While we’ve been covering many digital comics developments as ComiXology becomes Kindle Unlimited, manga publishers are also looking for new digital platforms – especially since reading comics digitally is already the norm in Japan and Korea.
Here in the US, Kodansha is about to launch KManga, a new app for buying and reading their books, which include blockbusters like Attack on Titan, Drops of God, Princess Jellyfish, Fairytale and many more. KManga will be both a mobile app for Android and IOS and a desktop reading platform, launching on May 10th.
But just last Friday, Kodansha launched a browser based manga store, at their Kodansha.us website. The site offers some free comics – the first three chapters of AoT, for instance – and selected free first chapters, including Junji Ito’s Cat Diary so what are you waiting for!
One other notable Easter Egg on the site: it’s powered by InkyPen, all-you-can-read comic and manga subscription service that’s thus far been available exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.
Based in Norway, InkyPen already had a strong relationship with Kodansha, offering many of their titles on the Switch. They’ve been lying low in the Post-Comixology App Race, but this could signal that they are ready to move to other platforms, or perhaps be connected with the KManga launch.
While this is all guesswork, we can say that the new Kodansha site looks very nice! Customers have to sign up to get access to the store and free samples, but they get other perks, including special sales, previews, and a biweekly Spotlight Series. Kodansha also takes both credit cards and Paypal, which is quite convenient. And the reading experience is pretty easy, with all purchases stored in one place.
Manga publishers often play things close to the vest, and so does InkyPen. Is this the last team up we’ll see? Keep watching the skies.