Tag Archives: digital manga

Traveling With Manga

As I leave for my trip tomorrow, I find myself with a bit of a dilemma. Do I pack manga or not? I wish I could bring enough for the entire trip, but doing so would probably mean packing more than one suitcase and nowadays that’s going to cost a lot of money.

Still, I’ve tried really hard to bring a good library to keep me entertained. Once I did it for a month I spent studying Spanish in Havana, Cuba. I wound up giving half of my library to a Cuban comic book fan in desperate need of more current material and the other half got ruined by rain leaking into my bedroom. If I’m lucky, I’ll stumble upon manga during my trip. I remember when I went to Argentina and wound up stumbling upon Cardcaptor Sakura being sold at ordinary new stands in the street. But I’ve tried to stop bringing much manga on my trips because it’s simply tough to bring so many heavy books when your trips are as active as the ones I usually go on…

Nevertheless, It’s tough to go without a manga fix for a long period of time, so here are my suggestions. I’m going to base them on the length and nature of the trip, but first, a suggestion that covers any sort of traveling you might do:

If you have an e-reader or other device that can play anime or allow you to read manga (without wireless handy), load it up and USE IT.

Man, I wish I had an e-reader. Maybe next year.

Now then!

For most trips, but especially if you’re flying:

-Try to avoid bringing more than 5-10 manga if you can manage it. Manga is heavy and airlines like to charge for luggage when they can. Domestic flights are usually the worst culprits, charging for every piece of luggage check, but international flights will also charge if you go overweight. You’ll also want to pack light if you expect to be doing a lot or expect to be shopping. You’ll want room in your luggage for all your goodies.

-Try paperback light novels. They’re lighter than manga, but are written in similar style. There are more than a few out in English including Twelve Kingdoms, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and the more mature Haikasoru line from Viz.

-Heck, try reading normal novels. There are a number of splendid books out there. I’m particularly fond of Terry Pratchett and his Discworld series at the moment, so I’ve gotten a bunch of his novels for my trip.

-If you’re studying Japanese, bring your dictionary and a couple of tankobon. It takes a lot longer when you’re trying to comprehend something in another language, so your entertainment value will be stretched further and you’ll improve your vocabulary!

For trips to conventions:

-I really only have one suggestion for this one- just bring some magazines for the trip over and then buy your fill of entertainment for the trip back. I always like to pack light for conventions anyway.

For boring trips to grandma’s:

-If you’ve got the space to do so, bring as much as you’d like to keep yourself entertained. But, if you can, see if you can’t get someone to take you to a local bookstore so you can stock up and only have to haul a heavy load one way.

-Sneak over to your cousin’s place, borrow their computer and read some digital manga. Oh, hey, look, here’s a bunch of FREE and LEGAL manga to read online.

That’s really it, there’s not a lot to packing manga for trips beyond common sense and a bit of cleverness.

And with that I’m off. You can look forward to a few guest posts in the next two weeks and perhaps a quick word from me when I can fit it in. Perhaps I’ll go looking for the Thai manga scene (I’ve been told they have one, but I’m not sure if Laos does) in between riding elephants and looking for tigers. :D

(Yeah, I’m excited for the tigers and the elephants too.)

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Square Enix Launches Online Manga Store

Hey everyone, I just got this press release from Square Enix and thought I’d share. Normally I wouldn’t post just straight PR copy, but I don’t have the time to really sit and analyze it what with deadlines looming and packing for my trip tomorrow.

What I can comment on is that a) the price seems a little high to me, although I feel like $5.99 is around the digital manga industry standard price…And it’s only a SALE price? You mean it’s going to be higher than that normally? And b) you have to install something onto your computer in order to view the  e-books, which just seems very old-tech to me.

But still, this is just their launch, so perhaps Square Enix will figure out that perhaps they need to make some more changes. Like making the manga available on e-readers for that price…I hope manga publishers will soon recognize that manga buyers are going to want to KEEP their digital copies around.

Please let me know what you think in the comments section! (It looks like they’re bringing Pandora Hearts and Bamboo Blade out in January.)


Market-leading titles including Fullmetal Alchemist and Soul Eater

Now Available Via Digital Distribution

Special Sale Price Now Available for a Limited Time

LOS ANGELES (Dec. 17, 2010) – Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of SQUARE ENIX® interactive entertainment products in North America, today announced the launch of its online manga store, where users and fans can view electronic editions of popular Square Enix manga series, such as Fullmetal Alchemist® and Soul Eater®. Users can access the store through the SQUARE ENIX MEMBERS website, a free-to-register membership site operated by local subsidiaries of Square Enix (http://publications.na.square-enix.com/na/us/top).

Through the new service, SQUARE ENIX aims to provide a global audience with easy access to localized versions of its popular manga titles through streaming. Also, through cooperation with regional localization/publishing companies, SQUARE ENIX will endeavor to promote both print and online versions of its manga titles globally. Furthermore, it is the company’s aim for the official online distribution service to serve as a deterrent against illegal downloading and piracy.

Anchored by established series in the United States, the online distribution service will continue to provide manga titles that will appeal to readers of the region (further details outlined below). Starting today, the initial lineup in the United States will be four titles, including Fullmetal Alchemist and Soul Eater, available at the special sale price of $5.99 for a limited time. The first update is scheduled for January 11, 2011. New titles will be added bi-monthly after January.

