets that Bitway are unlikely to be focusing on, and if OpenManga has legal rights to what they distribute, Crunchyroll would only be serving "all your manga needs" if they also work up a distributor relationship with OpenManga.
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TatsuGero23



Joined: 18 Nov 2008
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Location: Sniper Island, USA (It's in your heart!)
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:23 pm Reply with quote
Hmmm good questions.

1) It probably won't be different from their current system so probably 2 or 3 splash ads for free versions and a subscription for no ads or a better reader. The question would be if it will be a seperate subscription like their Drama is, or fused or a cheap add on ($1-2) to the anime membership.

2) Probably not since they discontinued their anime version. But manga is a smaller size so maybe. Especially with E-Readers. But a cheap membership to lot of manga and you might not need DTOs.

3) Ah yes, what we all want to know. Hopefully tie-ins to their animes. That would seem the obvious choices. Bleach, Naruto, Reborn, Gintama etc etc.

4) Gotta be e-readers and browsers given the investors and CR. Here's hoping.

I also dig RestlessOne's idea that's very similar to the more legit friendly scan groups. Online scans for current, non-novel stuff but then if you want to read older released volumes you can either click a link to a store or amazon or whatever, OR sign up for a membership to a huge backlog of manga.

Wow, I find myself surprisingly excited with this news. Not just "oh cool" excited but "excited" excited. Laughing

Although international fans may run into trouble like edzieba griped on. I think CR has been good for the most part with at least having the widest range but its still not everyone. And the manga might have its own rules. We'll have to see. Also, loading pages of manga will probably eat up less bandwidth then loading an episode of anime so I doubt they will have the same issues.

agila61: We're still in the early speculation stage so I'm talking in a very general sense here. Sorry if my comments come off too "matter of fact" like. Its hard to say what the extent of either programs will go. It might come to that the 2 will fuse together or form a partnership. Or the two just coexist as seperate services. It's also likely one service will kill off the other's.

Just from a business stand point. CR would seem the more appealing source to new investors is all with a clear example with a potential method for online distribution. OpenManga is still vague to many people and unproven. It's also easy to see OM as a manga version to CR so I'm sure a number of people are thinking, "Well then why not just go to CR and have them expand." Just speculation at this point but the potential of it all makes me excited.


Last edited by TatsuGero23 on Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:36 pm; edited 2 times in total
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ConanSan



Joined: 13 Jun 2007
Posts: 1818
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:25 pm Reply with quote
edzieba wrote:
If this ends up anything like Crunchyroll's video service, expect low resolution scans filled with blocking artefacts and that can only be read in the US. With mostly good translations, except for a few which are inexplicably abysmal.
This is scaremongering. Except for the US point, that's all too possible.
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RestLessone



Joined: 02 Aug 2009
Posts: 1425
Location: New York
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:39 pm Reply with quote
TatsuGero23 wrote:

I also dig RestlessOne's idea that's very similar to the more legit friendly scan groups. Online scans for current, non-novel stuff but then if you want to read older released volumes you can either click a link to a store or amazon or whatever, OR sign up for a membership to a huge backlog of manga.

Wow, I find myself surprisingly excited with this news. Not just "oh cool" excited but "excited" excited. Laughing

Although international fans may run into trouble like edzieba griped on. I think CR has been good for the most part with at least having the widest range but its still not everyone. And the manga might have its own rules. We'll have to see. Also, loading pages of manga will probably eat up less bandwidth then loading an episode of anime so I doubt they will have the same issues.

Oh, a membership with a backlog would be nice! Though, the decision on that depends on how the business model will be set up and how many series will actually be available. If publishers wanted, they could also offer scanned volumes for a separate price. Pay 2-5 dollars for one or something. It's cheaper than the physical copies, but people will still feel the urge the buy them so they don't strain their eyes or miss out on the glossy colors.

It is rather exciting! I'm not expecting CR scans to be of a great quality, but it might work out in the end. It could be offered as an alternative where one can read their favorites until the English publisher prints it. The only ones that really need have a superb editing and translating job are the series that have no official English publisher or (if they were made available) the volumes offered for a few bucks.

There may be region-blocking, but I don't consider it something that can be easily fixed depending on the situation. Issues with the Japanese publisher or rights to release, etc.
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agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 3213
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:43 pm Reply with quote
TatsuGero23 wrote:
Hmmm good questions.

1) It probably won't be different from their current system so probably 2 or 3 splash ads for free versions and a subscription for no ads or a better reader. The question would be if it will be a seperate subscription like their Drama is, or fused or a cheap add on ($1-2) to the anime membership.


I'd assume a manga membership, and a premium membership is an all access pass. Whether the distinct manga membership would be cheaper than a distinct anime membership would be decided in negotiation with Bitway in any event, so not even Crunchyroll would know at this point in time.

If the viewer is a flash app, it can easily include streaming video ads, which are the strongest monetization of free views.

Quote:
2) Probably not since they discontinued their anime version. But manga is a smaller size so maybe. Especially with E-Readers. But a cheap membership to lot of manga and you might not need DTOs.
They typically link through to any available merchandise that the rights holder wants them to, so if Bitway has an ebook side for the Kindle etc., the series page and chapter/volume page could just link to it like they link to DVD's for sale at Amazon right now.

Quote:
3) Ah yes, what we all want to know. Hopefully tie-ins to their animes. That would seem the obvious choices. Bleach, Naruto, Reborn, Gintama etc etc.


The $64m question, certainly. Seems like that Bitway would not invest $750,000 if they had not already got the green light on a few "tentpole" hits to hold up the tent.

Quote:
4) Gotta be e-readers and browsers given the investors and CR. Here's hoping.


CR doesn't have to be the ereader marketplace to be the browser site - they can link straight through to whatever ereader marketplaces. Kindle, iPod, iPad, etc.

Quote:
Although international fans may run into trouble like edzieba griped on. I think CR has been good for the most part with at least having the widest range but its still not everyone. And the manga might have its own rules. We'll have to see. Also, loading pages of manga will probably eat up less bandwidth then loading an episode of anime so I doubt they will have the same issues.


For the Bitway it may be title by title, but it should be easier anyway. There are no cable broadcasters with existing rights getting in the way.
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