Crunchyroll Manga — How to Make It Better!

I recently wrote about my experiences with the new, Crunchyroll manga section.  I find Crunchyroll’s foray into manga to be a good first step. The question then becomes, what else can Crunchyroll do to get better?  I have some thoughts there.

License for more countries!

While having license rights in 170 countries is good, I know I saw a lot of complaints online from folks in certain countries who have been blocked.  These are folks who check out English scanlations just as much as English-speaking folks do, so if they are denied a legal means of reading the manga in English, they’ll continue to turn to the scanlators, many of whom originate outside the U.S.  So getting licenses to more countries to allow them English access would be a good move.

This may end up being nearly impossible since I can see Crunchyroll being blocked in some countries by those who want to retain the option to license online versions there themselves, but who’ve got no real plans to do so. However, the mindset is, “Even if we don’t do this, we stop Crunchyroll from making money here, and we’ll call that a win.”

License more Kodansha manga titles for simulpub.

Interestingly enough, there are two manga titles that Kodansha Comics has licensed which REALLY should be on Crunchyroll’s simulpub list — xxxHOLiC Rei (CLAMP) and Genshiken Nidaime (KIO Shimoku).  I’m sure there are plenty more, but those two were at the top of my list.

License more manga titles other than Kodansha!

Don’t just go for Kodansha titles. Branch out. Grab manga titles from all over, Crunchyroll, as you do for anime. Granted, Kodansha titles will be easier since Kodansha Comics is doing strictly e-books, while someone like Viz is doing their own thing, both in terms of e-book and online. (One can get Viz’s most popular titles like One Piece when they come out in Japan, but only if one purchases the digital copy of the manga magazine the manga is published in for Japan.)  However, I think there could be a chance (a long shot to be sure) for Crunchyroll to try to get something like Hayate the Combat Butler (if they got the same translator Viz currently uses and followed the same adaptation scheme) since Viz still isn’t doing anything digitally with it, including putting the current chapter out when it is published in Japan.

Frankly, I’d love to to see the Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA manga licensed and put in the simulpub list, and that’s just for a start.  Kannagi needs to get in the simulpub group since Takenashi-sensei has returned to drawing the manga again. After Bandai pulled out of the U.S. market, this gives it an even higher priority as a license rescue title.

License rescue out of print manga titles!

Remember TokyoPop? Remember all of those manga titles they had which remain floundering after TP closed shop, unlikely to EVER be touched by anyone? How nice would it be to get to read Sgt. Frog again, which is still being published monthly in Japan, making it another nice simulpub title (and we’d get the four back volumes from where TP left off). Gakuen Alice only recently ended its run in Japan (June 2013). TokyoPop only got through volume 16, meaning we’d have 15 more volumes of new reading. That’s just for a start.

Remember Del Rey?  I’m sure many folks would love to read the final volumes Del Rey didn’t get to publish of School Rumble, or the single volume of School Rumble Z.

As I see it, putting up all of TokyoPop’s, Del Rey’s, Bandai’s, or even CPM’s abandoned titles would be a good thing, especially if they finish out said series or carried on with where the series left off. I wouldn’t mind seeing Record of Lodoss War manga titles back where folks could read them.

Make proper two page spreads!

One thing scanlators usually work hard at are two-page spreads. As such, a manga panel that extends over the two pages has an image that looks seamless.  Unfortunately, Crunchyroll just slaps the two pages in the two page mode, which is highly noticeable. I’d like to see Crunchyroll change how they do the two page mode so that instead of the manga viewer grabbing two pages and putting them together for a single display, it instead goes to a new image file which has to the pages put together properly for two page panel spreads.

In conclusion…

What Crunchyroll has done here is a good start. I did pay for a year’s subscription to support Crunchyroll’s efforts. I do hope that the Crunchyroll manga section continues to grow.  If they can expand their library with more simulpubs as well as out of print manga titles, while picking up titles from other publishers than Kodansha, I think that Crunchyroll will have a winner here.

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9 Responses to “Crunchyroll Manga — How to Make It Better!”

  1. I don’t understand why Simulpub don’t have proper two page spreads, Viz have that day one. Anyway, I pretty sure they will fix there problems, it just will take time.

  2. Anonymous says:

    How do you pay for a years sub?

  3. arimareiji says:

    …is it just me, or is this not exactly great news?

    “The Chernin Group has acquired a majority stake in Crunchyroll, a popular site for people to watch anime online, the company announced on Monday. TCG will now build Crunchyroll into a leading provider of all kinds of streaming video online, though anime remains the primary focus.”

    ““These guys have done a killer job for the last six years building the best place for anime online,” TCG president Jesse Jacobs told TheWrap. “They’ve just scratched the surface of what they can do.””

    http://www.thewrap.com/chernin-group-buys-stake-anime-site-crunchyroll-build-new-online-video-power/

    Maybe I’m being too cynical again… but to me, “They’ve just scratched the surface of what they can do” (and the fact Crunchyroll was apparently Chernin’s second choice after failing to buy Hulu) makes it sound like “though anime remains the primary focus” might be best taken with a big grain of salt.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I hear ya. I am also cautious about this because it sounds like they want to turn Crunchyroll into something more than anime/manga/J-drama. My experience with buyouts are usually not that positive. Some companies do fine, but they lose me because they decide to abandon things that made me support the company in the first place.

  4. You know, for kids! says:

    I wonder if they could license from Ichijinsha’s Comic Zero Sum Zōkan Ward. I’m hoping for them to release Bokura no Kiseki.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      You could try to make a suggestion to Crunchyroll. That way they’d know someone wants to read said manga.

  5. […] at 09:00 Japan time). I’ve even offered suggestions to Crunchyroll manga on how they could make things better, a few of which they’ve done (not that I take credit for that, you understand). Yet of late, […]

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