Tag Archives: Manga

Manga on your iphone/itouch?

Anime News Network featured a news story about Voice Bank, a software company based in Japan, that wants to put manga at your fingertips. Back in July, Voice Bank demonstrated software to convert digital manga to fit the iphone screen, and was seeking partners to deliver content in the US. Then just a few days ago in Hong Kong, showed off digital manga available through Safari (the iphone web browser), as the Digital Manga Project. Right now, it is still just an experiment, as they are continuing to research the best way to deliver the content over a WiFi connection as well as new hardware and software.

Now, I’m not a big iphone/ipod fan. I don’t care for Steve Jobs and his totalitarian attitudes towards his customers, ie. limiting iphones to AT&T, not allowing phones to be unlocked or have third party apps and brick the phones of people who do with itunes updates. But I do have to admit what Voice Bank and the Digital Manga Project have done actually looks pretty good.

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The image is clean and is easily seen on the screen, unlike the conversions Tokyopop did of their OEL manga for the Sony E-Reader.

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Despite the size difference between screens (Sony is 6 in, iphone is 3.5 in), the iphone just looks better with it’s brighter white screen that really makes the art stand out. This is more like the printed page. I may change my mind once dialog is added to the iphone. But for right now, it’s way more impressive than the Sony E-Reader. I still won’t buy an iphone/itouch though.

The e-ink technology of the Sony E-Reader may be fine for just the written word, but for pictures, and manga especially, it needs to look as good as a printed book to be successful. Manga sells just as much on it’s images as it does story and characters. For e-manga to really take off, portable readers need to be able to duplicate the printed experience. If Voice Bank could do what it did on the iphone, for the Sony E-Reader, Amazon Kindle, or even portable devices like the palm, I think there could be a real market for digital manga.

Viz's Vampire Knight to become Anime

Anime News Network has announced that the latest issue of Hakusensha’s LaLa shojo magazine has announced that the Vampire Knight manga, created by Matsuri Hino and published by Viz Media in the US will become an anime to be shown in Japan.

Vampire Knight, published in Viz’s Shojo Beat magazine, is already very popular with girls here in the US. There are websites devoted to the characters and manga, as well as fans dressing up as characters at anime conventions. The bishonen (pretty) boys that make up most of the series is one reason for it’s popularity. Another is it’s school-horror theme. The story takes place at Cross Academy that has two class; the Day Class and the Night Class. Only a select few know that the Night Class is made up of exclusively vampires. We follow Yuki Cross, the adopted daughter of Headmaster, Zero, a latent vampire who keeps his urges at bay by drinking Yuki’s blood (against the academy’s rules), and Kaname, the vampire that saved Yuki, and considers her his. This is a shojo manga that has all the sexiness of vampires combined with hot boys and high school problems. Expect to see this licensed real fast.

PR: Viz Gets REAL

At the opening of the new Kinokuniya Bookstore in New York, Viz announced the licensing of another of Takehiko Inoue’s manga, REAL, a sports manga with a twist; Wheelchair Basketball. With the mangaka present in a rare appearance, Viz announced that this lastest manga by Takehiko would join Vagabond and Slam Dunk in the Viz library.

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