Kodansha, the publishing firm behind standard titles like “Assault on Titan,” “The Seven Lethal Sins” and “Ghost within the Shell,” launched its new Okay Manga app on Wednesday for U.S. customers to learn a whole bunch of manga free of charge.
At launch, about 400 manga titles can be found, together with the three above titles we talked about in addition to “Tokyo Revengers,” “Fairy Tail,” “Battle Angel Alita,” “Hire-a-Girlfriend,” “Don’t Toy With Me Miss Nagatoro,” “Edens Zero,” “Flying Witch” and “Aho-Lady: A Clueless Lady,” amongst many others. Kodansha will proceed so as to add extra titles over time.
Out of the 400 titles, there will probably be 60 ongoing titles presently in serialization. The latest chapters will concurrently launch on the app, the corporate wrote in its announcement.
Notably, all these titles have been formally translated by professionals, so English-speaking customers not have to go to pirate websites the place the free manga is commonly translated by followers. In reality, most of the manga titles provided on Okay Manga have by no means been translated into English earlier than, Yuta Hiraoka, challenge chief for Okay Manga, instructed TechCrunch. That is the primary motive why Okay Manga took over two years to create the app, Hiraoka added.
As manga gross sales proceed to see an upward pattern within the U.S., now could be the proper time for Kodansha to launch its U.S.-based app. In 2022 alone, there have been 28.4 million copies bought, solidifying manga’s place as a significant participant within the comedian/graphic novel market. Kodansha beforehand reported that its manga gross sales within the U.S. tripled final yr.
There are various manga apps — similar to VIZ Manga, Manga Plus and Crunchyroll Manga — that provide a choose variety of chapters free of charge earlier than customers are then prompted to join a subscription. Okay Manga, then again, does its free choice a bit of otherwise.
Kodansha’s new app has ticket and level programs, permitting readers to unlock further chapters.
For example, the app provides “Regular Tickets,” that are given to customers every day, and “Premium Tickets,” given to customers three or 4 instances per day by means of login bonuses or by watching video adverts. Regular tickets can solely be used on one title whereas premium tickets final three days and can be utilized on a number of titles.
One ticket unlocks one chapter. Customers can solely use their tickets on titles with the orange ticket image subsequent to them.
Factors are one other means for customers to unlock chapters. Like tickets, these will also be earned by watching adverts– every commercial provides customers 50 factors. Okay Manga additionally grants them 5 factors in the event that they learn sure titles.
As soon as a consumer unlocks a chapter with factors, they will entry it indefinitely by means of their account. And if a consumer runs out of factors, they will all the time buy them with actual cash. One level prices 1 cent, so customers can spend $1 and get 100 factors.
Nonetheless, one draw back is that one chapter can price both 69 or 99 factors. The variety of factors per chapter varies, relying on the title and when the chapter was launched. (Older chapters sometimes require fewer factors than newer chapters.)
The app additionally provides some titles that provide “all the time free” chapters, the corporate famous, and don’t require tickets or factors.
In 2015, Kodansha launched its first manga app, Magapoke (journal pocket), for Japanese readers solely. The app presently has 5 million month-to-month lively customers and 20 million app installs.
Okay Manga is nearly similar to Magapoke, together with the ticket and level programs, suggestion options, replace part on newly launched chapters, search operate, style tabs and the choice so as to add titles to a favorites record. Nonetheless, the U.S. app doesn’t have a remark part for customers to assessment manga and work together with each other. Kodansha plans to launch the function within the close to future, Hiraoka instructed us.