Today, Amazon Japan announced their newest Kindle--a Manga Model Kindle with 8 times the storage, perfect for storing any title manga lovers could want. US publisher Digital Manga Inc., known for "Vampire Hunter D" as well as co-publishing hits like "Berserk" and "Trigun", is already jumping on the opportunity to use Amazon’s otaku-friendly developments to bring even more manga to the West.
Digital Manga announced that they are looking into subscription based models for digital downloads, which would allow tablet users unlimited access to a digital library of quality manga titles for a flat fee. Amazon’s new tablet could vastly cut overhead and give US manga publishers, like Digital Manga, more capital to invest in aspects other than printing. According to Amazon, their newest Kindle can hold around 700 titles, far under the amount Digital Manga has in their library.
While other publishers have apps, Digital Manga has a wide array of titles from G to 18+, has been publishing Japanese manga and light novels in the US for 20 years now. Unlike their competitors, Digital Manga has never shied away from publishing titles for a mature audience, with everything from family classics like "Astroboy," to violent action packed series like "Berserk," to adult titles for Project Hentai. Companies like Apple usually forbid any kind of risque themes in any app available on their device, which hinders many publishers who look to appeal to a wide range of audiences. Digital Manga has the digital files for their titles for direct digital download for tablets without the restrictions caused by an app, but Amazon's new Kindle has made it even more conducive to the manga loving community with their storage update.
Digital Manga, true to their name, has been publishing titles for digital download for 8 years, but with new tablet advancements, the shift from paper to digital is encroaching even among seasoned fans, similar to how Netflix changed the format from physical rental to unlimited streaming. Like Digital Manga, Netflix also was able to expand its user base by catering to mature consumers with original and licensed titles that dealt with controversial subjects. Using Kickstarter to fund niche and classic works like Osamu Tezuka’s manga, Digital Manga has jumped on using community engagement as well as new content delivery methods to bridge the gap between Japanese and Western audiences.
With print, the production time for manga from Japan to translators to editors to local bookstore to online retailer is exponentially higher than digital file downloads, which can turn off a community that is increasingly coming used to instant and fast. Listening to their tech-savvy consumers, Digital Manga is fighting for more titles from Japanese publishers for digital download.
“We’re working with publishers in Japan to get Western audiences more access to digital title rights to manga, and this new Kindle seems to be speeding up the process,” says spokesperson Rebecca Bolen. “Manga is making headway as a new mainstream media platform in the US and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”
For more information, check out Digital Manga here: