It was announced by Kodansha that they are planning on rolling out an English-based manga reading app. The app is titled K Manga and it is scheduled to be released on May 10. Kondasha states that the app will be exclusive to readers in the United States.
As of now, over 400 titles will be available on launch including some of Kondasha’s biggest titles such as Attack on Titan and Ghost in the Shell.
While the app will be subscription-based, readers will be able to have limited access to chapters of some series free of charge.
“K Manga will endeavor to release the latest chapters of K Manga original serialized manga and weekly and monthly magazines of Kodansha containing a collection of different manga titles simultaneously in the U.S and Japan, making the latest stories available earlier than any other competing U.S. services,” the company said.
Kodansha did say that some of their titles will launch exclusively on their service first before heading to other manga-reading platforms. Some of the titles announced were EDENS ZERO, Blue Lock, Rent-a-Girlfriend, Seven Deadly Sins: Four Knights of the Apocalypse, and Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro.
“The K Manga team is committed to continually creating content within the K Manga platform, bringing many brand-new stories to U.S. readers as they are simultaneously distributed in Japan. We hope that our audience will enjoy K Manga through encountering many never-before-seen stories, becoming a fan of those stories, and then watching the journey of how those stories become popular,” project leader Yuta Hiraoka said.
The laugh of the app is an attempt by Kodansha to keep pace with the changes happening within the manga market. One of the big influences behind this app is the success of Korean-based webtoons. Webtoons have already been adapted into anime series (such as Tower of God and The God of High School) proving that online reading and publication have benefits similar to or greater than physical releases. Kodansha had already shifted its focus to a digital library in recent years and adding this app is, yet, another step in that shift.