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NEWS: Survey: Manga Rental Struggles to Catch On in Japan




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v1cious



Joined: 31 Dec 2002
Posts: 5912
Location: Houston, TX
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 10:38 pm Reply with quote
you mean you can rent out books? if i recall, there's a place that's been doing this for awhile called.. i don't know... the library?
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Abarenbo Shogun



Joined: 19 Jul 2005
Posts: 1573
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 10:42 pm Reply with quote
Manga.....Rentals? Eh?

Someone run that by me again why it doesn't sound right?
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Deltakiral



Joined: 07 Oct 2004
Posts: 3338
Location: Glendora, CA (Avatar Hei from Darker than BLACK)
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 11:16 pm Reply with quote
We have Manga Rentals in the US, but then again with Manga costing little to nothing already one would find it hard to rent it Japan.....now the US I could see people wanting to rent it. My local library has a few titles but other then Nausicaa and a few Shojo titles, but then again I have not been in a library in quite some time so perhaps there is a lot more now.
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dormcat
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Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 9886
Location: New Taipei City, Taiwan, ROC
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 11:20 pm Reply with quote
I don't know why you guys have problems with the concept of manga rentals. Free (public) libraries that are willing to stock manga (especially those not-so-mainstream titles) are very rare, at least that's how it is in East Asia. Manga rentals were the common way to read manga in Japan from post-WW2 until 70's, when disposable (printed on low grade recycled paper) anthology magazines became dominant. Now with fewer younger generation and diversifying genres, magazines are no longer as popular as before, and tankoubon rentals are back. It's that simple.

The price of the rent is quite high though: the typical price of a volume of popular shounen/shoujo tankoubon is ¥410 (US$3.43; seinen titles with bigger prints are typically more expensive), yet the rental fee is 22% of the list price. Here in Taiwan the typical rental fee is merely 10% of the list price, which means a volume has to be rented at least 8 times before the rental can earn back its cost.

I'll post a few pictures of a typical manga rental here in Taiwan, if I could get approval from its owner.
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fighterholic



Joined: 28 Sep 2005
Posts: 9193
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 11:46 pm Reply with quote
Abarenbo Shogun wrote:
Manga.....Rentals? Eh?

Someone run that by me again why it doesn't sound right?

Dude, it's the same thing as renting out videos or DVDs, except in my opinion copying would be a bit on the harder side.
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tasogarenootome



Joined: 24 Feb 2007
Posts: 593
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 6:20 am Reply with quote
It just seems a little silly, since you can get a lot of manga for about 100 or 200 yen at Book-Off in Japan.

It's not a bad idea, but as a consumer, I would go to a manga kissaten before renting a manga. But then again, I don't know what the speed is on getting new manga for either the rental or the kissaten.

There's manga rental in the US? Where? My library has a few titles and I donate my old manga when I'm finished, but the collection's still small.
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CCSYueh



Joined: 03 Jul 2004
Posts: 2707
Location: San Diego, CA
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 10:33 am Reply with quote
dormcat wrote:

The price of the rent is quite high though: the typical price of a volume of popular shounen/shoujo tankoubon is ¥410 (US$3.43; seinen titles with bigger prints are typically more expensive), yet the rental fee is 22% of the list price.


You're getting a better exchange rate than I am. I bought 6 tankoubon from Mitsuwa this weekend for $31. BeBoy was a bit over $8 & an airmailed copy of Shonen Jump was about $3.50. Yeah, it's here in the US & I'd pay way more for shipping otherwise so I probably did pay more.
But I was so shocked at the print quality in the shonen titles. I have a few tankoubon I've picked up over the years & knew they were smaller & on cheaper paper, but I have a few yaoi anthologies & they aren't that bad. For everyone screaming about how cheap manga is in Japan, it is on really cheap paper & the print in Shonen Jump rivals one's daily newspaper(i.e. faded in many places). It's very obviously something to read & discard. $10 for a graphic novel on paper that won't look like a newspaper left in the sun for a week within a year or so isn't such a bad deal.
So yeah, if graphic novels are priced to trash, the rental would have to be very cheap to make it interesting. It's like paying to rent paperbacks--would it be worth the time to go back & forth to the shop just to rent the latest One Piece for $.75? And if the mentality is disposable media, it would border on the concept of some shop here renting out the daily paper or copies of Newsweek & Time.
Would you pay to rent a magazine?
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slickwataris



Joined: 21 Dec 2004
Posts: 1334
Location: Carol Stream, Illinois
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 12:53 pm Reply with quote
Why rent when you have all those manga cafes? I don't get it. The library I go to has a pretty good manga selection as long as you're not looking for anything in particular. Seeing as how a lot of copies have ripped out pages and drawn on nipples I would never consider paying to check it out.
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dormcat
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Joined: 08 Dec 2003
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Location: New Taipei City, Taiwan, ROC
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 1:02 pm Reply with quote
CCSYueh wrote:
Would you pay to rent a magazine?

