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Anime & Manga / Classic manga taking off in digital market

http://blog-imgs-31.fc2.com/u/m/a/umanga/koma2_20100613134445.gif http://blog-imgs-46.fc2.com/u/m/a/umanga/koma2_20100829223202.gif
("Oishinbo" (story by Tetsu Kariya, art by Akira Hanasaki))

Multi-volume manga masterpieces published decades ago are seeing a resurgence in popularity on the e-book market.
New hardware platforms, such as smartphones and tablet computers, are bringing new readers to older works of manga, which are easier to digitize because they are less likely to compete with paper editions.
eBook Initiative Japan Co., the Tokyo-based operator of eBookJapan, one of Japan's largest e-book shops, said manga accounts for 80 percent of its 52,000 available titles.
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("Shizukanaru Don" (The quiet Don) by Tatsuo Nitta)

Last year's list of top sellers included long-running, middle-of-the-road manga that began to appear serially in magazines between the 1960s and the 1980s.
They included: "Oishinbo" (story by Tetsu Kariya, art by Akira Hanasaki), themed on gastronomy; "Shizukanaru Don" (The quiet Don) by Tatsuo Nitta, about a man who doubles as a company employee and the leader of a crime syndicate; and "Golgo 13" by Takao Saito, the story of a sniper.
Monthly sales of "Golgo 13" have quintupled over the last three years. Other multi-volume classics have also more than doubled their sales.

GOLGO13 Naifu Take The Wave GOLGO13 TV OP Full

eBook Initiative Japan's corporate performance improved drastically after it began distributing e-books to Apple Inc.'s iPhones in 2008 and to Android-based devices and Apple's iPads in 2010.
The company topped the 5-million mark in accumulated number of copies sold in August 2008. That number doubled to 10 million by January 2011.
At eBookJapan, the combined number of e-books sold for smartphones and tablet computers in the second half of 2010 was 6.13 times the corresponding number in the first half of the year.
The main customers of eBookJapan are in their 30s and 40s.

"People of generations that are unfamiliar with onetime long-sellers and bestsellers are embracing those works as something totally new to them," said Akira Takashima, managing director at eBook Initiative Japan. "Works that have lost none of their sheen and allure over a decade or two, much like Shakespeare's and Beethoven's works, have started to take off."
The prices per volume are mostly set between 400 and 600 yen ($5.20 and $7.80), or 20 to 30 percent cheaper than paper editions. An increasing number of customers are making bulk purchases of multi-volume series, such as "Golgo 13."

The e-book editions are beneficial both to the customers and the publishers. For customers, the e-books take up no space and are available in bulk even after their paper counterparts have disappeared from storefronts. Some eBookJapan customers have told the online shop's operator that they are thrilled to be able to carry all volumes of a manga series with them on vacations.
For publishers, e-books allow them to secure a stable income from sales of established works without competing against their paper editions.

By AS on Jan 17, 2012
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