Anime News

Digital Manga Goes Digital Launches Online Manga Rental
Date: 8/15/2008
Digital Manga Inc. has launched the Beta version of, the industry?s first publisher sponsored manga rental site. At the site customers will be able to view sample pages for free or the entire book by paying for a time-based rental. The contents are available for viewing on the emanga site for computers equipped with Adobe Flash players. The emanga site features a unique manga viewer that allows readers to view single pages, double-page spreads, or individual panels. Some content has been programmed to scroll automatically for a hands free viewing experience. Potential improvements include voiceover dialogue for some of the titles on the site.

Customers who ?rent? a title will have access to it for a limited amount of time?currently 72 hours. If customers rent the same book a second time they are automatically upgraded to an ?unlimited rental? with no time restrictions.

Current content on the site is a mixture of yaoi titles (L?Ecole Solitaire, Seven, Party, Love Training, Lost Boys, Steal Moon Vol.1) and how-to volumes (Let?s Draw Manga: Shoujo Characters, Let?s Draw Manga: Ninja/Samurai, etc.). Yaoi titles make sense since the yaoi boomlet here in the U.S., which Diamond Book Distributor's Kuo-Yu Liang estimates accounted for $6 million in sales in 2007, got its start online and many yaoi fans continue to visit sites featuring unlicensed scanlations. The yaoi content dictates that anyone who signs up for the emanga program must attest that they are 18 years of age, will not allow minors to view it, are not accessing the site in order to use it against the site operators, and ?believe that such material does not offend the standards of the community in which you live.?

Digital Manga is clearly attempting to get ahead of the curve in combating the spread of unlicensed manga online by offering a legal alternative. While manga sales have not been affected by illegal Internet downloading and viewing in anything approaching what has happened to anime, retailers surveyed for ICv2?s Guide to Anime/Manga have increasingly mentioned that customers have admitted checking out new manga series online before deciding whether to buy a new series or not.
Source: ICv2