News Commentary

Commentary: 37 Japanese Publishers To Open American Manga Portal

Yesterday, ANN reported that 37 manga companies would collaborate to open a manga portal for the western market. This includes some of the biggest publishers in Japan, such as Kodansha, Shueisha, and Shogakukan. I see this as both a fantastic show of goodwill, as well as a brilliant defensive maneuver.

As a show of goodwill, the manga publishers will be helping to get more manga to the west faster. If the pricing is right, this could help to satisfy the appetites of fans looking for the latest and greatest from Japan. The publishers involved represent every popular niche, and a pretty much all major franchises on the market.

As a defensive move, this pretty much erodes a majority of justifications for scanlations. In addition, a steady supply of titles in a central location could create a situation where it is not only more convenient, but also more logical to purchase legally. If the publishers provide a steady supply a steady stream of titles, and keep prices fair, the situation will be nearly win-win for the publishers and the fans all at once, since fans will get what they want, and the publishers will get their take at the same time.

Of course, given how Japan’s previous forays into the US have gone, this could also end in disaster from a combination of hubris, starvation, and high prices. While I hope this isn’t the case, I have to keep it in mind as a distinct possibility.

About the author

Samantha Ferreira

Samantha Ferreira is Anime Herald’s founder and editor-in-chief. A Rhode Island native, Samantha has been an anime fan since 1992, and an active member of the anime press since 2002, when she began working as a reviewer for Anime Dream. She launched Anime Herald in 2010, and continues to oversee its operations to this day. Outside of journalism, Samantha actively studies the history of the North American anime fandom and industry, with a particular focus on the 2000s anime boom and bust. She’s a huge fan of all things Sakura Wars, and maintains series fansite Combat Revue Review when she has free time available. When not in the Anime Herald Discord, Samantha can typically be found on Bluesky.

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