The deputy editor-in-chief of the Shonen Jump + digital service for Japan and the Manga PLUS international service staff for international regions, Yuta Momiyama, spoke with the Japanese media outlet ITmedia about the internationalization of manga through the digital service in a highly interviewed interview. extensive, including how international manga sales are growing and machine translation of hats could help bring more manga to more countries.
Only visual representation of Yūta Momiyama online.
Momiyama, who is not only second in charge of Shonen Jump + but also helps launch rookie shows including the manga creation battle web series MILLION TAG, has high hopes that the Manga PLUS service will help the manga. to grow internationally. Momiyama explains that he understands that “foreign manga sales represent 10-20% of the overall manga market.” He went on to say that “if the climate for overseas digital manga delivery improves, in about 10 years, overseas and domestic sales can be divided equally.”
The editor explained that this is mainly because “Japanese anime is being watched on streaming sites, making it easier to sell manga thanks to anime,” and that “Japanese manga is interesting and of high quality, whenever we can. provide an ideal way for people to read it, it will surely grow. ” He hopes Manga PLUS will help “the popularity of a series to spread [internationally] at the same time as in Japan. With MANGA Plus, readers will be able to get excited at the same time as in Japan.”
“I feel this is similar to my experience when I started working on the digital launch of ‘Weekly Shonen Jump’ within Japan. When the smartphone version of the magazine was launched, the digital presence was still weak, but that seemed to have changed quickly, “Momiyama expanded. Momiyama is part of the team that helped bring series like Spy x Family and Kaiju No. 8 to life, which are popular around the world even though they have yet to receive anime adaptations.
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Despite this, Momiyama says there are some negatives to international expansion, including the “lack of resources to run the service in each country” and that each region has its own “form of censorship.” He admits that Shueisha “still doesn’t have enough knowledge about these areas.” Other issues include the process of moving from pencil and paper to digital, and Momiyama says that when “we think about what is most desirable for readers, works and writers in the digital age, we need to make adjustments to existing business models, which it makes it difficult to speed up the process of creating new services. “
The final theme that Momiyama touches is one that many internationals have: communication and language. He says that “at the moment, the cost of translation is very high, making simultaneous distribution difficult” and “the quality of machine translation is still relatively low, but will improve in the next ten years. high quality are available in a wide variety of languages, a lot will get better. “
Although translations are difficult, Manga PLUS was recently available in Portuguese in April 2021, followed by Russian in August. The mostly free service is now available in English, Spanish, Thai, Indonesian, Portuguese, and Russian in many countries around the world. For English readers, the service works in conjunction with Viz Media’s Shonen Jump app, sharing some translations and series (as well as chapter restrictions).