Kodansha Officially Launches K MANGA App in U.S.

k manga launch visual feature image

Kodansha has officially launched the K MANGA app — its first manga distribution service outside of Japan — for the U.S. market. The app is now available on most mobile app stores, with a browser version scheduled to launch within a few days. 

At the time of the launch, approximately 400 manga titles are now available to be read, with around 60 of those titles releasing their most recent chapters simultaneously in Japan and the U.S. A free discount campaign will apply to all chapters of select series like Attack on Titan, Tokyo Revengers, and Fairy Tail. Please note that the number of chapters you can read from those series in one day is limited.

“We are a publisher that serves as a link between manga artists and readers. We will continue to strengthen our efforts to protect manga artists from piracy and other forms of copyright infringement, including traceability of translations,” says project leader Yuta Hiraoka. On K MANGA’s release in other countries, he also stated: “We are starting with US-only for now. However, we know that there are Kodansha manga readers all over the world who want to try K MANGA and read the latest simulpub chapters. We hear you and we are doing our best to make K Manga available in your countries as soon as we can.”

Readers will be able to access the first few chapters of the approximately 400 available titles for free daily. They can read beyond the free chapters by unlocking them for three days at a time using one of two types of “Tickets.” Here is how K MANGA’s payment system works: 

With Tickets

  • • Normal Tickets are issued once a day for each title and can be used only for that title.
  • • Premium Tickets can be used for all chapters of all titles for which tickets are eligible. Users can receive three to four tickets per day with login bonuses or by viewing advertisements on the app. 
  • • Readers can also utilize both Normal and Premium Tickets to read four to five chapters of their favorite titles every day, free of charge. The number of chapters for which tickets can be used varies, depending on the title. 

With Points

  • • Readers can also access chapters by purchasing “Points.” One dollar is equivalent to 100 points that can unlock manga chapters, which vary in cost depending on their length. The points required also vary depending on whether the chapter is older or more recent. For example, a serialized manga released in 20-page installments requires 69 points for older chapters, and 99 points for the latest chapter. Once a reader has traded in points to unlock a chapter, they can access it indefinitely through their account.
k manga launch party key visual

Kodansha also announced that it will hold a K MANGA online launch party on June 22, 2023. The party’s theme will be “The Stories Behind the Stories,” featuring appearances from famous manga artists and various behind-the-scenes stories of manga production from Kodansha’s editorial department. The event will include live drawings, which will be streamed online, with exclusive giveaways for viewers.

Source: press release

William Moo is a freelance writer who has previously written for OTAQUEST and MANGA.TOKYO. He enjoys watching lots of anime every season and reading from time to time. You can follow him on Twitter @thewriterSITB.
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