Negima!’s Akamatsu-sensei Leads The Way with Legal Japanese Online Manga Publishing

Negima!’s Akamatsu-sensei Leads The Way with Legal Japanese Online Manga Publishing

Love HinaFor a long time now, I’ve been wanting to see more inroads to legal, online publication of manga, both in the U.S. and in Japan.  So when I hear that on the 17th, Akamatsu-sensei has a new initiative for legal publication of out of print manga in Japan, I was pretty excited.  (You can check out Akamatsu-sensei’s blog for the info and look for the “★重要なお知らせ” posting.)

The idea is simple and brilliant — take manga titles that are now out of print, obtain permission from the manga-ka to upload them to the website they’ve established as PDF files, then share them with the world FOR FREE!  Ad revenue will pay for the upkeep costs of the site and pay the manga-ka too.  Better still, there will be NO DRM (Digital Rights Management) crap to deal with!  How freaking cool is that?  I loathe DRM with a passion and it shows common sense on the part of Akamatsu-sensei to not upload files burdened with this hideousness.

Granted, unless you can read Japanese, this won’t help you much.  However, I’m looking at a bigger picture here.  Hopefully, Akamatsu-sensei and other manga-ka will have an English version of the site for out of print manga titles in the west.  I’m sure there would be amateur translators who’d be willing to donate their translation skills to this legal project much as there are currently for scanlation projects.  As I see it, this is an exciting step in the right direction when it comes to legal, online distribution of manga.

I’m a bit surprised that Akamatsu-sensei’s own Love Hina title is one of the first to go up on this new site.  I see it still for sale in Japan, but I do notice that every volume shows limited numbers of copies left.  So, maybe Kodansha (講談社) is in on the deal as well (at least at some level) or maybe Akamatsu-sensei has that kind of clout to make Love Hina go out of print just for this new website.  Regardless, I just hope that this doesn’t interfere with a potential re-release of the title in the U.S., complete with new translations.

So, I’ll be watching this with keen interest and hope that this is not only a success, but also translates into a version for us English speakers.  ^_^

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

11 Responses to “Negima!’s Akamatsu-sensei Leads The Way with Legal Japanese Online Manga Publishing”

  1. Cube says:

    When I heard of this I was pretty excited as well. This just cements Akamatsu as my favorite mangaka ever.

  2. Ultimaniac says:

    As someone from another news site said:

    “You feel that? That refreshing tingle on your toes? Hell must have frozen over.” XD

    Crossing fingers for english version.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It’d definitely be great to get legal DRM-free ways to read manga online. Hopefully a big name like Akamatsu can make it happen.

    ===
    Regardless, I just hope that this doesn’t interfere with a potential re-release of the title in the U.S., complete with new translations.
    ===

    To me this sounds a little hypocritical in the context of the article.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Negima isn’t out of print right

  5. Mz says:

    WOW! Akamatsu-sensei is even more godly now. Awesome!!

  6. Zeether says:

    I would LOVE to see an English release of this. It would be like GOG (Good Old Games) for manga.

    Heck, they could call it GOM for Good Old Manga…or just leave it as J-Comi.

  7. While I’m not a fan of digital media, Akamatsu-sensei’s way of distributing it is definitely the best way of doing so. This is great for something like Love Hina, a classic that has unfortunately gone out of print. Well, great for Japanese audiences (and non-Japanese audiences that can read Japanese). I too hope to see an English-language version of this.

    Personally, though, I’d rather see out of print series go back into print. I will always consider physical media to. Speaking of which, I really do hope Kodansha USA gets around to releasing Love Hina with new and improved translations for the North American manga market. That’ll probably be a long time coming, though.

  8. junior says:

    It could be a good way to get exposure for old series that haven’t gotten the attention that they probably deserved. We might even see some new stuff appear in the US as a result.

    Maybe we’ll finally get legal, translated releases of old classics such as Kimagure Orange Road?

    And on a completely unrelated note…

    Any plans to watch the first Macross Frontier movie (Macross Frontier – The False Songstress)? I realize that you hold certain incorrect *cough* views regarding the quality of the Macross Frontier TV series, but it’s probably still worthwhile to take a look. While there are many similarities with the TV series, there are also many differences and it’s not a straight retelling of the TV series.

    The second – and final – movie will be will be shown early next year. No idea when it will be made available for purchase.

  9. ivanov_2020 says:

    if i remember correctly this is not the first one that this happens.. i read somewhere long ago about another mangaka that done the exact same thing… few month ago i think.. my memory are pretty vague on where i read it..

    this is just another step for the dream of “multinational ad funded-manga publishing-that will obsolete the old fashioned publisher-free for any reader in the world-manga world”
    ^__^
    also another step on “non physical book world”… which is just very sad.. books gives a special feeling

  10. Anime Links says:

    OMG reading manga online is free We shouldn’t have to pay. lol…Thanks.

  11. AstroNerdBoy says:

    @Cube — Yep. He’s a good guy. I’d love to interview him but there’s that whole language barrier issue. ^_^;;;

    @Ultimaniac — *lol* @ quote. ^_^

    @Anon — To me this sounds a little hypocritical in the context of the article.

    Not at all. I want there to be a legal, online version of the manga in English. At the same time, I’m old school in that I still like a book in my hand. I’m just hoping that Kodansha doesn’t decide to just leave Love Hina in limbo and will at least republish the manga in the U.S. on an “on-demand” basis (with a fresh translation that is up to my standards).

    Anonymous said…

    Negima isn’t out of print right

    No, its not out of print and won’t be until well after the manga is over in Japan. In the U.S., Del Rey volumes should continue to be on the shelf for a time but who knows how long that will last.

    @Mz — Akamatsu-sensei does rock. ^_^

    @Zeether — Heh. “Good old manga.” ^_^

    @Shadow — Personally, though, I’d rather see out of print series go back into print.

    I would too but considering the age of the title (Love Hina in this case), I would be OK with an on-demand printing providing the print quality wasn’t crappy. At the same time, I want online versions and better still, these PDF files means I can download them and put them on any device I have that has software to read said files and “bingo!”

    junior said…

    It could be a good way to get exposure for old series that haven’t gotten the attention that they probably deserved. We might even see some new stuff appear in the US as a result.

    That would be my hope as well. Older series would be a start but I’d like to see this spread into more niche titles but that would be more targeted at the U.S. than Japan.

    Maybe we’ll finally get legal, translated releases of old classics such as Kimagure Orange Road?

    Oh, that would totally rule!


    Any plans to watch the first Macross Frontier movie

    I’ve been in a movie mood lately, so I guess I’ll put that on my list. Thanks for the reminder. ^_^

    @ivanov_2020 — I don’t think books will ever completely go away. In 1994, the publishing company I worked for stated that the books they published for the legal community would be going away as everyone bought their CD’s. At the time, I told the executive spouting this nonsense that if he thought that people wouldn’t still want physical books, he was wrong. Further, our published CD’s expired so that you were forced to continue to buy the upgrades whereas a book never had its pages disappear. Thus, another incentive to keep books. I was told to get on board with the program or find another job. Naturally, I was proven right as CD’s didn’t last very long with online, digital access being preferred. That said, the books are still being published, just in smaller numbers than before.

    My feeling is that as digital becomes more preferred thanks to devices like the iPad, printing of books will shift to a more “on-demand” feature with possibly the ability to customize your printing (for additional charges of course) so that maybe your manga is only printed for you in hardback and with the proper color pages re-inserted.

Leave a Reply to Anime Links Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Powered by WordPress