The community services offered through the SQUARE ENIX MEMBERS website will not only allow members to enjoy manga titles, but also supply a public forum where fans can provide commentary and exchange opinions about their favorite series. The site will also have special offers where members can download free wallpapers. Non-members can get a taste of the Japanese manga experience as well through free previews of the first chapters from each of the available titles.

Square Enix is dedicated to creating new entertainment experiences via online communities, shopping sites and other Internet-based business operations, and digital distribution of manga is one such endeavor toward that goal. The company plans to continue delivering a wide variety of content to an expanding global customer base through numerous outlets and multiple forms of media.

For details on the manga distribution service in the United States, please refer to the following:

Online Manga Store Details

Service Launch December 17, 2010
Fees and Pricing Special Launch Sale Price: $5.99 Note: Access to the online manga store requires registration with the SQUARE ENIX MEMBERS service (registration free of charge). Current membership: over 1,700,000 members worldwide (as of December 1, 2010).
Access to the free previews available on the preview site does not require SQUARE ENIX MEMBERS registration. Payment method is credit card only.
System Requirements Supported Operating Systems / Browsers Windows XP / Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 or above, Firefox 3.x Windows Vista / Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 or above, Firefox 3.x, Safari 3.x Note: The newest Adobe Flash Player plug-in (version 10 or above) is required for all browsers. Display 1024 x 768 resolution or higher Internet Connection ADSL or faster
Official URL http://publications.na.square-enix.com/na/us/top


SQUARE ENIX MEMBERS is Square Enix’s free-to-register membership website. It currently has over 1.7 million members worldwide (as of December 1, 2010). Members have access to various contents based on Square Enix titles. Members can create their own profile page and interact with other members. (http://member.square-enix.com/na/)

About Square Enix, Inc.

Square Enix, Inc. develops, publishes, distributes and licenses SQUARE ENIX®, EIDOS® and TAITO® branded entertainment content throughout the Americas as part of the Square Enix Group. The Square Enix Group operates a global network of leading development studios and boasts a valuable portfolio of intellectual property, including: FINAL FANTASY®, which has sold over 97 million units worldwide; DRAGON QUEST®, which has sold over 54 million units worldwide; TOMB RAIDER®, which has sold over 35 million units worldwide; and the legendary SPACE INVADERS®. Square Enix, Inc. is a U.S.-based, wholly-owned subsidiary of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd.

More information on Square Enix, Inc. can be found at http://www.square-enix.com/na/.

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Digital Manga Publishing Opens Digital Manga Guild

Earlier this evening, I got promotional e-mail from Digital Manga Publishing that advertised a new concept called the Digital Manga Guild, a site that uses crowd-sourcing to bring un-translated manga to readers. Not only that, but participants in the program are required to apply before they can work on manga and get paid for sales of any work that they do. Here’s an excerpt from the site:

Welcome to the Digital Manga Guild presented by Digital Manga, Inc. — an online open platform where dedicated manga fans can gather to work, talk, and to also be part of a manga revolution. Digital Manga is looking for a few good people to help build an online community of manga localizers to assist in bringing out thousands of untranslated titles to fans everywhere.

With the changing tide of the economy and the high cost and slow pace of producing print editions of your favorite manga, Digital Manga, Inc. has moved forward into this new digital venture to localize and produce manga online! Digital Manga has made agreements with six major Japanese publishers to provide content to our online platform, planned for a 2011 launch. Hundreds of untranslated titles will need to be adapted to the rest of the speaking world. That is where you, the fans step in.

We are in search of groups and individuals to help us with the process, NOW! This entails the need for translators to translate manga from Japanese to English, as well as other languages; editors/rewriters to clean up the translations for a smooth read; and letterers to retouch and typeset text. Once a title is completed, it will be digitally distributed through our platform for purchase. With your help in this process, we can supply more manga faster, to feed everyone’s manga addiction!

Registered groups or individuals chosen to work on projects will be assigned some of their favorite, unreleased titles. By becoming a member, you will be offering services to Digital Manga, Inc, and will be eligible to join our revenue share program. Members who work on specific titles will receive a revenue percentage from all future sales of that book. This means you get to share in our profits. However, no party — Digital Manga, Inc., the Japanese publishers, or you (the localizers) — will get paid until a sales transaction is made. That means, we are all in this together!

Join today to become one of the pioneers in revolutionizing the way we make manga. Pre-registration is open, and Digital Manga, Inc. will contact members to provide further details.

Woah, woah, woah! I have to admit I have SO MANY QUESTIONS right now. For one, will anyone be allowed to join? I sent in an application for an editorial/rewrite position, so it’s up to DMP who gets to work on manga and get paid. How much people get paid is another question I have, as well as how much are these manga going to cost? Is this that new Crunchyroll manga platform thingy we’ve been hearing about? How is DMP getting the licenses to distribute these manga? Who chooses what manga gets worked on? Will fans be able to request titles? Is this a way for scanlators to go legit, and, if so, are they still allowed to do scanlations on the side?

You can sign up as an editor/rewriter, translator (for many different languages, so if you know Chinese or Spanish or some other language, put that down!) or a letterer/touch-up artist, either as an individual or a group. I’ve already signed up myself, so if my application is approved (how long does that take, I wonder? I should update the personal site I gave as a reference to my work this weekend!) I will do my best to share any details I can give in the future.

What do you think, readers? This clearly has the potential to be a big development for the manga industry digital presence and I am super-excited to see what comes of it.


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