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NEWS: Kodansha to Launch New 'K Manga' Platform in U.S.


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pi8you



Joined: 24 Sep 2004
Posts: 164
Location: Minneapolis
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2023 9:27 am Reply with quote
Well, that was expected with them pulling their simulpubs from other platforms, just a little surprised that there's as much of a gap between those ending and them starting. Looking forward to (hopefully) getting new GitS Human Algorithm chapters again though.

There's a few more details to be had over at The Beat, but not a whole lot that tells us anything meaningful yet except that they aren't planning to do like Viz and have web-only publishing for titles that are too spicy for the app stores.

Are their apps going to be tablet-friendly or just for smartphones?
What's the pricing model?
Are new chapters going to be locked behind a paywall?
Full runs, or just the first chapters or two and the last volume's worth?

Fingers crossed that this leans closer to Shonen Jump's model than Bookwalker or Manga Up, but I guess we'll see in a month and a half.
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Erufailon4



Joined: 18 Jun 2019
Posts: 195
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2023 9:42 am Reply with quote
Kodansha USA's digital titles are available on e-book stores (and used to be on services like Azuki) globally without region restrictions, so it's disappointing that the app and its simulchapters are U.S. only. Even Canada, which usually is counted as part of the same N.A. market, is not included. Viz's service at least is available in many English-speaking countries - you have to do really badly to somehow be worse than that. They're missing out on a lot of paying customers. Honestly baffling.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 2592
Location: North Brunswick, New Jersey
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2023 9:45 am Reply with quote
The fact that The Beat's write-up literally had to say this...
Quote:
After all, the "K" in K Manga stands for "Kodansha," and is not to be confused with "K" for "Korea," ala K-Pop or K-Dramas.


Really shows that Kodansha Japan thought up the name for this program with their ego instead of their heads, because I can absolutely see K Manga underperforming because people will see the title & instantly think that it's actually for Korean manhwa/webtoons, and not Japanese manga from Kodansha.

Personally, my main hope is that Kodansha actually does something really cool with K Manga & adds in titles that haven't been made available in well over a decade. For example, Kodansha has shown that it still has the old TokyoPop translations of the various manga released during the 00s (Initial D, GTO, Rave Master, etc.), so what K Manga really needs to compete with something like the Shonen Jump app is to truly open up the vault & offer a proper "vault" of older titles, ala the SJ Vault.

TokyoPop's partnership with Kodansha during that time was up there with Shueisha & Shogakukan's with Viz, and so many titles once released in English are now more or less lost to time, and K Manga is a real opportunity to offer those once again as part of a larger catalog, I feel.
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mdo7



Joined: 23 May 2007
Posts: 6313
Location: Katy, Texas, USA
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2023 10:01 am Reply with quote
Lord Geo wrote:
The fact that The Beat's write-up literally had to say this...
Quote:
After all, the "K" in K Manga stands for "Kodansha," and is not to be confused with "K" for "Korea," ala K-Pop or K-Dramas.


Really shows that Kodansha Japan thought up the name for this program with their ego instead of their heads, because I can absolutely see K Manga underperforming because people will see the title & instantly think that it's actually for Korean manhwa/webtoons, and not Japanese manga from Kodansha.


That's exactly my thought when I first saw the article. I thought Kodansha was getting involved with publishing webtoon/manhwa (because who wouldn't given that Naver Webtoon has performed well in the west, and the continuing success with K-pop and K-drama in the US). Yep, I agree with you that calling it K-manga would cause many people (beside me) thinking that Kodansha USA is getting with publishing Korean webtoon/manhwa to cash in on webtoon/K-pop success in the US.
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UBWT



Joined: 15 Mar 2022
Posts: 11
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2023 10:16 am Reply with quote
Focusing on a purely mobile app format (at least at launch), restricting the content (and likely needing to censor individual chapters if other platforms are comparable) to be allowed on iOS, and being built with a "x amount of manga chapters free per day" business model sounds like they are very similar to MangaUP, which by all accounts seem to have had a poor launch in late July, still just 2600 Twitter followers, and in the intervening 8 months from August 16th (3 weeks after launch) through today had it's most popular series (My Dress Up Darling) go from just 1685 to 3817 bookmarks.
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malvarez1



