Here are some updates from the manga industry in the wake of COVID-19 as of March 29, 2020:
- North America publisher Sol Press has announced on Twitter that the company has halted all physical production.
- VIZ Media is continuing to print and ship manga and other book releases through Simon & Schuster to bookstores and online retailers, according to a report by ICv2.
- Digital Manga Inc. has announced that “all aspects” of its Wonder 3 Kickstarter campaign are delayed.
Manga creator Kenshiro Sakamoto has revealed on his Twitter account that he will end the Fairy Tail: Happy’s Heroic Adventure (Fairy Tail: Happy no Daibōken) spin-off manga in its next chapter on April 2, 2020.
Sakamoto launched the manga on Kodansha’s Magazine Pocket manga app in July 2018.
Kodansha Comics is releasing the manga digitally in English.
Kodansha Comics and Vertical have announced that they are launching nearly their entire digital manga library on izneo, a European digital comics, manga, and webtoons distribution platform.
The two publishers will feature 2,000 of their manga works in English, including manga such as Attack on Titan, Ghost in the Shell, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal Edition, Fairy Tail, Fire Force, and The Quintessential Quintuplets. The first volume of more than 270 series will have a special promotional price of $0.99.
Kodansha Comics will also start releasing its weekly simulpub manga chapters on izneo “soon,” for manga such as EDENS ZERO, Attack on Titan, Domestic Girlfriend, To Your Eternity, and APOSIMZ.
izneo is available on web browsers, Android and Apple tablets and smartphones, Nvidia Shield, and on the Nintendo Switch. Works on the service are available both online and offline. Readers can have a subscription to the service or can purchase books individually.
VIZ Media has published Kōhei Horikoshi’s “My Hero Academia – League of Villains: Undercover” manga chapter in English on its website and app.
The nine-page manga was included in the Boku no Hero Academia Vol. R (My Hero Academia Vol. Rising) book that theatergoers to the My Hero Academia the Movie -Heroes: Rising- film received for free in Japan. The book also included character designs and notes on each character, and an interview with Horikoshi.
My Hero Academia the Movie -Heroes: Rising- opened in Japanese theaters on December 20, 2019. The film ranked at #1 in the United States box office when it opened on February 26, 2020, and has since earned more than US$13 million.
Dark Horse Comics has announced that it will reduce the number of its releases in the coming months. The publisher also announced that it will allow return of periodicals up to 90 days after the on-sale date.
Both of these changes are due to the effect of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on its business.
Diamond Comic Distributors, the world’s largest distributor of English-language comic books, graphic novels, and pop culture merchandise, is pleased to announce that it has signed a distribution agreement with Kodansha Comics to exclusively distribute their products to comic book specialty markets worldwide. Diamond was also awarded the rights to exclusively distribute Kodansha Comics’ new releases to the UK and Ireland book markets under the banner of Diamond Book Distributors UK.
Effective August 1, 2020, Diamond Comic Distributors will assume exclusive sales and distribution for Kodansha Comics in traditional and non-traditional book channels. Kodansha Comics has huge pedigree in the manga market and, with the likes of Attack on Titan, Akira, Sailor Moon, Fairy Tail, Ghost in the Shell and many more within their imprint, they are a perfect fit with Diamond’s current publishing partners.
“We are delighted that the fantastic, expanding catalogue of English language manga from Kodansha Comics will now be available via Diamond Comic Distributors UK. Both Kodansha Europe and Kodansha Comics are looking forward to working with them to ensure the continued growth of Kodansha Manga in the UK,” said Tim Wilkes, Managing Director, Kodansha Europe Ltd.
“Diamond UK is extremely excited to work with Kodansha Europe and look forward to helping them to take Kodansha Comics to new heights. The addition of Kodansha Comics to our ranks helps reinforce Diamond as the primary source of Entertainment Culture products and services. I’m confident that our global presence in other markets can help them reach their full sales potential and we’re ready to go to work and deliver on that promise,” said Mike Holman, General Manager, Diamond Comic Distributors UK.
NHK World TV’s imagine-nation, an English-language program shown on the international broadcast service, has announced that Kengo Hanazawa’s Under Ninja manga will begin publication in the United States, Italy, China, and other countries in April 2020.
The manga takes place in a modern world where roughly 200,000 ninja live in secrecy and blend into daily life as normal people. The story focuses on Kurō Kumogakure, a ninja who is unable to find work. One day, he finally receives a job and begins to infiltrate a school.
Hanazawa launched the manga in Kodansha’s Young Magazine in July 2018.