ANIME NEWS: JManga to shut down its services in May

March 27, 2013

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

JManga Inc. said it will shut down its JManga website, which distributes digital Japanese comics in English, by the end of May, after only two years in operation.

The announcement was made on the website on March 14, adding that refunds will be given.

The website stopped selling JManga points, used to purchase digital manga, on March 13.

It terminated its manga retail service on March 26, and the viewing service will be halted on May 30, when the portal will be shut down.

The website has yet to reveal the reasons why it decided to terminate all the services.

JManga.com began its services in August 2011 to promote Japanese manga titles in North America and other parts of the world for free or for a fee.

The digital manga portal is supported by the Digital Comic Association, whose members include many leading manga publishers.

The publishers decided to put aside their rivalries and join hands for JManga due to dwindling comic book sales overseas.

As more readers switched from print comic books to the Internet, an overwhelming number of Japanese manga titles began to be posted illegally online.

JManga was founded in part to curb these unauthorized editions by offering many authorized translated comics. It was also intended to introduce titles that were still relatively obscure outside Japan.

But critics pointed out from the beginning that the prices were rather high and the website was not offering many popular titles.

In many cases, manga titles that have already established large fan bases outside Japan have been licensed to local publishers and other companies. For that reason, JManga has been in competition with digital manga streaming services offered by other companies and has been struggling to make a profit.

It was also revealed recently that Bitway Co., which operates JManga Inc., decided to forge a merger with e-book company BookLive Co.

Visit the official website of JManga at (http://www.jmanga.com/).

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.
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From JManga's official website

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