Toshiba, Manganovel Offer User-Translated Manga Online

posted on by Egan Loo
Service sells both manga and translations submitted by readers

Manganovel Corporation, a new online manga company 89% owned by the conglomerate Toshiba Corporation, has announced the October 1 worldwide launch of, a service which offers Japanese manga downloads — and as well translations offered for sale by users to other users. Its initial manga offering features the works of twelve authors, including ten from the publisher Shonengahosha.

The service offers Japanese manga for US$4.00 to US$5.00 (as well as free samples) and encourages "reader-translators" to translate them into other languages. The reader-translators can then email their translations to be uploaded on the service. There, the readers-translators can choose to offer each translation for free or 2% of the original manga volume's price. If other readers purchase the translations, the reader-translator "gets 50% of the sale price as a royalty." There is also a discussion board for readers to give feedback on translations so translators can revise and improve them.

Manganovel Corporation is a company that was established in June of 2006 in Tokyo. Professor John Maeda, a researcher of computer science and graphics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's famed Media Lab, developed the concept with Toshiba's digital rights management technology and Fixstars Corporation's application and server software. Toshiba Corporation owns 89% of Manganovel's shares and Fixstars Corporation owns 11%. Manganovel started a beta test of the service in June, before the service's official launch. The service requires the Microsoft Windows 2000, XP, or Vista operation system.

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