You will, if the rental is within 5 minutes of walking, while the nearest public library requires 20 minutes of driving without a parking space or 45 minutes on bus.

slickwataris wrote:
Why rent when you have all those manga cafes?

Again, it's the availability issue.

slickwataris wrote:
Seeing as how a lot of copies have ripped out pages and drawn on nipples I would never consider paying to check it out.

You have to pay a security deposit, in case of you damage the book or fail to return. While losing books are not uncommon, I've never heard of people drawing things on rented books here. Maybe this is the difference in quality of teenagers in East Asia and North America. Cool
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Deltakiral



Joined: 07 Oct 2004
Posts: 3338
Location: Glendora, CA (Avatar Hei from Darker than BLACK)
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 1:58 pm Reply with quote
dormcat wrote:
Maybe this is the difference in quality of teenagers in East Asia and North America. Cool


American Teenagers without a cause, and basically will destroy anything they get their hands on....cars, book, desk, etc etc. Just look at any public school nearly everything that can have writing/drawings on it does.

As for renting Manga sounding so crazy, I don't think it's all that strange considering if your reading a lot of manga during the week. But for me who hardly read any manga other Monster and a few other titles, so renting doesn't make any sense for me.
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dormcat
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Joined: 08 Dec 2003
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Location: New Taipei City, Taiwan, ROC
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 10:49 pm Reply with quote
With the permission from the owner, here are several pictures of a typical manga (plus novel and non-manga magazines) rental in Taiwan, one that I visit at least three times a week for the past two years. I resized pictures so they wouldn't distort the page format, but if Mods feel inappropriate feel free to remove [IMG] tags and leave links alone.

Entrance:


As you can see, the door is fully pasted with manga posters, notably Hanada Shonen Shi live-action movie, One Piece, Ouran High, FMA, Fruits Basket, and Naruto.

Perspective overview:

Over 80% of the shelves are filled with Japanese manga. The rest compose novels (mostly romantic novels for girls), Hong Kong comics, and non-manga books and magazines.

Counter:

New arrivals are sorted at the counter. Hottest items can only be read in-store, and all new items have to be returned next day during the first week. If you look hard enough (I took these pictures with my cell phone, so the quality is limited at best) you can identify Bleach, KochiKame, Negima, Kekkaishi, Cross Game, 666 Satan, Fairy Tail, and Zatch Bell. Non-current magazines are stowed below.

Special shelves:


Both BL manga and Hong Kong comics have their own shelf. You can tell the BL shelf by the scattered cover design, for most BL titles are no more than two volumes. Regular shoujo manga that run much longer are at its left.

Hong Kong comics are heavily influenced by American superhero comics, so they are larger, in full-color, and pamphlet bound. The rental has to spend extra efforts to bind several issues together in one thicker volume or they can be lost easily.
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fighterholic



Joined: 28 Sep 2005
Posts: 9193
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 12:07 am Reply with quote
CCSYueh wrote:
You're getting a better exchange rate than I am. I bought 6 tankoubon from Mitsuwa this weekend for $31. BeBoy was a bit over $8 & an airmailed copy of Shonen Jump was about $3.50. Yeah, it's here in the US & I'd pay way more for shipping otherwise so I probably did pay more.

Shipping costs is what kills us here in the US of A, we pay so much over here. And the bigger the books are (more like who their publisher is), the more expensive they get. When I'm paying 14 dollars for a tankobon then something's up Rolling Eyes That's why I make it a point to go to Book Off often.
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Blazingpie



Joined: 18 Feb 2007
Posts: 1
Location: South Africa
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 2:35 pm Reply with quote
dormcat, that is impressive. I've never seen so much manga in one space before Surprised
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Randall Miyashiro



Joined: 12 Jun 2003
Posts: 2451
Location: A block away from Golden Gate Park
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 6:20 pm Reply with quote
There are a few used manga shops that I've been to that look like dormcat's images. I think there are even a couple in LA that are fairly large. I don't see this project succeeding since you can read manga for free (even in San Francisco) in a number of restaurants and bars. My favorite is On the Bridge a curry house that has tons (shelf lines entire wall) of long out of print manga. I read a good chunk of Yamato the last time I was their.
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