Japanese Govt. & Major Manga Publisher Invest Heavily In AI Translation To Boost Manga Export Overseas


Efforts to significantly expand Japan’s manga exports have been set in motion through the utilization of AI to translate manga.

By increasing the translation speed by up to 10 times using AI, the aim is to increase the number of manga export works and promote the growth of Japan’s content industry.

A collaborative endeavour between the government and private sector has commenced, with ten prominent companies, including manga publishing giant Shogakukan and the Japan Innovation Corporation (JIC), a subsidiary of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, investing a total of 2.92 billion yen in a start-up dedicated to manga translation using AI.

Orange is the start-up responsible for AI translation. The investment will fuel the development of Orange’s localization platform.

The financing round was led by Shogakukan, Globis Capital Partners, ANRI, SBI Investment, JIC Venture Growth Investments, Miyako Capital, Chiba Dojo Fund, Mizuho Capital, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, and GFR Fund.

Founded in 2021, Orange claims to bring together a unique team of manga editors, AI specialists, and game developers with a mission to revolutionize manga accessibility.

According to Orange, their AI technology boasts the ability to translate manga at a rate ten times faster than traditional human translation, potentially completing a full volume in just a few days.

This significant reduction in the time taken for translation process is being done to increase the number of manga exported by a factor of three within the next five years.

The massive translation capacity, estimated at 500 manga volumes per month from Japanese to English alone, exceeds the current industry output by fivefold.

Additionally, the company plans to expand its services to other languages, making manga more accessible to fans worldwide.

This initiative addresses a major bottleneck in manga’s global popularity: limited translation availability.

According to Orange, currently only about 2% of manga released annually in Japan reaches English audiences due to the time-consuming nature of human translation and the scarcity of qualified translators.

By harnessing AI technology, Orange aims not only to exponentially increase manga exports but also combat the $5.5 billion global manga piracy market, protecting creators and their works.

To further promote manga globally, Orange will launch its digital manga store “emaqi” in the US this summer.

This platform will offer AI-translated titles alongside recommendations curated by AI and manga influencers, aiming to provide a unique and engaging experience for American manga fans.

Source: Press Release

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