Kodansha Comics, publisher of popular manga titles like Attack on Titan, Sailor Moon and Akira, will now publish certain ongoing series in English on the same day as their native Japanese printings. The company announced the simultaneous digital release schedule over the weekend, alongside a translation of the latest chapter of Attack on Titan, one of the publisher's biggest series.
Day-one translate manga will be available from Comixology and the Amazon Kindle store. The series benefitting from this program, which the company calls "unprecedented" in the manga translation world, include Attack on Titan and an adaptation of Persona Q. A new chapter from each of these manga will debut monthly; a total of 17 titles will be published on weekly or bimonthly bases, retailing at $1.99 per chapter.
"A simulpub initiative has never been done like this before — it's effectively a new format and it's made possible by digital publishing," Alvin Lu, manager of Kodansha Advanced Media said in the announcement. Although the translations will launch simultaneously with their Japanese debuts, the English chapters will be exclusively available for stateside customers, according to Kodansha.
Kodansha hooked up with Comixology last fall, making a wide variety of its series available to read and buy online. Yet Kodansha has dabbled in same-day release initiatives since 2013, when it partnered with Crunchyroll to release several of its series in English the same day they hit newstands in Japan.
That program is still available as part of a Crunchyroll subscription. The difference, however, is that Crunchyroll offers various paid membership tiers, each of which are required to access the full manga library. Only the latest chapters of Attack on Titan and other Kodansha series are available digitally to members; Comixology offers the entire backlog of its manga series.
Other recent news on the Attack on Titan front: A game for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One and Windows PC will launch stateside this August.