Manga Magazines Continue to Go Digital - Ebook Version of Bessatsu Shonen Magazine Releases on Same Day as Print Version

On April 9, a digital version of Kodansha’s popular monthly manga magazine Bessatsu Shonen Magazine began. It is now available on major ebook stores. Both the print version and digital version of the May issue of Bessatsu Shonen Magazine released simultaneously on April 9. Aside from the exclusion of a section of advertisements, the contents of the digital version and print version are identical. Above all, all the manga titles in the print version are also published in the digital version. From here on, Kodansha will distribute a digital version of each monthly issue as well as back issues. This is likely to make users who want to catch up on missed reading and past works happy.

Bessatsu Shonen Magazine launched in the autumn of 2009, so it has a rather short history. However, in addition to the huge hit work Attack on Titan (Hajime Isayama), the magazine has churned out many popular works including Dōbutsu no Kuni (Makoto Raiku) and The Flowers of Evil (Shūzō Oshimi). Its large volume is also a selling point. For example, including all 31 serialized works, the May 2014 issue spans close to 1,000 pages, a thickness of 4.8 centimeters. Because of its size, storing it can be an issue as can taking it with you to read on the go. The digital version was created in response to such needs.

The release date of the first digital issue of the magazine also coincided with the release of both the paper and digital versions of the 13th volume of Attack on Titan. Because of this, the magazine features specials on various Attack on Titan spin-off works. Five Attack on Titan works including the original manga, Shingeki! Kyojin Chūgakkō, Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, Attack on Titan: No Regrets, and Sungeki no Kyojin are published in the May issue. Another selling point is the approaching conclusion of The Flowers of Evil.

Also, a price has been set at 500 yen for the digital version at many ebook stores, which is the same price as the paper version without tax. Digital versions tend to have a cheaper price than the paper versions, but it seems there is a way of thinking that the price should be the same due to the differences in how the media is conveyed.

Compared to other print publications, magazines are slower to become digitized. However, there has been a sudden movement toward the digital trend recently by manga magazines. Smartphone manga magazine services are being created, such as DeNA’s Manga Box and Kadokawa’s ComicWalker. On the other hand, existing manga magazines are also quickly jumping on the digital bandwagon.

At the forefront of this is Kodansha which has already launched a digital version of Morning that is released simultaneously with the print version. Continuing this trend, the digital version of Evening will debut on April 22. It seems that the standard for manga magazines is that the digital and print versions be released at the same time. Shueisha is also exploring a new digital business with the digital version of Shonen Jump.

It’s clear to see that many users up till now have been swept up by the mobile and smartphone manga magazine trend. From here on, there may be a movement toward increased users due to the addition of digital devices through which media is conveyed.

Bessatsu Shonen Magazine Official Site

Source: animeanime

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