Square Enix announced on Monday that North American manga publisher Yen Press will become the digital distributor of their English-language manga.
Readers in over 200 countries will be able to download 175 manga titles in e-book form starting April 8. Titles can be download via Amazon, the Apple App store, Barnes and Noble, Google and Kobo. Any new volumes will be available as soon as they released. As an added bonus to readers, these e-book editions will contain color pages not available in the print versions.
The standard price for a manga volume will be $6.99 while omnibus editions will cost readers $12.99.
Some of the first titles available for download include Atushi Ohkubo’s “Soul Eater,” Yana Toboso’s “Black Butler” and Yoshiki Tonogai’s “Doubt.” As April progresses other titles will be made available, sch as Hiromu Arakawa’s “Fullmetal Alchemist,” Jun Mochizuki’s “Pandora Hearts,” Ryukishi07’s “Higurashi: When They Cry” and Hiroshi Takashige and DOUBLE-S’s “Until Death Do Us Part.”
When the service first launches there will be an introductory sale. During this sale first volumes for certain series, such as “Alice on Deadlines,” “B. Ichi,” “Bamboo Blade,” “Black Butler,” Fullmetal Alchemist,” “Higurashi,” “Pandora Hearts,” “Soul Eater,” “Sprial,” and “Sumomomo, Momomo,” will cost readers $2.99.
According to Polygon this partnership has also made it possible for the serialization of chapters previously unreleased in English for the series “Soul Eater Not!” by Atusushi Ohkubo and “Secret” by Yoshiki Tonogai.
“In much the same way that video streaming technologies transformed the way fans consume anime, the digital availability of manga content stands to revolutionize readers’ access to the material they love,” Yen Press vice president Kurt Hassler stated in a press statement. “Particularly exciting to us is the opportunity Square Enix has provided international audiences to enjoy and support the latest installments of continuing series at the same time as Japanese fans.”
Yen Press and Square Enix have previous experience with digital manga distribution. However Square Enix’s system was notoriously hard to use and constantly malfuncioning. Yen Press’s previous streaming service was the manga anthology magazine “Yen Plus,” which lasted until last December. Hopefully with the comfortable format of E-books and the worldwide availability, these series will gain new readers who were previously weren’t interested or turned to pirate sites.
Are you going to purchase any of these manga when they go on sale? Sound off in the comments below!