In a recent interview to talk about the Manga PLUS service, Deputy Editor-in-Chief for the digital Shonen Jump+ service for Japan, Yuta Momiyama, told the Japanese media outlet ITmedia about the internationalization of manga through the digital services.
During the interview, Momiyama staff of the international service showed tremendous hope for bringing the Manga PLUS service to help manga grow internationally through the digital platform for free.
He positively claimed that he understands that “overseas manga sales represent about 10 to 20% of the overall manga market.”
Moriyama went on further to say that “if the climate for the delivery of digital manga overseas is improved, in about 10 year’s time, overseas and domestic sales may be split evenly 50-50.”
Momiyama, who also helps launch rookie programs including the MILLION TAG manga creation battle web series, hopes that Manga PLUS will help “the popularity of a series spread [internationally] at the same time as in Japan.”
Despite the pros, the Editor admits there are some negative sides to international expansion. This includes the “lack of resources for running the service in each country” and that each region has its own “form of censorship,” which they still need to be aware of.
Other issues include the process of going from pen and paper to digital. He addressed 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 makes it difficult to speed up the process of creating new services.”
The final issue Momiyama touches on is one that many international have – communication and language.
He says that “right now, the cost of translation is very high, making simultaneous distribution very difficult” and “the quality of machine translation is still relatively low, but it will improve over the next 10 years. Once high-quality translations are available in a wide variety of languages, many things will improve.”
Yuta Momiyama is part of the team that helped bring series’ such as Spy x Family and Kaiju No. 8 to life, which are popular around the world despite not yet getting anime adaptations.
Even though the digital presence was still weak when he started working on the digital rollout of ‘Weekly Shonen Jump’ inside Japan, but in recent times that seemed to have changed.