News Lain's ABe Self-Publishes Manga on iTunes in 20 Nations
posted on 2008-08-15 15:41 EDT by Egan Loo
Yoshitoshi ABe, the Japanese illustrator most famous for designing the Serial Experiments Lain anime and creating Haibane Renmei, has self-published his own dōjinshi manga this week in Apple's iTunes App Store in 20 countries, including the United States and Canada. ABe's 53-page manga, which sells for US$4.99 or 600 yen, uses Ubiquitous Entertainment's multilingual comic viewer software for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch devices. The software has two main features: the ability to reproduce the original art faithfully and the ability to toggle the dialogue between multiple languages. ABe's Pochiyama at the Pharmacy manga includes both Japanese and English dialogue in one edition; the software will display the manga in the language that the user has configured for his or her iPhone or iPod Touch.
ABe commented, "When I am invited to overseas conventions, I hear a lot of requests from anime and manga fans who want to read Japanese dōjinshi. Until now, we could not present dōjinshi to overseas [fans] easily because of the problems in translating and the costs of shipping books — but this form of electronic comics can make that a reality."
Kodansha, Sonoran Blue, and Bbmf are adding about two dozen manga titles to Apple's App Store in Japan, but Pochiyama at the Pharmacy is the first manga to be released in 20 different countries. It is also the first to ship in one edition with two different languages.
Image © Yoshitoshi ABe/Ubiquitous Entertainment Inc.
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