If you’re into Japanese games, you’ve probably heard of DeNa, a web giant in Japan. You’ll hear them more now that they have launched a manga reader for your smartphone.
Manga Box is a free manga e-reader available for the iPhone and Android. At launch, it has already featured 28 titles. Among them are Kindaichi Case Files by Seimaru Amagi and Billion Dogs by Muneyuki Kaneshiro. By the looks of it, you’ll get to read content from popular manga artists as well as all the original manga series from them. There will also be spinoffs. One of which is “Spoof on Titan”, a parody of the 2013 hit manga, Attack on Titan.
Content are both available in English and Japanese. You can actually choose if you want to read the manga in English or in its native Japanese text. Do that by just toggling the language settings on the launch page.
In Manga Box, each manga chapter is called an episode. These episodes are updated daily. This means, that when you are done with the latest chapter, you’ll have to wait tomorrow (or next week) for the next one. According to DeNA, up to five episodes can be added every day, though the 5 manga that is updated everyday varies. This means that the manga you’re reading might be updated next week.
The project will be lead by Shin Kibayashi as its editor in chief.
For the manga evangelists, you might not know Kibayashi, but you’ll probably know his pen names. As Seimaru Amagi, he worked on Detective School Q. As Yuya Aoki, he worked on the hit manga series Getbackers, which was eventually turned to an ultra-popular anime. As Ryu Ryumon, he serves as the writer for Bloody Monday, a hit series about loans and deception.
How Manga Box plan to monetize
Being a free app on the iPhone, DeNA plans to monetize it by adding targeted ads between the pages in the manga. It can be that after reading some 10 pages, the next page will be an advertisement.
The reader sees the advertisement and DeNA charges by Cost Per Impression (CPM). When the ad is clicked, it won’t load in-app, but instead, loads in the smartphone’s native browser or on the iTunes and PlayStore, if it wants you to download an app. Also, the company plans to add a paywall once the manga’s first 100 pages have been published.
Other monetization plans for the app include the following:
- Selling the manga in eBook and printed form
- Manufacturing merchandise related the manga
- Anime and movie adaptations of the popular series
The company also plans on translating the content into other languages. This can lead to further market adoption, as more people will be enticed to download it because the language barrier will be lifted.
However, it might have some adult content that you otherwise would not want to see your kid to see those accidentally in your MangaBox. This can be due to the difference in content and visual restrictions in Japan and outside it.
A lot of manga reader app have appeared on the iPhone and Android since their inception. Here is the case in point. Often times, these manga reader apps do not offer the popular series, and often, they are unmoderated or they might feature unofficially translated content. This means that the manga artists who worked on them does not get his share in the monetization.
Hopefully with the backing of DeNA, Manga box will truly revolutionize the way we read and consume manga content, and make sure that the intellectual property owners are properly compensated with what they deserve.