On August 30, Shueisha launched MANGA Plus Creators, a manga submission and publication platform for “overseas” manga artists. The initiative is a joint collaboration between the Shōnen Jump+ editorial department and the MediBang localization company.
The platform welcomes submissions from all around the world.
MANGA Plus Creators in a nutshell
MANGA Plus Creators accepts original manga submissions created by non-Japanese mangaka.
Presently (keep in mind that the platform was launched earlier today), the platform is available in English and Spanish.
The manga titles published via the platform will be available to worldwide audiences, Japan included. In addition, works published via MANGA Plus will also be available via MANGA Plus Creators.
The platform will schedule monthly manga awards; the entries will be judged by the Shōnen Jump+ editorial department. The winning entries will be translated into Japanese and published on Shōnen Jump+ and MANGA Plus. The mangaka behind the winning manga title will be rewarded up to ¥1 million (ca. US$7,200) in prize money.
MANGA Plus by Shueisha is also operated by the Shōnen Jump+ editorial department. The platform publishes manga titles in multiple languages simultaneously and distributes them in Japan. Worldwide audiences can access the titles via the platform (Japan, China, and Korea excluded).
The Shōnen Jump+ platform was launched in 2014. It serializes many manga series, including some of the most popular ones (SPY x FAMILY and Summer Time Rendering, to name a few).
The MANGA Plus platform was launched in 2019 by Shueisha. It publishes new chapters of the manga titles serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump, Jump Square (a monthly shōnen manga magazine), and on Shōnen Jump+. All new chapters are being released simultaneously.
Shueisha announced previously that all Shōnen Jump+ English manga releases will be launching simultaneously in English on MANGA Plus starting in 2023.
Multiple Manga publishing platforms are turning to global audiences
There are quite a lot of developments in this department, and no mistake!
Earlier in July, Japanese digital manga giant Comic C’moA announced its plans to transition to international audiences. Comic C’moA offers free manga titles and limited manga “rentals”.
Comic C’moA is operated by NTT Solmare Corp., which also operates MangaPlaza. MangaPlaza offers affordable subscription plans following a 7-day free trial to interested readers and publishes a range of popular manga titles, including major ones by Kodansha and KADOKAWA.
Everything considered, it would seem that manga fans worldwide will finally get more options to read their favorite titles in a timely manner (latest chapters included).
It’s no secret that the manga industry is facing a crisis both at home and abroad, piracy not being the least significant issue.
In Febrary 2022, Kodansha, Shueisha, Shogakukan, and KADOKAWA sued Cloudflare, seeking a combined ¥400 million yen (US$3.5 million) in damages. Cloudflare was accused of copyright infringement as it hosted sites that distribute pirated manga content (ca. 4,000 manga titles, in total). The losses were estimated at millions of dollars in Japan alone.
In July, KADOKAWA, Shueisha, and Shogakukan filed a lawsuit against Mangamura — the biggest manga pirate website in Japan, seeking ¥1.9 billion (ca. US$14.2 million) in damages.
Seeing as the number of manga fans worldwide is soaring, Japanese manga publishers seem to finally understand that offering affordable English manga titles digitally to international audiences is a great way to promote Japanese culture abroad, attract more subscribers, and turn the tables on piracy. Finally!