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Shueisha, Microsoft Reveal Details on Phone Manga Sales

posted on by Egan Loo
Free Dragon Ball sample in December; fee-based service by March

The animeanime.biz website reports more details regarding Shueisha's partnership with Microsoft to offer manga e-books on mobile phones. The two companies are planning to push the initiative in both the domestic and international markets. The first overseas phase will start offering free manga on the Windows Marketplace for Mobile store in the United States this December. Although manga in the Marketplace will be free at first, the initiative will transition towards a fee-based distribution model by March.

The manga will be offered in Japanese and English in 28 countries, including Japan and the United States, as well as the countries of Europe. The first offering will be a free sample version of Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball manga.

Among the magazines that Shueisha publish in Japan are Weekly Shonen Jump, Weekly Young Jump, Jump Square, Ribon, and Margaret. Besides Dragon Ball, Naruto, Bleach, Death Note, The Prince of Tennis, and Gintama are popular in Japan as well as abroad, but Shueisha has not specified which titles will be among the 20-30 works initially offered in the manga e-book initiative.

Shueisha is one of 11 Japanese publishers who announced that they will offer manga on Sony's PlayStation Store for its Japanese PSP portable consoles. The am3 company officially launched its DSvision download service for the Nintendo DS portable consoles with several manga titles last year.

Many publishers and authors already offer free or paid manga e-books in Apple's App Store for its iPhone and iPod touch mobile devices. The offerings include Osamu Tezuka's many works from Tezuka Productions (story); Leiji Matsumoto's Out of Galaxy Koshika and Misaho Kujiradou's Princess Ai from Sunsoft (story); Yoshitoshi ABe's self-published Pochiyama at the Pharmacy from Ubiquitous Entertainment (story), If Blessed (Masakiku Araba) by Golden Boy's Tatsuya Egawa (story); Masamune Shirow's Appleseed, Shōtarō Ishinomori's Cyborg 009 from NTT Solmare (story); Chihiro Tamaki's Walkin' Butterfly from Aurora Publishing (story); Hideyuki Kikuchi and Saiko Takaki's Vampire Hunter D from Digital Manga Publishing (story); a free sample of Takashi Ikeda's Sasameki Koto from Tachyon (story); Takao Saitō's Golgo 13 and Mine Yoshizaki's Keroro Gunsō (Sgt. Frog) from Sonoran Blue (story); various titles from EigoMANGA (press release); and various titles from the publisher Kodansha (story).

follow-up of NHK: Shueisha to Sell Manga on U.S. Phones Next Spring
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