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
Posts: 1858
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2023 10:25 am Reply with quote
They actually probably have the advantage over Viz (for now) because they’ll be putting out their whole catalogue, and not just titles from a select imprint.
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LegitPancake



Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 1302
Location: Texas, USA
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2023 10:33 am Reply with quote
Ideal would be an all-you-can-read with a subscription, and limited free chapters, like Viz does, but that treasure chest advertisement in the screenshot showing “Earn up to 50 Points!” sounds like this will be point-based, which really sucks. And it being mobile only, and US only, this has got to be the most disappointing manga app announcement ever. Only thing that could make it worse is if they don’t have complete series.
malvarez1 wrote:
They actually probably have the advantage over Viz (for now) because they’ll be putting out their whole catalogue, and not just titles from a select imprint.

Where in the article does it say they will be adding their entire catalog? I didn’t read that.
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blahmoomoo



Joined: 27 Jan 2020
Posts: 483
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2023 10:38 am Reply with quote
LegitPancake wrote:

malvarez1 wrote:
They actually probably have the advantage over Viz (for now) because they’ll be putting out their whole catalogue, and not just titles from a select imprint.

Where in the article does it say they will be adding their entire catalog? I didn’t read that.


400 titles might not necessarily be their entire catalog, but that is far more than what is available on the Shonen Jump app/service (which only has titles from the SJ imprint, plus several random non-SJ titles like Kaguya-sama and Golden Kamuy).
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DamianSalazar



Joined: 25 Jul 2017
Posts: 740
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2023 10:45 am Reply with quote
Man, I remember seeing people wanting to see Kodansha either adapt Comic Days or Magazine Pocket to foreign audiences. Now, lo and behold, Kodansha launches a manga app in the vein of Manga Plus or Manga UP! and it's only available in the U.S., unlike Manga Plus or Manga UP which are worldwide. This will certainly not blow up in their faces, and it will definitely curb piracy of their titles.
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UBWT



Joined: 15 Mar 2022
Posts: 11
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2023 10:46 am Reply with quote
Looking through images on their teaser website, this seems to be the most relevant

A couple takeaways is that it shows a points system (being able to get points from a treasure chest), some stuff being free specials, and strongly suggests that they'll be selling digital volumes of manga through the app with the preview showing a couple examples of "volume is now on sale".

Aside from that, they have a bunch of series images shown, which include Eden's Zero, Vinland Saga, Fire Force, Blue Lock, The Seven Deadly Sins, I Was Reincarnated as the 7th Prince, Rent a Girlfriend, Fairy Tale, Ghost in the Shell, Four Knights of the Apocalypse, Tokyo Revengers, Attack on Titan, That Time I Got Reincarnated As a Slime, and Princess Jellyfish, while mentioning other series like Nagatoro.
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DamianSalazar



Joined: 25 Jul 2017
Posts: 740
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2023 10:54 am Reply with quote
UBWT wrote:
Looking through images on their teaser website, this seems to be the most relevant



Don't be shy. Show us peasant foreigners a screenshot. We need to know how it looks because it's just a US thing for now, and it'll probably never touch Africa, aside from Egypt or ZA. At least Shueisha acknowledges that they have readers in Nigeria.
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Ian Wolf



Joined: 01 Dec 2022
Posts: 3
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2023 11:15 am Reply with quote
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OtomeGay



Joined: 14 Oct 2021
Posts: 125
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2023 11:56 am Reply with quote
Frustrated with the idea of a points system. I'd rather just pay a certain amount of money monthly and get access to all the titles that way.
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azabaro
Subscriber



Joined: 06 Jul 2007
Posts: 252
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2023 1:52 pm Reply with quote
The whole points system aspect makes me think of K Manga as a successor to J-Manga. I guess we'll see if it lasts a bit longer
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ZeetherKID77



Joined: 17 Jun 2007
Posts: 981
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2023 2:20 pm Reply with quote
Dead on arrival. This is the worst idea coming from them since their "snack breaks" on the announcement streams, and they claim it's "for the fans" except their communication with fans is obnoxiously bad.

Subscription model or GTFO. Microtransactions to read chapters are dumb and bad and companies that do this should feel bad.
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