national

Japan comic publisher starts English version online to fight bootlegs

17 Comments

Shogakukan Inc, in a rare move as a Japanese publisher, has started to allow people in the United States to read English versions of ''manga'' comic stories on the Internet at the same time as it publishes the original printed versions in Japan. The quick distribution of the ''authorized'' English version is aimed at discouraging wrongdoers from making illegal replicas of Japanese comics mainly in the United States and Europe, the publishing house said.

Bootleg versions of Japanese manga comics have often been seen published online just several days after the authentic vernacular version has come out in Japan, a practice which has been a source of headaches for manga publishers of Japan.

Shogakukan has shown ''Rin-ne'' by popular manga artist Rumiko Takahashi on a website of VIZ Media LLC based in San Francisco.

Registered viewers can read Takahashi's work in English on VIZ Media's website free of charge, Shogakukan said. But they can browse the website only in the United States and the online manga cannot be printed.

Shogakukan, another Japanese publisher Shueisha Inc and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions Co set up VIZ Media to publish Japanese manga books overseas in English translations.

© Japan Today

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

17 Comments
Login to comment

But they can browse the website only in the United States and the online manga cannot be printed.

Anything that can be seen on a screen can be printed.

A proxy server can be used in any country to access the comic.

You lose again!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yeah just means the comics and be bootleged 6 days earlier than b4... with less the effort than b4.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The next excuse will come in 5-10 days on why they dont want to pay for it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

neverknow2 / JeromeInJapan: Why are you against comic artists earning a living?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

nobody outside Japan and USa wants to read this low class literature

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, it's free. However Scanlations are free, downloadable and translated by rabid fans that work for free, count with native English speakers to do the final editing and are years ahead of the corporations considering the incredible amount of manga already translated and made available by Scanlators. Once the files are uploaded there is no telling where they may be re-uploaded or how many times, or to how many people they'll be distributed.

Scanlators are fans doing translations on a voluntary basis, and as such they make the best translations they can. Their English phrasing makes sense, for one. Also the idiomatic expressions utilized as equivalents of those in Japanese come close more than enough. In summary, the Japanese companies neglected the overseas market and lost it. Perhaps they didn't realize on time such a market existed, but that is hard to believe considering geisha, Fuji-san and manga are the prevalent image of Japan overseas.

I think the companies will need to find another approach if they want people to switch their manga-reading habits... but it's a situation similar to that of movies and music. Movies for example - it's incredible how fans extract the subs of a movie from the DVD and translate them to another language where no official subs are available just to share it. Worse even when there is no subs and the people type them themselves, then translate them. Translating manga is a WHOLE LOT of work. Why don't these Japanese companies approach the scanlation staff and offer them a job? Their quality of translation is professional. If you can't stop them, invite them to join you! I think that would make more sense. I admit though there is a very large crowd, it'd be impossible to hire them all. Anyway, it's just an idea.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

neverknow2 / JeromeInJapan: Why are you against comic artists earning a living?

Not against it. It's a good industry that should be supported. I think these ancient executives who have so much control in Japan, need to take a realistic approach to piracy rather than a 'fuedal' approach. (IE: assuming that because the boss said so, everyone will obey)

I can't help but feel the finger is once again being pointed at the evil foreigner.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

nobody outside Japan and USa wants to read this low class literature

I know people in latin america and europe that read manga.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

neverknow2: what is a realist attempt? Seriously what ever reason you need to pirate people will say.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Usually companies want to keep people from stealing because it is cutting into their profit. I doubt they will see any increase in sales because of this. Sounds like more of an ego play, or some out of touch executive's decision. I somehow viewing manga online in a non printable or non downloadable format will be of any value. I'm into manga myself, but I suspect at least half the thrill is the teamwork involved, which I understand is fairly extensive. And of course reading hacked Japanese cartoons is pretty exciting, I would suppose.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One of the main problems is how expensive the manga are when they get here to America. Just because people are willing to pay a premium price for a Toyota, doesn't mean that they'll do the same for a comic.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If the Japanese were smart at all, they would let the fan scanlators scan it, hire one or two good Japanese-English translators, have them re-edit it. Then promptly print them in that language to be sold in the country of that language.

The scanlators would either stop because people making a profit off their work, or the publisher will save money on translators and make money on releasing it in print material at god speed.

Stream lining this process would bring great amounts of money. It goes back to common sense. Why do more work than you have to, make someone else do it, and reap the benefits.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So now people will be selling user ID's and passwords.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

nobody outside Japan and USa wants to read this low class literature

Outside of Japan the biggest market is France. The spread to Europe and the US happened after gaining popularity in Asian countries.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Muki_Muki: First it was "it's not in english", now it's too expensive...the endless list of excused to pirate continues.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"the online manga cannot be printed" - Errr... am pretty sure it will be able to be printed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

LoveUSA one could say the same about american comics but in the large output of manga/comics there are a few pearls.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites