Anime on US Phones & Free Japanese Manga on iPhone, DS
posted on by Egan Loo
Red Planet Media's JumpInMobile.TV video service began offering three anime series — MoonPhase, Gunslinger Girl, and Galaxy Railways — on its own version of the Funimation Channel on America's Sprint and AT&T Wireless phone networks this week. It costs US$4.99 a month to watch any number of episodes from the MoonPhase or Gunslinger Girl package, and either package will include Galaxy Railways for free. Red Planet Media already began offering MoonPhase and Galaxy Railways on a pay-per-clip basis on the AT&T Wireless network on May 23. Funimation announced the new JumpInMobile.TV offerings at Anime Expo 2008. At the same event, Funimation also announced that Aquarion and Witchblade will be added to the iTunes Store in late July, and that the YouTube online video service will be streaming Blue Gender, Slayers, Peach Girl, Mushi-Shi, and Kiddy Grade.
With the worldwide launch of the online App Store for Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch mobile devices on Friday, the software developer Sonoran Blue began offering Japanese manga as electronic books (e-books) in the store. Currently, the company offers the first installments from four manga titles — Takao Saito's Golgo 13, Mine Yoshizaki's Keroro Gunsou (Sgt. Frog), Yuichirou Sueda's Souta no Houchou, and Kouji Inoue's Mahiru no Tenshi — for free. Celsys, the developer of the ComicStudio/Manga Studio manga-making software, created the electronic comic viewer software being used, and it plans to offer the viewer to North America and Europe. The manga are available only in the Japanese iTunes Store for now, but foreign users can readily buy prepaid Japanese iTunes Store cards to put these manga e-books on iPhone and iPod Touch devices in America and elsewhere.
After some delays, the am3 company officially launched its DSvision download service for the Nintendo DS portable console last week in Japan. The service offers anime, manga, and other content for downloading onto microSD memory cards, which in turn can be inserted into and played on the DS console. (The company offers a starter kit with the microSD adaptor.) It currently offers 34 Shonen Champion manga titles, including 18 free ones. It is also selling episodes of the following Tatsunoko Production titles: Yatterman, Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, Mach Go Go Go (Speed Racer, pictured at right), Hakushon Daimaou (The Genie Family), Inakappe Taisho, Shinzo Ningen Casshan, and The Adventures of Hutch the Honeybee. The Japanese company Compile Heart is offering a separate way to read manga via pre-loaded cards.