With the iPad about the rock the e-publishing world, Japan again shows that it can do things a bit differently.
Later this month, Manga no Shinbun 漫画の新聞 or Comic Newspaper will hit all three major cellphone networks. A subscription based service, Manga no Shinbun will translate the news into the more popular comic format. While Japan enjoys one of the highest literacy rates in the world, Manga, Japanese comics dominate the market of printed media consumed. And while ebook readers have been exiled from the shores of Japan since the epic failure of Sony’s Librie, comics via cellphone have been a steadily growing market for the last couple of years.
While Natsume Soseki might object, Keitai Manga may indeed be the future of Japanese literature for the busy, urban workers of Tokyo. Increws K.K. is set up to make sure this market will stay informed with all the top news and up to date stories. Utilizing what I must assume are the fastest artists in the world, Manga no Shinbun transforms front page stories to comic narrative. Ok, so maybe it will take more than a few minutes, and the storytelling might be a bit shallow. The press release included a page from a story covering Brazil winning the 2012 Olympic bid and it’s basically a comic of a TV newscaster reading the story.
Still if it helps inform the subway dwelling keitai-zoku of Japan about the world beyond a 2.1inch screen, I’m all for it.
Manga no Shinbun will be available on Softbank, Docomo, and Au networks this week and will cost 210 yen a month. No word yet about localization of Barack Obama’s Spiderman.
For more info, check out http://newsmanga.jp/