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Anime Expo 2010
Digital Manga Publishing Industry Panel

by Gia Manry,

Digital Manga Publishings' panel was moderated by producer and marketer Michelle Mauk, head of sales Yoko Tanigaki, and Pop Japan Travel coordinator Evan Miller.

DMP opens with current titles from their DokiDoki imprint aimed at shoujo fans, starting with Kaoru Tada's romantic comedy Itazura na Kiss. Volumes one and two are available now, and volume 3 comes out this summer. Volume 4 will come out this winter. Each U.S. volume consists of two of the original Japanese volumes. Vampire Hunter D author Hideyuki Kikuchi's manga Yashakiden, illustrated by Jun Suemi, also has two volumes out now, with a third coming available in Winter 2010.

Volume 5 of Hideyuki Kikuchi and Saiko Takaki's Vampire Hunter D manga adaptation will also come out in winter 2010. Volume 1 of Ai Tenkawa's Wolf God has just been released. Chigusa Kawai's Alice the 101st, a non-yaoi title by the creator of light BL title La Esperança, will be released in the summer of 2010.

The Juné manga line has rescued the former Central Park Media license Target in the Viewfinder, the first volume of the Finder Series by Ayane Yamano, will be available this summer. The Tyrant Falls in Love, a rescue from BL pubisher Drama Queen created by Challengers creator Hinako Takanaga, will also be released in the summer of 2010.

Kazuma Kodaka's Kizuna, another license rescue from Central Park Media, will have its first volume released in the fall of 2010. The first volume will consist of two Japanese volumes; the entire 11-volume series will be 5 volumes in its U.S. release.

Under Grand Hotel is the only current title to be discussed under the 801 Media explicit line of manga. The manga, by Mika Sadahiro, will have its first volume released "very very soon".

New licenses begin with novel Demon City Shinjuku, by Hideyuki Kikuchi, to be released under the Digital Manga Publishing imprint. Mauk notes that Kikuchi asked her to show off a copy of of the new sequel to Demon City Shinjuku; when prompted about whether they had the license Mauk offered that "since he asked to show it, probably yes."

The next two licenses are both by Kemuri Karakara and published by Mag Garden: Countdown 7 Days and Replica. A third Mag Garden title, by Aki Arata, has also been licensed: Houou Gakuen MiSORAgumi, a shoujo comedy.

Moving on to boys love titles, Border, by Kizuna's Kazuma Kodaka, has been acquired under the Juné line. Another Kodaka title titled Kusatta Kyo Shino Houteishiki, originally published as 10 volumes in Japan, will be released in English as 5 double volumes. Both of these titles were acquired through a new DMP partner, Med-i-ation.

CJ Michalski's Gochisōsama, published by new DMP partner Take Shobo, will be released in English, along with two other Take Shobo titles: Tsuta Suzuki's Boku no Shiru Anata no Hanashi, to be published under the Juné line, and Shushushu Sakurai's Sabaku no Ōjisama, to be published under 801 Media.

All new licenses will be published in the first half of 2011.

DMP then announced a new joint project with Viz Media and Studio Pierrot to be the exclusive distributor of official hand-painted cels from Naruto Shippūden, with more titles to come. With an MSRP of $60, there are five available at DMP's booth at Anime Expo, and Viz Media will also have cels at San Diego Comic Con as well.

Mauk handed over the microphone to Tanigaki to talk about DMP's online manga rental store, eManga. The site has increased its rental period from 3 days to 7 days, now offers eManga gift cards, and will be adding 30 new Harlequin titles, plus 10 released in different language-- 5 each in Korean and Chinese.

Mangaka Nao Yazawa, the creator of the VIZ-licensed manga Wedding Peach, will be creating an exclusive manga for eManga, a shoujo fantasy comedy titled Mizuki.

Miller takes over to talk about Pop Japan Travel, whose announcements will be made at a separate panel. It was noted, however, that all tours planned through December of 2011 are currently available for reservations, before a video of the most recent Pop Japan Travel tour (the Yaoi Tour) was shown.

During the Q&A Mauk confirmed that Under Grand Hotel will be available in brick-and-mortar stores, specifically at Borders. Additionally, the new Japanese editions of Kizuna will be used for the license, and the Finder Series will also feature a new translation, including specific requests made by creator Ayano Yamane.

When asked, Mauk responded that there were no new updates on DMP's planned project to make manga available to be translated by fans online. However, she clarified that DMP is also talking to professional editors and translators to try and bring them into the project, rather than aiming solely at scanlators, and also noted that translators will actually be able to retain some of the rights to their translations, unlike the standard publisher-owned work-for-hire translation.

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