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New Alliance Aims to Revolutionize Japanese Manga Distribution Overseas

Japanese corporations unite to launch a groundbreaking digital manga distribution service in the U.S., set to debut in fall 2024
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In a historic move, NTT Docomo, Akatsuki, Media Do, and MyAnimeList have joined forces to establish a new digital manga distribution service specifically targeting overseas markets. This innovative partnership marks a significant step towards expanding the reach of Japanese manga globally.

Scheduled for launch in fall 2024, the new service will cater to a global audience by offering both horizontally-read works (conventional Japanese manga) and vertically-read works (popular on smartphones). This unique feature, coupled with dedicated apps for smartphones and PCs, promises to offer a seamless and engaging manga experience for users around the world.

Each partner brings invaluable expertise to the table:

  • NTT Docomo: Service operator and platform provider
  • Akatsuki: Leverages experience of Akatsuki, a vertical reading manga app
  • Media Do: Procures works through its extensive domestic and international e-book trading network
  • MyAnimeList: Provides data and marketing insights from its vast user base of anime and manga fans

The new service addresses a critical gap in the manga industry: a lack of a comprehensive platform for distributing official works overseas. While successful services like Shueisha’s MANGA Plus and KADOKAWA’s BOOK WALKER exist, they primarily focus on individual publishers. This new collaboration aims to offer a platform encompassing a vast array of manga titles from a wide range of publishers, potentially revolutionizing the overseas manga landscape.

The service’s success will hinge on its ability to secure a diverse catalog, including both vertically-read and traditionally formatted works, from major, mid-sized, and smaller publishers. By offering a comprehensive and diverse selection, the new service has the potential to significantly expand the global manga audience and solidify Japan’s position as a leading force in the comics industry.

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