Microsoft and Japanese publisher Shueisha have entered a partnership to improve the reach of e-manga internationally. While electronic manga has been available in Japan for some time now, according to AnimeNewsNetwork and animeanime.biz, the two are looking to offer manga via the Windows Marketplace for Mobile store in 28 countries, including the United States, starting in December. The initial offerings will be English and Japanese, and free, but they are looking at moving to a fee-based model early next year.
Suieisha is the publisher for many Japanese manga magazines incluiding Weekly Shonen Jump, Margaret, Ribon, and You. They have said there will be 20-30 titles offered by the publisher, and their first offering will be from Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama. Some other titles that have been published by Shueisha include Marmalade Boy, Full Moon wo Sagashite, Hana Yori Dango, One Piece, Hikaru no Go and Naruto, but Shueisha has yet to disclose whether any of these titles will be part of their offerings.
The electronic manga movement is definitely growing in light of this announcement and Sony’s move to add manga to the PlayStation Network for PSP download. Apple’s iPhone store also offers some manga for download including many OEL titles such as Svetlana Chmakova’s DramaCon.
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