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Orange Inc. to Release e-Bookstore Service emaqi Featuring Manga This Summer

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Service to use Orange Inc.'s AI-translation technology

The AI localization company Orange Inc. announced on Monday that it will release an e-bookstore service titled "emaqi," which will launch in the United States this summer. The service will feature works translated using Orange Inc.'s technology, and will also include "recommendations, curations by manga influencers, and manga trailers." emaqi will be both a website and an app, with the former launching first in summer.

Image courtesy of Orange Inc.

Orange Inc. also added that it has received 2.92 billion yen (about US$19.1 million) in funding, from companies such as Shogakukan, Globis Capital Partners, ANRI, SBI Investment, JIC Venture Growth Investments, Miyako Capital, Chiba Dojo Fund, Mizuho Capital, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, and GFR Fund. The company plans to use the money to "[increase] the pace of manga localization currently done in Japan roughly fivefold to 500 titles per month."

The company is developing the manga localization tool "Factory." The company uses AI technology to do the base translation. Native translators and editors then correct the translation and finalize the work. Orange Inc. aims to increase localization capacity by 10 or 100 times the current state through this process and its deep learning AI technology.

The app will support English first, but the company has told ANN that it plans to provide multilingual support in the future, giving the example of Spanish as "a Latin-speaking language with a high affinity for English." Orange Inc. plans to expand its service outside the U.S. in English-speaking countries, followed by multilingual countries when the company is able to provide translation for their respective languages.

Orange Inc. was founded in April 2021, and announced in July 2023 it had raised US$1.8 million. The company established its headquarters in the U.S. in March 2024.

The company is involved in the social media localization of the Neko Oji: The Guy that got Reincarnated as a Cat manga.

Shueisha's MANGA Plus service began releasing Daisuke Miyata's Rugby Rumble (Saikyō no Uta) manga in English in October 2023, crediting Orange Inc. along with Media Do Co., Ltd. for lettering and editing. After a backlash on social media about the lettering quality, MANGA Plus released a new version within a week, crediting the manga's translator Mei Amaki (Mugen Creations LLC.) as letterer and editor alongside Orange Inc. and Media Do.

Several Japanese companies have recently started translating manga into English using AI or machine translation.

Bushiroad announced in December that it would use the Mantra Engine to machine-translate Kore Yamazaki's The Ancient Magus Bride and Ghost and Witch manga.

TO Books launched an English version of its Corona EX manga website in April as a paid subscription service, featuring both previous translations of its works from various English publishers (such as Seven Seas Entertainment or J-Novel Club), as well as works machine-translated through Google Translate, which the site admits may possibly contain errors. The service has a US$4.50 monthly subscription cost.

Source: Press release

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